Today is National Day of Prayer in the United States. People of different faiths are called to pray for the nation and its leaders.
Who plays a leadership role in your home? Are you praying for them too?
Unfortunately, some homes mirror the political tension that consumes America today. Husbands and wives are more caught up with proving they are right, or worse proving the other is wrong or has done wrong. But to what end?
One reason for praying for the nation is to ask God to preserve unity, as expressed in the pledge of allegiance where it states “…one nation under God…”
Unity is even more important in marriage. It too is fragile and would benefit from prayer.
A useful tool to restore and even preserve unity is the value of mercy.
The Value of Mercy
As a differentiating value, Mercy means compassion or forgiveness shown to others. It also means a desire to relieve suffering.
Embracing the value of mercy in marriage can have a huge impact on a husband and wife relationship. Forgiveness leads to freedom. Compassion restores closeness. The suffering that is relieved is often our own.
This is not to say that exercising mercy makes everything instantly whole again. All of the issues don’t suddenly disappear.
It’s the willingness to forgive, the readiness to show compassion, and the desire to relieve suffering that leads to the restoration of unity and hope for a better future – together.
One of the best ways to practice mercy is through prayer.
The Power of Prayer
A prayer is a solemn request for help or expression of thanks to God. While our prayers are often about our own circumstances, there is a unique benefit from praying for others.
When praying for your spouse, you are lifting them up. You are making known what is truly important, and acknowledging the goodness that already exists.
As Lori wrote in a few recent blog posts, maybe you are asking God to rescue your spouse. Maybe you’re asking Him to galvanize your spouse with an extra layer of protection. Or maybe you are praying for direction, to understand what God has called you and your spouse to do.
Making requests are most common. Everyone has needs – right now.
But don’t forget the power of thankfulness in a prayer. Think of the feeling you get when someone thanks you for what you’ve done. Imagine including an expression of thanks for what God has already decided to do for you, but hasn’t implemented it yet. That’s powerful!
And prayer is not restricted to time or place. You can practice prayer anytime, in any place, and on any topic or issue of concern.
On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage you to demonstrate the value of mercy with your spouse and include them in your prayers. Not only will you be adding value to your spouse, you might find that you also will receive some mercy. And that is a great reason to give thanks!
Have you prayed for your spouse today?
How can the value of mercy help improve your marriage?