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May 6, 2021 6:00 am
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Tired and I was ready to walk away from our marriage. Abby's husband serves in the military, which means a lot of family moves in a huge strain on their relationship through our podcast.
Abby found hope for marriage.
I don't believe that we would be where we are today without focus on Jim Daly. Working together we can bring hope to more marriages like Abby's gift today focusonthefamily.com/real family stands almost everyone I see because prayer should be continuous and I pray for Focus on the Family the country. I pray for my family and pray for their health, but prefer the faith, pray mostly for my family and also for my job.
I pray for my family and safety and well being of them were my friends that send some important things to pray for and you may even echo some of those very same things. But when you're so praying for Elsa wondered you take time to pray for yourself John Fuller. That's our topic for today's Focus on the Family with folks, presidents, and author Jim Daly John you know I am so grateful for those prayers for focus minutes, so for sure. There is this that we think of prayer in that way that if we can just petition God then will get him to act on our behalf and really prayer is an act of worship that were putting before him.
Those things that we desire and we have to be comfortable in the fact that he may or may not spawn the way we want him to, but it does say in Scripture to lift these things up with all things up to him and let him know what your heart is feeling. I like that component to it in order to talk about this today. We are in a moment ago I asked the question, do you pray for yourself will hear from someone who has some very good encouragement in your general prayer life and also as you petition God for your own particular needs. Kathy Lipp is back with us. Jim certainly one of our favorite guess is she brings energy and insights always practical and that she's been with us a number of times and Kathy were so glad to have you back. I'm so glad to be here. I was have so much fun with you guys. I know that the objective but it's true.
Kathy, let me ask you you talking primarily in your book, praying God's word for your life to women but I mean these concepts apply to both men and women got a constant topic of conversation between my husband and I to our small group talking about, you know how much time we spent praying the hot weather we pray about.
Are there ways that we can be more intentional about our prayers and for women. I think because were going in a million different directions. Sometimes it's just the whole settling down and doing that with guys to go with their busy schedules and families were all feeling that how do you make time for me. What's your routine in your practice. How did you get a handle on this. To say I need to commune with the Lord each and every day several times a day and left a bill to say I came from the space of you know I wake up in the morning and I just want to spring into the arms of God and that would be a complete lie because this is my desire but it's not always where my feet are taking me.
Does that make sense or yeah and so you know and there were many days I was getting to the end of the day and is like I haven't spent any time praying and I know how much that affects my day.
I know that being in prayer changes how I respond to my kids change how I respond. My husband and changes how I listen to God and so I had to be very intentional because I'm a very methodical, analytical person husband. Oh yeah engineer.
Yes, we have a plethora of charts around our house that now when were supposed to be doing dishes. We know we were going on vacation. We know how much money is going into the vacation fine, got charts, but I am not HR person. I had a job one time where my job was putting little numbers and little boxes and I thought this is torture. Somebody has set me up for torture is not my middle name, but I also knew that I was missing something. Not having that regular time with God by not clearing out my schedule and I'm also not a morning person it is. I just read a report that is literally more painful for women to wake up. It is for men and then explain so much of my life. It really does not you and your husband Roger very much like Jean and me, haven't you John. There are some similarities. I tend to be more of a morning person and oftentimes amino wake up I go to bed probably about 10 to 10, but for me, but I wake up in bed about 430 5 o'clock and it's the time that I really enjoy spending time with the Lord in all raise those things, before even though Jean is asleep next to me. Jean doesn't speak before 10 o'clock. Yeah. And you know what were probably all grateful. Depending on how we wake up I know that you know I've had to train myself to be a morning person and people say you can't do that and I'm living proof that you absolutely can't.
When Jean is done that as well.
It was not a morning person or an evening person she she can have a four hour car that was really good like that the Lord has woken her up consistently. Now for the past few years.
At 435. She's fought that but she has learned to embrace that time is quiet time, it does beg the question, though, Kathy. How does a person in your speaking specifically to women here moms are really busy, they got a lot on right have do you gain that discipline if that's not your natural bent.
What I think. One.
Understanding the importance of it. I think that that is absolutely critical because if you're going more than a day and we all know that there are days when crisis is, but if every day is a crisis, then there's something else going on, and so I think understanding the importance and also accepting accountability.
I've got to stop. Yeah for a quick second. Because what you said that so fast. But if every day is a crisis there's a problem right. Just tell me because I'm sure a lot of women heard that they went. Oh, that's me. What is at me when I need to look into my well if every day is there's no time for God. You know, I think that one of the biggest things is as women we are trying so hard to meet every single need whether it's valid or not. And just because somebody has asked us to do something doesn't mean that we are the ones who are supposed to do is Jean your sister you women are on their yeah sure it's a woman's nature.
Usually it's always the 8020 rule. Absolutely.
If there's a disagreement with this, it's because you often say yes to something.
I know she's already maxed out your saying yes to that you can only fix so many boo-boos will and the thing is, our husbands can sometimes see it, but how do they tell us that you carefully because when these things come up. It feels great to be needed. Doesn't it feels great that people are looking at you and saying you're the one who can make this happen or you're the one who can fix this, but the honest truth is probably there about 10 people who could make that happen.
You just happen to be the first person they saw. Okay so you have always coming at you all these people around you, your husband, your kids that have needs. You're trying to meet all their needs and be that supermom right that pressure you derive a certain personal no benefit from that. I feel good about you, but if you doing all that your squeezing on God.
Do you have it upside down, you know, and I've lived like that I had lived like that for many many years and when you don't have God involved in your life. You're saying yes without any input you know and so I have really learned and this I learned from my husband when there would be an opportunity he would that would come up. He said you went. Let me take some time and pray about it and talk to my wife and where I was like well if somebody asked me. It must be God's will and I had to learn that I need to pull back and have a discussion with Roger and he can say you know what I'm excited for you but if there's something you can remove from your schedule to make that happen or is it not valuable enough to remove something else from your schedule is good to have that counter you actually Jean and I've done that for several years were remade an agreement now. It's not perfect but we ask of each other. The before we make a commitment to do something, go out to dinner with friends. Whatever might be that we don't say yes.
I think the greatest abuser that the early days was and so that's worked really well, that's good. A good fundamental marriage agreement there.
Don't commit me without talking to me because it's so important.
We were talking about how stressed out and how busy we are and were not only committing our time with our spouses time that can get us in the real trouble Am really intrigued in your book up praying God's word for your life. You talk about five reasons to pray and I think we always have to give that scriptural under girding for what were talking about right and I love that. Let's talk about those quickly and the move forward. One was God asked us to pray. Romans 1212 talk about. That's really what we look at the Bible as a whole word like a there are so many instances where God is asking us to pray. He's saying this is important to me. This is important to our relationship, and so we can't gloss over that we can't say yet well just because you know it's there and it's we need to make sure that we're taking God at his word and realizing that this is super important effect that Scripture says rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. That's a good reason right there. The Lord said, here's what you need to do and it's what it's thinking constant in prayer. Yeah I heard one of the people earlier saying that she's in prayer throughout the day.
I think that that is something to aspire to but I don't think we'll start there. I can imagine some people who think you do that yeah and I think that what it is is training our first response to not go and saying how would I fix this, but asking God. God what what you want me to do in the situation and's trying to train our first response to be prayer, so it may not be praying all throughout the day, but when those circumstances, how do we retrain ourselves instead of saying I have to fix this thing. God what what do you want me to do in this and the other one that God wants to know you. I love this so often we I'm not sure how to say this but we create a barrier between us and the Lord because we don't see it as relationship like me and my friends, but the Lord is very much wanting to live there and in that Proverbs 817 passage. He says I love those who love me and those who seek me diligently find me his full statement getting I want to be there for you. But there also is something there that you know it says those who seek me, so there's a responsibility on our part two and I want to know the nature of God.
I want to know him and so that come through Bible reading, but it also comes through prayer and saying either as I talk to God. I get to know his nature better. Well again it's so simple it's like a friend. How would you get to know a friend by seeking that friend right looks good. Winifred and I love yes, let's talk how to do that in a marital relationship. You spend time together. The Lord is saying I'm the Savior made in my image and I think that for so many of us, at least for me. I know that when I have been negligent in my relationship with God. It's almost easier for me to put it off because I feel so guilty and I explain that the more you feel you feel the more distance you justify putting between you and God, which doesn't sound you. We called a friend for a while.
It's harder to call. That friend gets progressively more difficult and more awkward, and I think for me I can feel that way with God. Even though I know God's nature, and I know that yet God delights in me and he loves me and he adores me and he wants to spend time with me, but I don't think I'm the only woman who feels that way. Let me just mention one more the five there were only talk about three of them and certainly people can get the book to look further but the one. Also, the cut my attention and is so important to all of us who seek the Lord that God answers your prayer.
John 1624, which states, until now, you've asked nothing in my name, asking you receive it, that your joy may be made full.
That's a beautiful one as well.
And I think as we get to know God's nature. It becomes easier to pray yeah and it's not just God answers our prayers in the way that we would one that we can come to submit our hearts and say that I want this so desperately. I think God can understand the desires of our hearts, but he can also change the desires of our heart.
We had our heart set on something that we thought this is good to change my life, is to make my family whole. This is good, and then so often 10 years down the road we see God answered that prayer but not at all in the way that we expected and so to be able to trust in God that he answers our prayers even when it doesn't look like some really good encouragement from Kathy lift today on focus and you always appreciate your insights, energy is Kathy is talking about her book, praying God's Word for your life.
It may be that you're interested and would like to get a copy. Stop by our website.
We got the details in the episode's or call 800 K in the word family and now more from Kathy lift on today's episode of Focus on the Family Kathy you fun and pretty transparent and we touched on one of the things this kind of a colonel to prayer time and what are some of the other reasons that we don't pray. I think that yeah we talked about guilt and I think that for a lot of women taking time away from family and relationships and the things that we have to get done at makes us feel guilty like we should get we got this checklist that we need to go through in our day and let's be honest.
Prayer is the one that you can kinda squeeze by on and quote nobody notices and but what were doing is were you know were pretty dropping got to the bottom of our priority list and I think that were robbing ourselves of really getting to know who God is and get understanding his acceptance of who we are and I think that that's a big hurdle for a lot of women not feeling accepted and loved by God, perhaps because maybe the family they grew up in. Or maybe the view of religion they've had in their lives, but they feel that God may be a judge instead of what we are talking about earlier that friend or that person who you know that exactly exactly. And so I think that there's an element of guilt for a lot of women and I think also we know where to start. Sometimes I think it feels overwhelming. I know that when I would start to pray. I would think okay so I've seen these Bible teachers talk about the hour they have with God in the morning and what they're doing and they have this regimen that you go through and I remember feeling completely overwhelmed by that. So I got to the point where I said okay I'm just set some time aside to start with 15 minutes and then 15 minutes, fell overwhelming and I know now your listeners are thinking what she's talking about prayer. I get it I get it I had to start with one minute prayers. Let me assist you.
Because so many husbands can add weight the guilt to this and you know you speak to us as husbands.
How we help lift that burden and I would think the formula would be that if your wife is pregnant has a robust prayer life. You can be a happier husband and sometimes I can just hear husbands are saying honey. We need to do this we need to matter what happened to the house to that, you know, not a wise question that friend to advise you. Can we inadvertently I think husbands don't even understand the weight that were putting on our spouses so that they feel they don't have time.
I think that if your wife comes to you and says you know what I need these 15 minutes I need this half-hour is there a way you could take the kids for that amount of time and or could you get up 15 minutes earlier. Or is there a way to create space for your wife so that she has that type and maybe it's just about me getting up earlier and I found that that was the solution for me. But just because I got up earlier didn't mean everybody's day started earlier well and that's a good question is vastly the other side of that when should couples be praying together. That should be every bit as well, yeah, absolutely. And I think that for couples it's really good to have a good book or a good is something that you can general a tool. Somehow, and I know focus has a ton of these kinds of resources at something that you can go to every day and pray about and the nice thing for Roger and I while we may spend just a couple of minutes in prayer.
It often sets off a discussion for us that we wouldn't have had otherwise. And I think for couples. One of the things the best questions you can ask is how can I pray for you today. We think we know what's going on in our spouses life. But then you know maybe the wife has a situation going on at work or maybe the husband isn't feeling like the kind of dad he wants to be I have is that change your day when you know that you've got somebody who loves you who loves God and it is invested in you, who is sending you out to the world prayed up. I think that there is just something about that that would change the whole dynamic of us. If you're struggling in your marriage. Change the whole dynamic you Kathy have been on the program and talked in the past about your struggles. Roger, you're in a second marriage actuation when you reflect on that as a woman and marrying young and the struggles that existed there would prayer have change that. You know it's a tough question. I know that I prayed a lot in that first marriage I prayed a lot and you know my husband had some struggles that were beyond what I could do a repair, but I do know this. In that struggling marriage. If both of us had been praying. If both of us had been committed to the change that I know is possible when God is intimately involved in a marriage, and working with both people there could have been hope for sure, absolutely in a struggling marriage. I think that even if your spouse is in praying you need to be praying and you need to get people around you who are praying. I think that there is always hope when God is involved in the midst of a marriage for you and Roger today is that the impetus for you I mean you desperately want to make sure the lawn of the Lord at everything you do and how did you come to that realization. What was the circumstances when you said Roger we need to be praying often together and blending of family children thinking that we made the biggest mistake in our lives, because I will say the first six months of that marriage were the hardest of my life just because it was all coming down. I had kids in the house who you wanted me gone. I mean, my stepson Jeremy was a protester at our wedding. It was really really tough and I look back at those first. You know, especially first two years and think it's not for God. If not for God and now I have an amazing relationship with my stepson Jeremy.
We are great friends.
If he calls his dad and his dad is not available.
He and I are talking on the phone.
It is only through prayer that we have that relationship.
And it's because Roger and I were praying together.
I would love to say that we just wanted to start off our marriage in the best way possible, and I encourage other couples do that but we were praying out of desperation and God answers desperate prayer she does close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit. I love that he remanded us. He mended us.
That's awesome when you come down to it, what would be a practical way for a mom. My wife hearing this. It's been the bottom thing on the list you and most days she hasn't gotten to that item to have time with the Lord to pray. What can she do tomorrow that will be different. I think there are two important things understand that not everybody around you is a prayer warrior. Other women struggle with this.
You may be in a Bible study were ever based talking about how much the price that's okay. Start where you're at and I'm a big believer in minivan prayers.
If you are waiting for your kids to Gaskell you're waiting for them to get soccer practice. There have have a resource with you have something that you can be praying out of but start with one minute and what happened in that one minute is you are going to start falling in love with spending time with God and that's where I am at now. It took me a while to get to that place, but now I am the person who looks forward to that time with with my God and try to the top of the list it at the top of the list because I see how not only does it affect me, it affects the people in my life and when I can honestly tell something I've been praying for you and I'm so glad I got to be a part of that miracle. Because of the prayers exciting way to live, you want to wake up every day and say what else can I be praying for you know another reality check. I think it's great out your book praying God's word for your life. You talk about your kids, your modeling for your children something here to there seeing you pray you have a worse mommy while she's praying and it's a good thing.
In fact, one of your teenage daughters became the family prayer warrior, absolutely. We had a cat Zorro who decided to go on the walkabout and was gone and we were at a week of this Being God and we lived in a place where they had coyotes and all sorts of wildlife and I knew what happened to Zorro and so but my daughter Kimberly said mom we need to be praying we need to pray that Zorro will come home and I said yes. So I'm thinking all is that cute. She still wants to pray and so we prayed and she made posters in faith and put them up all over the place and I kept having discussions with her that say you God answers prayer in a variety of this is a very hard correlation to have a week later, Zorro was on our front doorstep. And well alive and well.
So the Lord sent out Kathy. I have some exactly. And you know him. To this day, where as I will be honest with you. My kids are in different varying degrees of where their walk is with God, but each of my kids will call me when there's a situation say will you prayed. I said all pray as long as your praying and you know that I think is an opportunity when they have these lives that you know maybe were not as day-to-day involved with anymore. But when they're asking you to pray, let me pray with you and let's pray about this together and my kids believe in the power of prayer. Kathy, as we wrap up today those tough things.
Maybe it's finances. Maybe it's you know there's something going on in the relationship and the woman is broken over how does she approach her husband to say would you work with me put this before the Lord. How does a woman go about approaching her husband when there's tension over an issue right right you know, even when there's tension.
I think everybody in that family wants peace and he know it's we may look at it in different ways and how it should come about. I have never had anybody say I don't want you to pray for me. Even my non-Christian family, my non-Christian friend everybody's willing to receive prayer.
So going to your husband and say you know what I have not been praying on your behalf.
Like I said what can I be praying for you about today. What is there and maybe you don't start with the relationship stuff. Maybe you start with the work stuff and say there's something I can be praying for you at work today and just try to gently dip your toe in and say and then ask. I pray for you today. How are things going, or the different things I could be praying about praying for your husband's family I think is a wonderful way to just open up your heart and say this is important to me to so humbling ourselves, saying, let me pray for you and then getting to a place where eventually you can be praying together when it said it sounds like that spirit of humility that we only use wise husbands to that's how we go about doing that Kathy Limbaugh through the book, praying God's word for your life. It is so good to have your thank you for your just your vivacious spirit of the God we see the thing I love being here and I love you guys.
What a great conversation today with Kathy Litt about the power in the purpose of prayer on this episode of Focus on the Family and we got details about Kathy and her book in the episode notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family John a critical part of what we do every day here. Focus on the Family is helping people grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ that's central to who we are and we want to introduce you to God's love and forgiveness and support your daily walk with the Lord and we've got lots of resources dedicated to your spiritual discipleship like Kathy's book and programs like this one are websites and so much more. And it's been our privilege with God's help impact families in profound ways. One listener responded this way you guys fuel me and make deposits in me so I can go out there and do the same for others. You fueled me as a wife, mother and believer in this culture.
Thank you SO much.
I believe my husband would echo the sentiments as we listen to your podcast.
While we do our chores take lunchtime walks or whenever we have the opportunity.
You're such an incredible blessing and will just bounce the rug back to the Lord. Read the absolutely bottom line.
That's why Focus on the Family exists to bring real hope to real families just like this woman's and yours and I hope you'll contact us about getting Kathy's book, praying God's word or your life.
We can put a copy of that in your hands when you send a gift of any amount to focus today and that's our way of saying thanks for partnering with us to share God's good news with families literally around the world. So please get in touch send a gift if you can and keep praying for this family outreach. We always appreciate hearing from you and your support prayer and financial really do make a difference. So please contact us today are numbers 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459 or you can donate and give Kathy's book and find the other resources you mentioned all the details are in the episode and coming up next time some wonderful encouragement for mom's dad sent him to help you. I will never leave or forsake my weakness is what he lets his strength is made perfect in weakness and let Thomas do you feel weak today. That's exactly on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ, your marriage resources your ventures and Odyssey stories content in front there are thousands of stories just like from Focus on the Family's legacy community folks to leave a legacy gift through their well, trust or other estate planning tool you help have godly family.
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