From Our Knees (coming around to prayer)

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“When the stakes are high bow down low.” Beth Moore

It’s been two years since John and I bent down at the end of our bed and said our first prayer together. I mean, we prayed at church and sometimes before meals, but this was our first joint appeal to God.

We couldn’t be more different in so many ways.

He’s an early bird and I’m a night owl, so we pray before he goes to bed and before I get on Facebook. He appreciates ritualistic prayers from his Catholic upbringing. I’m used to long prayers that end in a Baptist altar call. He likes high church. I like dancing and clapping with the church band.

One thing we have agreed on, though, is our prayer lives are personal and praying together is not our thing. We justified our commitment with Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

I guess opening the door and praying together was our “reward” as much as it didn’t feel like one in the beginning. However, we were both desperate to find a way to stop our cyclical arguments.

Prayer worked. We stopped arguing about resentment and hurt feelings and started arguing about prayer. At least from our knees, the scenery changed.

We argued because I thought John should approach me when it was time for our nightly prayers. He thought I should remind him.

The Bible and I said he should act as the spiritual head of our prayer time. He said he didn’t know what to pray.

I decided we should pray on our knees. He said praying anywhere suited God.

Then came the night when John prayed a long prayer and I finally said “Amen” –something he’d done years ago to one of my longwinded friends. We buried our faces into the bed we were laughing so hard. He did the same thing to me the evening I prayed a long list of things about which I felt anxious. I did it back to him when he said, “Thank you, God, …” for the hundredth time. I said, “Thank you, God, he’s finished.”

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We started holding hands during our prayer time except the night after an argument when I closed my eyes fast and acted like I didn’t see him reach out. Next time I tried that, he prayed, “God, please help Kim hold my hand.”

When I acted like a nut, he prayed, “Please make her saner.”

When he acted like a jerk (his choice of the word, not mine), I prayed, “Please make him softer.”

Those two prayers stuck, so every night he says, “Make her saner” and I say, “Make him softer.”

I am saner.
I’ve cried less in the last two years than the rest of our marriage.
I talk less.
I list fewer things that bother me.

John is softer.
He’s cried more in the last two years than during the rest of our marriage.
He talks more.
He tells me things that bother him.

I told you we are different. The opposite of what made me saner is what made him softer. No wonder we can’t make sense of life, but God does when we’re a little willing to do our part. And we were only “a little willing.”

We’re healing and I like to think God is amused and pleased.

We would enjoy hearing your prayer stories whether you’re praying alone or with someone.

I’ll be away from my blog until Monday. I’m babysitting grandkids. I hope to talk more about prayer after the weekend and after a nap.

In this Together,
Kim

Extra reading: “When Two Pray” from Focus on the Family

Photos from Pixabay.

 

 

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14 responses »

  1. Thank you for this Kim. I love praying with my husband, but I too, have always wanted him to initiate our prayer time. I now realize I need to put this aside and just help him initiate as it will only strengthen our marriage.

    • Thanks for pointing out that part, JJ. I write this stuff and I really do want to live it, but I can still get in my head what he “should” do and push my agenda. Readers like you keep me accountable. ❤ It helps so much to have the conversation.

  2. Prayer is ever so important in our lives. Can’t wait to see your upcoming blogs on this.

    And never stop praying. …ever.

  3. From Facebook ~

    Cathy Indgjer Horning
    March 3 at 11:44pm ·
    Do you pray together as a couple? We’ve had to figure out when and how we do it together. It’s not been “natural” for us. This is a beautiful, short, and powerful post that I appreciate and could relate to.
    Show Attachment

    Elizabeth Lisa Mealey Fithian, Marcel Mellein and 8 others

    Elizabeth Lisa Mealey Fithian
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · March 4 at 12:25am

    Jennifer Meek McDaniel Thank you for sharing.
    Unlike · Reply · 3 · March 4 at 11:41am

    Sheridan N. Allen ya, I want to pray together more with my “other half”
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 4 at 11:11pm

    Kim Henson Awww, Cathy Indgjer Horning. Thanks so much for your kind words and for passing this along. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · Just now

    Cathy Indgjer Horning Kim, it was a great post. And, I know many of us can relate!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

    Marcel Mellein Sharing, thank you!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Marcel.
    Like · Reply · 10 mins

    • Thank you, Mrs. President! I’m still thinking about Mary honoring you on President’s Day. I loved it. Wish I had thought it up. 🙂

      Love you and your comments.

      • Sorry that I just found this reply to my comment! I appreciate your wishing to think to honor me. Haha! That’s a very convoluted sentence! Love you, too, and am proud of you for writing again.

      • Hahaha, Anjana. We do convoluted (in the tangled up sense of the word) here and we do it well!

        Thank you. I’m happy to be blogging again.

  4. From Facebook ~

    Marcel Mellein
    2 hrs ·
    One of the main reasons my husband, Michael Mellein, and I get along so well! 😊 Finding common ground through praying together … it’s a must with us lol
    Show Attachment

    You, Cathy Indgjer Horning and 6 others

    1 share

    Kim Henson Thanks so much for passing this along, Marcel. It’s become our common ground too. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs

    Marcel Mellein How exciting! Thanks for writing this, Kim Henson!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

    Jenica Langlois Great post, Patrick and I pray over the phone or some times after we serve together on Friday nights
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

    Kim Henson Jenica Langlois, thank you for sharing also.
    Like · Reply · 13 mins

  5. From Facebook ~

    Helgi Vannell, Sherrie Craven, Anjana C. Duff and 8 others

    3 shares

    Joel Carter Prayer Changes Things, a plaque hung in our home, and nightly family prayer a tradition I will cherish Kim Henson. Often we slip away from those practices, however your blog shows the act of agreeing to be there and pray with and for each other in family prayer even when you may disagree on things is the best solution. Great blog.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 3 at 9:50am

    Kim Henson Joel Carter, what’s great about writing this down is that readers like you in turn remind me how important it is to stick with it. John and I have started many good habits, but haven’t always followed through. This is one we’ve stuck with, probably because we’ve seen and felt the benefits. As always, I appreciate your comment. I love heart emoticon the saying on your plaque. It does.
    Like · Reply · March 3 at 10:05am

    Susannah Friis Oh how I love this smile emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 3 at 1:58pm

    Kim Henson Oh how I love and appreciate my across-the-pond reader, Susannah Friis. heart emoticon Your gratitude posts continue to inspire me.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

    Susannah Friis Kim Henson
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs

    Helen White Forehand The most precious time of my day is in the morning when Jeff and I read our devotions and pray together. Thanks for sharing Kim.
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · March 3 at 3:19pm

    Kim Henson Helen White Forehand, it’s really a special time. heart emoticon John and I include Trinity and all the folks we’re grateful for like you and Jeff. We feel fortunate to worship there and live in the neighborhood with y’all. Thanks so much for your comment.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Helen White Forehand Kim Henson , so sweet! Thanks, we feel the same.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Patty Hardwick Bellamy Kim, I enjoy reading your postings that you write as it strikes cords in my heart. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your stories.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 3 at 9:05pm

    Kim Henson Awww, Patty Hardwick Bellamy. I had no idea you were reading along. I can’t tell you how much your comment means to me. heart emoticon Thank you for the encouragement. I think about you a lot and hope you’re doing well as you move forward.
    Like · Reply · 12 hrs
    r
    Gwyn Eargle Porter Kim, thanks for sharing. Prayer has been a big part of my life. I wouldn’t have been able to go through what I have been through without prayer and the feeling the presence of Jesus daily…for that matter the feeling of His walk beside me minute by mi…See More
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · March 4 at 7:39am

    Kim Henson Gwyn Eargle Porter, you’ve always been an inspiration even before we started talking in class smile emoticon (your classroom when I’d barge in and visit) and then on FB and at lunch. You never know how many people you’re influencing when you go through tough times. I admire you and Ernest so much and the grace and dignity you both lived by through his sickness. heart emoticon Love you lots!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Gwyn Eargle Porter Thanks Kim!! Love you too!!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

  6. You’ve given me something to ponder, which is certainly not the first time, Kim. Prayer has always been the hardest part of being a Christian for me, and the thought of even approaching my husband about praying together makes me break out in a cold sweat. He rarely sets foot in a church, although in his past life as a Baptist he often led prayer and worship. There have been many opportunities in the last 40 years for him to return to the Christian community, but he continues to resist, even after he almost died several times. Now I’m wondering what might happen if I talked to him about praying together, at least occasionally. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Mary, I understand better than you can imagine. Anything other than behind-closed-doors prayer made me cringe, especially after growing up with what I thought sounded like “showy” prayers that were too long, sounded too dramatic and called on God too many times and in every variation of his name, and seemed more like they were to impress people than to actually talk to Him. I hated feeling judgmental about others’ prayers, I hated not being able to pray in public myself, I hated thinking maybe my own prayers were fake, I hated the thought of intimacy that’s involved in prayer. So, I guess all I can offer here is understanding (lots of it) and prayer. 🙂 I’m praying Rich will be willing. John wasn’t keen on it, but we were almost at rock bottom, so he agreed.

      I’m headed to your blog since I think it’s up. Excited to see what’s over there.

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