Tag Archives: prayer for marriage bed

A Prayer for Our Priorities (Including Sex)

A Prayer for Our Priorities (Including Sex) with woman praying and light from Heaven shining on herOne powerful enemy of regular sexual intimacy in our marriages is time.

Although we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day, let’s face it: We’re not all at the same level of busy. For instance, while I am swamped with work at times, I get healthy doses of sleep that I could only imagine when I had a toddler and an infant in the house. I readily admit that you stay-at-home parents of young children are busier than I am. Or at least more exhausted.

But the truth is that like space in our houses, we tend to fill our days. We stuff them full of to-dos and tasks and activities. We add volunteering to our work schedules and children’s extracurriculars to their school days. We say “yes” to events, committees, and social invites.

And then we wonder why we don’t have enough energy to rev ourselves up for a night of sexual intimacy with our spouses.

Well, duh.

And I say this to myself as much as I say it to you.

In C.S. Lewis’s inimitable book, The Screwtape Letters, senior demon instructs the junior tempter: “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

Satan doesn’t want you to think about those experiences that will strengthen your bond and draw you closer to one another and to God. He wants you to focus on anything that makes you neglect your marriage bed.

Satan wants you to focus on anything that makes you neglect your #marriage bed. Click To Tweet

As someone else famously said, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” (Often attributed to Corrie Ten Boom, but I was unable to confirm.)

By contrast, God wants us to set the right priorities for our marriage. For our Saturday focused on praying more, I offer this prayer for our priorities (including sex):

My glorious Heavenly Father,

Each day you give me is a blessing. Each morning that the sun rises, the Earth turns, and all the intricate parts of Your creation work together, I am reminded that You are on Your throne. You grant me my hours, my weeks, my years, and I am a steward of the time You have provided me.

I know of Your warnings to be productive rather than lazy (Proverbs 10:413:4, 21:25), to be diligent in work. Whatever my hand finds to do, I want to do it with all my might (Ecclesiastes 9:10). But sometimes I’ve chosen to put effort into so many activities, even good endeavors, that my marriage—and my marriage bed—have suffered. 

Your Son, my Lord Jesus, reminded us that You commanded, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,” and then said, “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5-6, ESV). Yet my misguided priorities have separated what You joined together when I’ve neglected my relationship with my husband and the intimacy we should have in our bedroom. Please forgive me.

Help me to remember the example of the noble wife of Proverbs 31, who “watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness” (v. 27). Sometimes I flip even those priorities, intent on not being idle without attending to the affairs of my household. Give me the right perspective to put my family, and specifically my husband, above my desire to stay busy. Enlighten me on where I have been a poor steward of my time, and lead me onto the right path.

Help my husband to positively encourage and support me toward the right priorities. Bless our conversations about household duties, outside obligations, and personal choices so that we can find unity. Show me where I need to let go, and give me peace about not getting everything done. Instead, bring to mind Your principle that “the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). I want to sow bountifully in my marriage and my marriage bed, so that our marriage, our family, and our community will reap the rewards.

And above all, that we will experience Your glory and it will be seen by others in the strength and joy of our marriage.

Today, God, I want to begin this journey of re-prioritizing my time. Give me wisdom for where I need to make changes. Infuse me with a desire to invest in my marriage bed, knowing that this one-flesh experience is part of Your perfect plan (Genesis 2:24Ephesians 5:31-32).

In Jesus’s name,

Amen.

A Prayer for Your Sexual Intimacy

When I started this series on Praying More for your marriage and your sexual intimacy, I admitted that I didn’t know exactly what it would look like. How would have a whole year of blog posts about praying? But God kept nudging me that this was the direction to take, so I stepped out in faith. Okay, okay, I shuffled out in faith, but I’m lengthening my strides week by week.

Today I have this strong sense that I just need to write a prayer. One that you and I can both say for our marriages and our marriage beds. I hope you’ll join me.

A Prayer for Your Sexual Intimacy with PRAY in the background

Dear Heavenly Father,

I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I got married. Yes, of course, I prepared in some ways, and even tried to figure out some things ahead of time about what sex would look like in our marriage. But, as You know, Lord, it’s different going through the experience and dealing with my unique husband. Also, I couldn’t have foreseen the seasons we’d go through — times when sex was good, and times when sex was a struggle.

I want to bring my concerns, my hurt, my longings all before You and lay them at Your feet. I cast all my anxieties on You because I know You care for me (1 Peter 5:7). Guide me to the path I should take and teach me Your way (Psalm 25:9).

Now let’s start with this body You gave me. It’s an amazing creation, able to accomplish so much automatically and at my will. I thank you for all the workings of my body that allow me to go through my days and do what I need to do. But when it comes to sex, it’s not always been an easy road. At times, getting aroused with my husband can be difficult, and at other times, my body is ready to go when there isn’t a chance in the world that we can have sex. How fair is that?! Orgasms can be like my best friend, eager to hang out with me, or my nemesis, avoiding me at every turn. I don’t adore every inch of my appearance, my body does weird things in certain angles (like why is my stomach hanging down like that? — blech), and flexibility feels like a thing of the past.

I need to see myself how You see me, how You designed my body, and how You blessed me to be with my husband. I also need more understanding of my body and how to help it cooperate with the sexual intimacy I need and want to have in my marriage. Help me to identify real issues that need addressing through medical assistance or counseling or exercise, and to have the purposefulness and persistence to follow through. Place before me the right resources to deal with those concerns.

Help me to feel beautiful. Give both me and my husband an acceptance and appreciation of my body’s own sexuality and help us learn how I can experience both pleasure and intimacy in the marriage bed.

My God, I also struggle with my background. I brought baggage into my marriage — teachings about sex that weren’t in line with Your Word, experiences that colored my perception of sexuality, and labels that I carried in my mind about myself and about men. Please wash away all the debris and replace it with truth.

Help me step by step to replace the negative self-talk in my mind with messages that align with Your design for sex in my marriage. Help me to demolish every argument and pretension against Your will for my marriage bed, to take captive of every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Transform my mind so that I will know Your will for me, even in the bedroom (Romans 12:2).

You are a God who heals, so I also pray that You will heal any rifts between me and my husband. It is indeed good and pleasant when Your people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). Where my husband and I do not see eye-to-eye on sexual intimacy, I pray that we can move toward unity. Help us to listen to one another, to communicate about difficult issues, and to make the personal changes we need to make to find common ground.

And this weekend, today, even now, I pray that you’ll open up my heart and my body to taking even one step in the right direction. While I long for a Red Sea moment, when You perform some great miracle that makes my marriage and marriage bed a perfect reflection of Your design, I recognize that more of my Christian life is walking faithfully with You. With Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, showing me only the bit of road ahead that I need to see (Psalm 119:105). Help me take my next step in the right direction, and the one after that, and the one after that. Until I am striding along on the road You want me to be on, and my husband and I are moving toward greater intimacy and more honor to You, our Father.

Lord, what I haven’t said here, You already know. Where I don’t know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for me (Romans 8:26). You are, and will always be, my Savior.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Praying to Your Heavenly Father: Do You Have Daddy Issues?

In my blog, I often refer to God as my Heavenly Father. But I have to admit that was one of the hardest names to attach to God.

Praying to Your Heavenly Father: Do You Have Daddy Issues? with PRAY in background

Despite the occurrence of Father as the name for God more than 150 times in the New Testament, viewing Him in the dad role was a stretch for me. You see, I loved my father greatly, but when I was younger, we had a contentious relationship. Chalk it up to us both being strong, opinionated personalities or him being wrong and me being right (see? opinionated! 😉 ), but whatever the reason, it was not smooth sailing for my teen and young adult years. We were often at odds with one another.

Right at this same time, I was coming into my own with my faith. And I looked at this term Father and realized all the baggage I brought with it. How could I view God as my father, my pops, my dad?

I’d love to say that I immediately saw the error of my ways in not honoring my earthly father, made perfect peace with the man who raised me, and skipped off into the sunset praying, “Dear Father, oh my beloved Father…” But I didn’t. I just tended toward other names, like Lord, Savior, and God.

I know — just know — that some wives out there struggle with seeing God as their loving father. So when I talk about how He’s listening to you as a Father would, wanting to give you the kind of gifts that a Father gives (see Matthew 7:9-11), and comforting you like a Father would his beloved daughter, it’s hard for you to relate.

Maybe you experienced not merely an unharmonious relationship with your dad, but an abusive one. Or he was simply absent. How much more difficult is it then for you to pray to God as your Heavenly Father who wants to bless your marriage bed?

Look, I don’t have daddy issues anymore. My father and I long ago made peace and ended up with a beautiful relationship that culminated in my being at his bedside and holding his hand as he left this life last year. But I know wives who will never have that peace with their earthly fathers. And when they try to imagine God as Father, that image brings with it baggage and emotional pain. That difficult experience ends up hindering your prayer life.

So how can you start praying for your marriage and your sexual intimacy? Believing that God will be the loving father who gives beautiful gifts to His children?

Recognize He knows your struggle. God’s not upset that you’re not calling Him Father and seeing Him as the loving gift-giver He is. At least not in a personally offended way. He’s upset that you are going through this struggle and wants to help you understand who He is and what a truly loving Father looks like.

Use another name in prayer. Like I said, for a time I used other names. As I grew comfortable with one, I stretched my comfort zone to add another. There are many, many names of God in the Bible, and He answers to those names too.

Make peace with your father. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” Suck it up and go make peace with the man who gave you life. As best you can. No, this doesn’t mean you let anyone walk all over you; rather, you establish a healthy adult relationship with grace, boundaries, and love. Making peace with your earthly father might help you make peace with the idea of God as father.

Find other daddy images. If your father was abusive or absent, consider other fathers you’ve come across who were excellent dads. Was there an uncle or grandfather or male family friend who reached out to you in your youth? Do you have a brother who has become a wonderful father? What about your husband? Some people have even said that fictional images of fathers helped them understand what a good, healthy dad looks like. Whatever the source, think about the great dads out there, because they do exist. And they are hints of the kind of father God is.

Realize that God is the Perfect Father. Your dad is a flawed father, your God is not. While the mental image of father gives us a good sense of our relationship to God, it doesn’t begin to describe His perfection. He’s all the best traits of dads, and none of the bad ones, put together in one person, then amped up to an eleven. He’s Father Knows Best on steroids. He’s in a category all His own. There is one Heavenly Father, and growing closer to Him helps us to understand what that looks like.

Believe that He wants to bless your marriage bed. Going back to my analogy, yes, our Heavenly Father gave a gift to marriage. He said, “Hey, kids, I need to give you a way to reproduce, so I’m creating sex. But you know what? I want it to be different from animals who mate to continue their species. Because you are made in My image, I want your sexuality to reflect the kind of relationship that I value, so I’m going to make this gift even better. It will be for the exclusive, covenant bond of marriage, and it will give you great pleasure and deep intimacy. And children, when you enjoy the gift I’m giving you, I will be smiling like a proud dad.” Okay, He didn’t say that. But I think that’s His intention and His longing for us — He wants to bless our marriage beds.

As I go through this prayer topic on Saturdays, and on my blog generally, when you encounter Heavenly Father, check yourself to see if you have a positive or negative reaction to that name. Open yourself up to what that really means when it comes to God. And what it means for your marriage and your sexual intimacy.

Prayer Challenge This Week: Write down 3-5 different names of God and pray about the sexual intimacy in your marriage with each of those names. Which one or ones are most comfortable? Which ones do you struggle with? Ask God to help you see Him as He really is, without our baggage about earthly father relationships or even men generally.

Related post: What Dads Teach Their Daughters about Intimacy

Do You Pray for Your Sex Life?

Last week, I announced one of my goals for 2017 is to pray more. I admitted this wasn’t the goal for Hot, Holy & Humorous that I personally wanted, but God kept bringing it to the forefront of my mind. And I invite wives to join me in this worthy goal.

Now I write about sex in marriage, so I think the first question we need to ask about prayer is this one: Do you pray for your sex life?

Do You Pray for Your Sex Life? with word PRAY in backgroundWe can get to the how of praying for your sex life later, but the truth is that many wives feel awkward praying to God about their sexuality. Thus, feeling more comfortable about bringing our sexual concerns to the throne of our Heavenly Father has to be Step One.

Philippians 4:6 is often cited as a go-to verse about prayer: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Notice those words anything and in every situation? There are no restrictions about what we can bring before God. He’s open to hearing it all. If it’s something we’re anxious about, He wants to know. If we have a request, He wants to listen. If we are thankful, He appreciates our gratitude.

I am guilty — and perhaps you are too — of sometimes feeling that God doesn’t really care about some small thing going on in my life. Or that it’s selfish to talk to Him about my concerns when there are people across the globe suffering far more than I. Shouldn’t I allow God to use His precious time dealing with the starving, the oppressed, the brokenhearted?

But that’s not what Scripture says. God’s time isn’t limited. He’s got whatever it takes to hear everything you want to tell Him, and everything I want to tell Him, and everything every other person bowing their heads wants to tell Him. Do we believe that?

Do we know, really know, that any and every concern we have about our marriage bed is something God wants to hear?

I’ve talked a lot about how sex in marriage is a gift from God. So let’s make this analogy. What if a father handcrafted a toy, gave it to his child for Christmas, and the child didn’t know how to use the toy? Wouldn’t the father take time to instruct the child and show how it worked? Or what if the toy chipped, or a spring broke, or a wheel came off? Wouldn’t that father want the child to come to him right away and ask for the toy to be fixed? What if nothing was wrong with the toy; rather, it worked beautifully and the child wanted to say thank you? Wouldn’t the father want to hear those words?

Yes, I know sex is not a toy. But, like this toy, it is a gift from our Father intended to bring pleasure and intimacy. It is handcrafted just for us, His children. Surely He cares what happens to that gift after it’s given.

In fact, the four words that precede Philippians 4:6 cited above are these: “The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5). He’s right here, waiting to hear what you have to say, even if it’s about your sex life. For many of you, especially if it’s about your sex life.

Prayer Challenge This Week: Say a prayer specifically focused on the sexual intimacy in your marriage, bringing your anxiety, your requests, your gratitude, or whatever else you have to say to your Heavenly Father.