Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

University of the Word, Communication 101

posted by Mark and Jill

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thes. 5:11

These instructions from Paul summarize what godly communication looks like. Let’s take these tips to heart and make some necessary changes in how we communicate to those we love and those we are trying to love. This month we are praying about communication in marriage. We take our cues from the Word of God, the manual for marriage and for life. What does this Scripture teach us about communication?

Don’t say anything unless it falls under the following criteria:

1. It promotes the well-being of the one I am speaking with.

2. It boosts and enhances the other person’s attitude, not weighing them down.

3. It makes a deposit, not a withdrawl, into their emotional bank account.

If what I say does not benefit the listener, then I am causing grief, not only to that person, but also to the Holy Spirit Himself. If my words hurt someone, they hurt God, too. Let’s make it a great day for others and a great day for God by speaking loving and positive words.


Please forgive me for speaking so many negative, critical, ugly and unnecessary words! I commit to obeying this Scripture as though it were the only one you’ve ever spoken to me. I make it my aim in life to speak words that agree with your word and your instructions. But I can’t do this with my own will power! I first need your power to transform my mind, and I submit myself to the process of transformation through renewing my mind by soaking it in your truth, in Your Word, in your presence, in worship, and in your love.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Restoring the Presence of God in our Marriage

posted by Mark and Jill

“It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it…” 1 Chron. 13:3

“The Ark of God remained there in Obed-edom’s house for three months, and the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and everything he owned.” 1 Chron. 13:14

King David realized that the valuable Ark of God had not been honored during the reign of Saul and sought to restore it to it’s rightful place. If we restore the presence of God to His rightful place in our homes, He will change and heal and restore our marriages. Toxic communication can become healthy again, restoring hope and reviving joy.

The Ark of God contained three crucial items that we would do well to value in our marriages:

1. The Testament, or the terms of the Covenant that Moses made with God, which were the 10 Commandments written on stone tablets.

2. Aaron’s staff that budded. This was an act of God that underscored the validity of Aaron’s leadership when it was tested by the people of Israel.

3. A jar of manna which was God’s miraculous provision for the people of Israel; for 40 years in the wasteland God provided for their daily needs.

It’s time to restore these elements to our marriages, reinstating to God and to each other that we are committed to God and his principles in our marriage. Let’s pray toward that end.

Our Father,

Please forgive us for neglecting your presence in our hearts and home. We commit ourselves afresh today to follow you with our whole hearts, not in some legalistic way to earn your favor, but simply because your way is the very best way to assure heaven on earth in our lives and in our marriage. 

We submit ourselves under your leadership and we align ourselves properly with the authority and responsibility you have given us. Teach us to honor and respect one another, to watch our words carefully, and refrain from every temptation towards a critical spirit or strife, giving the devil a foothold for disaster.

We thank you for your provision, and we seek your supernatural activity in our lives, eradicating all debt, meeting every obligation, and using us as a source of provision for many others in need.

Restore your presence to our home, and, like Obed-edom – fortunate as he was – may we find your blessing on our marriage, family, work, and everything we own.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Are you stalled in your marriage? Have you forgotten what attracted you to this relationship in the first place? Our Marriage Intensive is designed to renew your vision and return you to joy in your purpose and life together:

Affirmation and Encouragement in Marriage

posted by Mark and Jill

“We are yours, David!
We are on your side, son of Jesse.
Peace and prosperity be with you,
and success to all who help you,
for your God is the one who helps you.” 1 Chronicles 12:18

Amasai was a leader of David’s mighty men, and these are his words of encouragement to his team leader, David, in a season of David’s life that was tumultuous; his dreams had not been fulfilled nor did prophetic words about his coming kingship appear imminent. In fact, he was a fugitive at the time and looked upon as a traitor. But his true friends believed in him.

This month we are praying about communication in marriage. Let’s borrow these words from Amasai, and affirm them to our spouses. How often do we remember that we are on the same side? How often do we validate each other’s gifts? How often do we encourage and build up one another, believing in our spouse even when others might not see it? Let’s do so today!

My Love,

I am all yours. I belong to no one else and my commitment and fidelity are to you alone. You are the most important person in the world to me.

I am on your side, my love. I am cheering for you. I believe in you. You are a winner.

May God grant you peace in your heart and soul. May nothing arise that can agitate or dilute God’s peace in you.

May God grant you prosperity, giving you blessing in the work He has given you to do, and granting you favor with people as you serve them.  And may those who work alongside you be given success.

We acknowledge that it is God who is our ultimate Helper, and we praise Him for His intimate involvement in the details of our life and marriage.


Reconciliation Is God’s Business

posted by Mark and Jill

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”   2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NLT

We are made in God’s image, and we are called to be His ambassadors in this world. He is in the reconciliation and forgiveness business. That makes me a partner in that same business. When I learned that fact, it changed my life and our marriage. When I finally took seriously God’s command to forgive, suddenly our marriage became much more joyful. Why? Because traces of bitterness toward anyone (I’m speaking of people other than my spouse but it works for all), affect my emotions negatively. I was often depressed and unable to communicate positively with my husband until I finally obeyed Jesus’ command to forgive unequivocally.

If you need reconciliation with anyone, dead or alive, forgive them today. Repent of your part in the schism, however small it might be in comparison to the injury, and watch the healing force of God change your outlook, your spirits, your attitude, and, not least of all, your marriage.

My Father,

You have never asked a human being to do something that Jesus didn’t do when He walked this planet. He set the standard, and it is not too high for me to attain with Your help. And your help is promised and therefore guaranteed. Your grace is sufficient. I take Your Grace today, thank you very much, and I extend it to every soul that has harmed or injured or offended me. Shed your light on my own heart. I repent of my sin and the deception that I’ve lived under, thinking everybody else is the problem, not me. What pride. What fantasy. Hallelujah you are giving me the mind of Christ, and I receive that mind today. As He is joyful and full of light, so am I in this world. And as you align my heart with your truth, align our marriage anew as well. Let this new freedom spill over and bring us closer to the destiny you have designed for our marriage covenant. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

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