Prayer is sacred intimacy. Spending hours and days with God while making decisions in marriage and building familial relations is blessed and admirable. A practice of praying has been meaningful to people throughout human history.
In the Biblical book of Genesis, the fourth chapter and verse 26, the words according to the King James Version reads: And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.
Prayer is intimacy with the Greatest Transformer that is possible throughout all of existence. Wisdom, discipline and understanding shall be ushered into familial relationships as the family prays together and in separateness of family members there are individual prayers for the entire family. Marriage and family ministry teaches the functional aspects of prayer for the purpose of guiding the relational benefits of prayer.
Functional Aspects of Prayer
Functional aspects of sacred intimacy has to do with asking and receiving. Prayer as revealed in Matthew the 7th chapter is “asking, seeking and knocking”, in order to receive. Key to intimate communication with God is wisdom and understanding of the intent of God, so as to be disciplined in living in agreement with sacred principles. (1 John 5:14-15)
The image of glorification is the desirable outcome for couples and families. Praying to do no harm, sacred intimacy promotes the desire to please God (Colossians 3:1). The need to know the will of God through prayer is an Old Testament (Jeremiah 29:12-13) instruction, too. Couples and families are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians
5:17) as the intentions of God are revealed.
Relational Benefits of Prayer
There are relational benefits of prayer. Jesus prayed in sacred intimacy (Matthew 26:41). The first benefit of prayer is in fulfillment of the will of God. The benefit of sacred intimacy is an everlasting communion providing abundance of wisdom (James 1:5) for persons asking (James 4:2) and striving to be free of troubles in this world. (Psalm 34:6)
Marriages and families are threaten by day-to-day occurrences. Praying is the most intimate means of power (Jeremiah 33:3) and can transform lives, including the lives of the hopeless (Romans 10:13,14). Thus, sacred intimacy ought to be in every home and taught at least in the manner that Jesus taught the original disciples as revealed and given in Matthew 6:9-15. This kind of intimate relation yields benefits in the name of the one, who influences people to seek the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:31-46) and live guided by the Holy Spirit (Roman 8:26-27). Families are meant to be healthy, loving and strong. The great path to meeting daily necessities, forgiving others, defeating evil and pleasing God (Hebrew 11:5-6) is through sacred intimacy of prayer.
Sculptured prayer shall be done by people of faith in all places and in all times. (1 Timothy 2:8) Sculpture prayers in truth. There is wisdom in connecting John 1:14; 14:6; 18:37 and Proverbs 23:23 with Psalm 119:72, 127 and 162. My wife, Maria, and I are blessed in a marriage that is protected and anointed by intimate prayer. Clients, church members, newlyweds and persons engaged to be married have numerous times requested to have what is considered a model marriage. Their desire is for a haven of peace with love, joy and the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) So, they ask: “How may we have a model marriage? It is in the intimate relationship with God that perfection is to be made.
This article first appeared in: "The Power of Prayer to Enhance your Life and Restore America", A Special Report Prepared By The Washington Times Advocacy Department.
Rev. Dr. Luonne Abram Rouse is an ordained minister with the United Methodist Church and a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York. He is an adjunct professor for family ministries and counseling at UTS. Currently he is teaching "Theories of Personality" and is scheduled to teach "Pastoral Care and Counseling" in Spring Semester 2016.
With over 20 years experience as a pastoral counselor, Rouse has been most effective in addictions intervention. His assistance yielded the start-up and development of two therapeutic treatment centers in Greenville, South Carolina.
Dr. Rouse studied at South Carolina State College, earned his Masters of Divinity from The Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2003, Dr. Rouse located to Harlem, New York with the Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church where he developed Metro Health Ministries, a counseling and consultation service for Substance Abuse Intervention and Family Therapy.