Have you ever had someone come up to you and say “I know you are going to say No, but I want to ask you the question anyhow”?
I have had that happen, and I always feel funny when someone starts with the phrase “I know you are going to say No, but. . .”
In the span of one week, I have counseled 2 different women, in regard to their marriages. Each of them came to me with pain showing in their eyes and tears rolling down their cheeks, telling me that their marriage was over and that they had no choice but to leave their husband.
In each case, I let the woman tell me her story as I sat in silence and listened. Then I prayed and asked the Lord to guide me as I gave them Biblical counsel. The Lord brought verse after verse to my mind and I shared the Bible verses with them, explaining to them how these verses applied to their marriages and to their lives.
On both occasions, each of the women seemed to listen intently. I talked with each woman and then asked them if they would like me to pray with them. In both instances the woman said “Yes” she would like me to pray with her.
Before I prayed with them, I wanted to make sure that they truly had faith that the Lord could heal their marriages. I wanted to be sure that as we prayed, that we would be two people gathered together of one mind. The Bible says, "I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you." Matthew 18:19
As soon as I finished praying with the first woman, she said “My husband will never change. Our marriage is definitely over.” And I knew that even as I had pleaded with the Lord on behalf of her marriage that in her heart doubts had lurked, and she had not believed that the Lord would intervene and restore her marriage.
"But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do." James 1:6-8
A week later I met with and prayed with the second woman. The very next morning I received a text from her. She was praising the Lord and thanking me for counseling her and praying with her. She proceeded to tell me that as soon as she had gotten home God had worked a miracle in her marriage.
This woman had trusted that the Lord could and would work in her marriage, and He did.
Later that afternoon I got a call from her and she told me that God had also answered the prayers we had lifted up about a second issue. She was so thankful to the Lord for answering her prayers, and truly filled to overflowing with joy.
"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." Matthew 21:22
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24
So, how do you pray?