I've been sick with the flu the last couple of days, and though that's no fun, I've enjoyed the time I've had to just sit and ponder. I was reminded of an experience I had not long ago that I wanted to share with you.
Did you know that 50% of couples pray together. ONLY 50%! When I heard that statistic in a recent Stake Conference, I could not believe it. It made me sad because I know how much praying together as a couple has blessed mine and Jake's lives, and marriage, over and over again. Our nightly prayer is a time when we let go of pride, when we express love and gratitude for each other, when we pray for our children together, when we ask for guidance for our family, and is a time when we let the Lord into our marriage and help us learn and grow.
We're not perfect and there are nights we miss our prayer together, or we rock-paper-scissors for who has to say it, or sometimes there will be an 'amen' said but silence is the only thing heard from the other side of the bed haha. So yes, we have our nights, but I will forever be grateful for, and cherish the gift it is to kneel with my sweetheart, holding hands, and calling upon the powers of heaven to help us and to express our gratitude for our countless blessings.
A while back, my friends and I were able to get away for a weekend and have a little girl time. I love my girlfriends and I am so lucky to claim them. They each show me how to be a better mother, wife, friend, and person.
I woke up early before the other girls were up, and found a quiet place to pray and read my scriptures for the day. It was all pretty routine, but I do specifically remember asking the Lord to bless me with the chance to be a good example to my friends that day and to try to serve them and show my love for them.
After a fun day of shopping and going to lunch, we all started packing up to get back to our husbands and kids. As we were visiting and saying our last goodbyes, one of our dear friends opened up about the trial she had been going through. Her husband had not been going to church for over one year, and it was breaking her heart. But wow, we were so impressed by her, because through it all, she was still going to church every week, taking her children all by herself, and was even more committed to studying her scriptures and trying to be a righteous example for her family.
With every word she spoke, and with every worry she expressed, I felt the spirit more strongly, and I remembered the prayer I had uttered that morning. An impression came. And through tears, I shared it with she and my friends.
(I will change their names for my story)
I asked her if she and her husband prayed together. She said she still prayed every day, but He didn't. Now, I have to tell you, her husband is an amazing man. He is the most kind and loving person, especially when it comes to loving his wife and children. My friend always emphasized that point and felt very very blessed. Since I knew that about Him, I was confident that the impression that came next was truth, and from a loving Heavenly Father who knew them.
I told her, "Sarah, what if you asked Ryan to pray with you every day? Let Him know that He wouldn't have to say the prayer, but if you expressed to Him how important it was to you that He's there kneeling with you each night, i'm sure He would do it. Then you pray with all your heart. You pray for Him, for His job, for your children, your families, and you let Him hear you express your love and appreciation for Him to Heavenly Father. I KNOW that if you make prayer a priority, that one night, as you're both kneeling to pray, he'll look at you and say, "Can I say it tonight?""
After I said that, I was a little nervous. I felt like, 'oh boy, what did I just do?' But then a peace came over me again, and I knew that it wasn't me that gave that counsel, it was the Lord. I was just lucky enough to deliver it for Him.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I received one of the best texts I could ever hope to receive. It was a picture of my sweet friend, standing with her husband and their children. She said that Ryan had been able to give their baby a beautiful blessing.
I know that sincere prayer can bring mighty miracles. Wether times are hard, or things are going pretty smooth, I need prayer in my life every day; multiple times a day. I am grateful for the gift to communicate with my Heavenly Father. I know He knows each of us, and wants us to talk to Him, because He is anxious to bless us. I have a special testimony of the power, love, and strength that comes when you pray with your spouse. If you aren't already praying together, I challenge you to start. I know the Lord will bless you as you keep trying.