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COVENANT COUPLES ALUMNI NEWSLETTER

Covenant Keepers, Inc.

"Together Again"

Summer 2001

WHY MOST COUPLES DONT PRAY TOGETHER


By Pastor Leo Godzich There is something couples should do daily but dont. They have many excuses for why they dont do it daily: Nobody does it daily, Were not intimate that way, The timing is never right," One of us is always too tired, I never thought of it that way, The children might get in the way and see us, We dont want it to be cheap and become habit. Most Christian couples simply dont do it. The Amplified Version says it this way, Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, together make a symphony) aboutanything and everythingwhatever they shall ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. Thats a beautiful interpretation. The Message: A Modern Day Transliteration says it like this, When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that Ill be there. couples actually pray together daily. But there are many couples that do pray together daily. Were not intimate that way. A lot of times Satan would like to get in between a couple and make them say theyre not intimate that way. Well, we dont pray together because were not intimate in prayer. Prayer is a personal thing. Its something that I do. Thats personal. Is it? Yes, it is. You should have your own personal time of prayer before you pray with your spouse. Dont just wake up and go pray with your spouse. That will become habit and ritual. Examine your life before the Lord first, and then it is personal. If it is personal and powerful and freeing and relevant and the pathway to blessing in your life, then you would want to share it with your spouse. Another excuse often heard is The timing is never right. Yet today in America we have more leisure time than ever before. Do you know why we all feel busier? Our subconscious minds are bombarded with a tremendous number of images. The average person driving to and from work every day receives 14,000 advertising images in that time. A lot of those images concern leisure, our choices, and things we can consume, acquire, buy. Bombardment with all these choices, diversions, and distractions makes us seem busier than we really are. We make ourselves busy by going after things and lifestyles that cloud and complicate our lives. If we reduce some of those things and simplify our lives, we can live much happier. Sometimes we make choices and decisions that complicate our lives when God wants us simply to seek Him. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hell bless you. If you delight yourself in Him, Hell give you the desires of your heart. Yet we have it backwards. We forget Who our source is. Couples say they can never find time together. Schedule time. Schedule prayer as a couple. Decide on a time when

The couple that prays together,

plays together, lays together, and stays together.

A survey showed the divorce rate to be 1 out of 2 marriages in America. The divorce rate among couples who go to church together regularly is 1 out of 2. But the divorce rate among couples where husbands and wives prayed together daily is 1 out of 1,152! This shocking statistic is from a secular market research firm, not a Christian organization. Its an indictment because it shows how few couples in our churches pray together daily. If the divorce rate goes from 1 out of 2 to 1 out of 1,152, clearly theres a spiritual war going on. Why dont we pray daily? Here are some excuses I want to come against.

Nobody does it daily. Thats a lie from the pit of hell; a lie that the enemy would put upon you. The truth is that few do it daily. This is borne out by the statistic above. For those who pray daily, the divorce rate is 1 out of 1,152. That would mean that in a church of 5,000 people that over the course of a year there would only be five divorces. High divorce rates in churches reveal how few

you will pray together and make it an appointment. Make it the most valued appointment you have. There is value in prayer. If the divorce rate can change from 1 out of 2 to 1 out of 1,152, let me appeal to your logic; that alone is reason to pray. But youve got to set time and make it a priority in your life. One of us is always too tired to pray. You may be too tired because you havent scheduled prayer and made it a priority. In fact, the more tired you are, the more you need to pray. When Im tired from all my running around for the ministry, thats when I need to pray with my wife. We never thought of it that way. We never thought of prayer together. You would be amazed how many couples dont pray together simply because they dont think to pray together. After reading this, that excuse will have been taken away from you. You have to think about prayer together. You have to think about that power in unity and agreement. The children might get in the way. Heaven forbid that little Johnny should see mommy and daddy praying! What a horror! Do you know why people say this? It is because they are uncomfortable with their own prayer life. They are afraid their lack of spirituality will be exposed to their children. So youve got to discipline your life. Make sure your life is right with God, because with your children, more is caught than is taught. You can talk about God all you want at home, but if they dont see you praising God, worshipping Him, and loving Him, they wont receive it from you the way they will if they see you doing those things.

together. Are you praying together? The couple who prays together, plays together, because theyre united. Well, we dont have sex like we used to. The couple that prays together, lays together. Theres just not that unity in our marriage. Were going in different directions. The couple that prays together, stays together. You have a profound responsibility. When the two become one flesh, there needs to be spiritual unity. How do you expect the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ to show up in your marriage if you ignore what He said: If two of you shall agree. Amos 3:3 says, Can two walk together except they be agreed? If, men, you would become the spiritual head of your home and lead in prayer, then you would be amazed how willing your wife would be to lock arms and walk with you. But if she doesnt see you serving God, she might just think, Well, I dont have to either. Or she might think, Id better get with God because hes not. Either way you lose, because your family grows out of order, even if your wife becomes more spiritual than you. Maybe shes blessed in her own personal walk, but not blessed in the fullness of what God has for her as a covering, because the two are not agreed and walking together. I dont pray out loud. My contention to you is that you dont pray. You may meditate, contemplate, or think, but you dont pray. Psalms 142 says cry aloud to the Lord. Proverbs says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. God could have breathed life onto this planet, but what did He do? He SAID, Let there be light. Let there be firmament. He SAID that theres a power in what we say. Part of that power is the power of faith to receive in your prayer. Romans 10:17 says, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. When you hear yourself praying in accordance with the Word of God, you develop your faith. Faith is raised to the place where you start to believe what you pray. But if you only think what you pray, your faith will not be raised. Where does the enemy battle? He battles for your mind. If you only think what you pray, then you will have doubts in your mind. But if you speak it in faith, thats prayer. David learned how to pray in Psalms 142 when he said, Cry aloud to the Lord. Out of the quietness of a cave where he was hidden, he learned that by crying aloud to the Lord, he had faith that the Lord would deliver him. He had faith that the Lord would come to him and raise him again. Some of you need to learn that prayer is not silent. The Bible says we should consider in our heart; contem-

The divorce rate

among couples where husbands and wives of 1,152! pray together is 1 out

What do they see? Do they see you in prayer? Dont make that an excuse. We dont want our prayer to become cheap, a habit and ritual. Well, youre not doing it so much that youre not doing it at all. It would be better to make prayer together a ritual. The Holy Spirit will have opportunities to break through to you at some point, but not if you don't pray together at all. These are lies with which the enemy bombards our thinking. He battles for our mind to keep us from agreement in prayer as a couple. The couple that prays together, plays together, lays together and stays together. Praying together will improve your sex life, your humor, and your ability to play with each other. People often come to me and complain that the spark is out of their marriage. They no longer have fun

plate in our heart; meditate in our heart. But when we pray, it is out loud. People heard Jesus when he prayed. They knew it. It was said of Charles Spurgeon, called the Prince of Preachers, that when a minister once went to hear him preach, all he heard was Spurgeon praying, because of the way he prayed. How many of you have been around someone who, when they prayed, made you feel like they were in tune with God? Thats prayer. Theres a faith that comes about by hearing. You and your spouse will be encouraged by hearing each other in prayer. Nowhere in the Bible is there an example of a couple praying for a long period of time. Not one. This is one of the keys that will free you of the intimidation of prayer as a couple. Pray together for a short period of time. Just have that basic form of agreement. You can agree on Thank you, Father, for a roof over our heads, food on our table, a hedge of protection around our children, and for blessing our family. Give us power over the evil one, in Jesus name. Amen. You could agree on a prayer like that with your spouse. That takes about thirty seconds. You can agree that way. Theres no scripture that says you have to pray for a long period of time. In fact, thats why some couples dont pray together. Well, were not on the same spiritual ground. Hes more spiritual, or Shes more spiritual. If youre not on the same spiritual ground, who can say that its supposed to keep you from praying together? If you were in church and a person next to you raised his hand to accept Christ and then turned to you and said, Would you go to the altar with me and pray, would you go? Youre not on the same spiritual ground with them, but you would go. So does it matter that you and your spouse arent on the same spiritual ground? No. I submit to you that I dont know a couple that is on the same spiritual ground. We are individuals with a unique walk with God. We hear God differently. We hear from God differently. We listen to God differently. We are not all on the same spiritual ground. But as we lock arms, hearts, and spirits together in prayer, we can grow closer and closer and closer. We have to get over these excuses of why we dont pray. We dont talk about spiritual things. The reason you dont talk about spiritual things with each other is because you dont talk about spiritual things to God. If you talk to God about spiritual things, then youll talk to God about spiritual things together. If you pray together, youre talking to God about spiritual things. Then you can talk about

spiritual things to each other, because you talked to God first and then each other. Get the order of priority and relationship right. Whom should you talk about spiritual things to first? Godthen your spouse. If your spouse doesnt talk about spiritual things, when was the last time you took your spouse by the hand to pray? If you pray together, youll talk about spiritual things together. Shes more holy. She thinks shes closer to God. I hear that one a lot. Do you know why? Because often times it may appear to men that their wives are more holy. Why do you think that is? Men are logical and women are relational. What is prayer? Its relational. I submit to you (and this is just my theory, not Bible doctrine) that prayer may come a little easier for women than for men. Thats why when churches call prayer meetings, up to 80% of those in attendance are women. Of Dr. Chos 50,000 deacons and deaconesses, 47,000 are deaconesses who lead their prayer cell groups. Prayer is easier for them. Its easier for a woman to pray because she thinks of different aspects at one time, whereas a man thinks of one aspect at one time. Thats the way God has created us. That doesnt mean that men cant pray or that they cant learn to pray. In fact, part of the beauty of marriage is dying to our own nature and accepting the differences in our spouse. So a wise man learns to appreciate his wifes spiritual sensitivity. I asked one of our pastors who does marriage counseling if hed ever counseled a couple who prayed together in the Spirit daily who got divorced. Im sure I could ask a hundred counselors the same question and get the same answer. Because if a couple prays together in the Spirit daily and means it wholeheartedly, theyd never get divorced, no matter what happened. In fact, Ive known couples who have undergone major traumas in their marriages, even personal failings, but when they prayed together daily, they were able to press into God and come through those situations. Prayer together will make the difference. Another lie that the enemy tells people is that praying is hard. Its easy. How hard is it to admire, to adore, to recognize a most Holy God? But you have to make a decision that together you commit that part of your covenant relationship to honor Him.
Leo Godzich is the founder of NAME (National Association of Marriage Enhancement), co-founder of the Covenant Marriage Movement, and a pastor at Phoenix First Assembly, where he and wife Molly oversee the marriage ministry.

INTERNATIONAL MARRIAGE CONFERENCE


September 20-22, 2001 at Phoenix First Assembly
Treat yourselves to three awesome days of ministry especially for couples with Leo and Molly Godzich and many other anointed speakers. See enclosed brochure for details.

MESSAGE FROM MARILYN


I would like to encourage you to fast and pray with us each Wednesday. You can choose the type of fast: one meal or two or three. The important thing is that we concentrate on praying for the ministry, those with restored marriages, and all the covenant keepers. Several handout sheets are available (no charge) with many scriptures to help you understand the purpose for fasting and the different kinds of fasts.

Come, Covenant Keepers Keepers


Let's tie yellow ribbons 'round the old family tree, A symbol to the devil that our homes are truly free.

National Yellow Ribbon Day is held at the end of October. Check the newsletter for the different meeting locations and dates and make a real effort to attend the meeting nearest you.

COUPLES RENEW VOWS AT CONFERENCE


Two couples renewed their wedding vows at the Covenant Keepers Conference on June 30. Howard and Lorraine Woodhouse of California, along with Rex and Carolyn Johnson of Georgia participated, with Marilyn presiding. (See September issue of Covenant Comments for pictures and story.) The renewal ceremony has become an annual tradition. If you are interested in participating next year, please contact our office and let us know. We will send information on covenant vows to help you prepare. Be sure to check each issue of your Covenant Couples Alumni Newsletters for more details about couples activities scheduled for the 2002 conference. Another highlight of the conference was the couples dinner with David and Marlene Gower speaking. If you were not able to attend, you can get the message on tape ($5.00 postpaid), or the entire conference set (nine tapes) for a special price of $40.00 through the month of September.

XVII Rules For a Happy Marriage From


Gods Great Book
Here is one more in the series of 17 nuggets of wisdom mined from the life experiences of Alvin Garner forwarded to us by his daughter Tomeka Garner. Thanks to Alvin Garner for graciously allowing us to present these to you If you want a copy of the entire series, send $1.00 and ask for 17 Rules. We will mail you a copy.

X. God Describes Love; Make It Your Daily Goal to Measure Up.


Love is forbearing and kind. Love knows no jealousy. Love does not brag, is not conceited. She is not unmannerly, nor selfish, nor irritable, nor mindful of wrongs. She does not rejoice in injustice, but joyfully sides with the truth. She can overlook faults. She is full of trust, full of hope, full of endurance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Weymouth Please reread the above scripture passage carefully. This is Gods true description of love. How do you measure up? Love is not a sentimental impulse but a holy principle that involves every phase and action of life. With true love, your marriage cannot fail. Without it, it cannot succeed.