165 – Worship and The Marriage Prayer
Excerpted and adapted from The Marriage Prayer (Moody Publishers, Fall 2008)
The Battle for Your Heart
A fierce battle rages for the hearts and minds of people. This battle is not new—from the beginning in the garden of Eden, God required that Adam and Eve worship Him. They chose not to.
It’s the same today. God reaches out for us, but we ignore Him and worship idols of our own design. And our marriages suffer the consequences.
History is the story of this battle. When God rescued the Israelites from Egypt, He called them to worship Him alone (Exodus 20:1-4). They chose not to. Then He sent judges to call the people back to Himself. Instead, they “did as [they] saw fit” (Judges 17:6; 21:25). Then He gave them kings to lead them into proper worship. Instead, they did evil in the sight of the Lord and set up altars to false gods on the high places (1 Kings 14:22–24). Then He gave them prophets to call the people to repentance. But they did not listen (Jeremiah 5:4–5).
Then Jesus came and won our hearts back for God. When we were dead spiritually, He made us alive again. And He made us alive so that we could love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (see Mark 12:30).
With a new heart and the presence of the Holy Spirit, we have power to acknowledge God’s presence and hand in every part of our lives. We can worship in all of life because of what Christ has done for us.
Worship requires that we have reverence for God. Our culture tries to trivialize God and cut Him down to a manageable size. But in the Bible, when people see and know the mighty God they fall on their face in awe (for example, see 1 Kings 18:38–39). One sign that you are worshiping well is that your view of God has gotten bigger. Worship puts God back where He belongs as the Lord of the universe.
Why is worship important in marriage?
Let’s see: God made it the first commandment (Exodus 20:3), then Jesus reiterated it as the most important thing. That probably means worship matters in marriage.
Worship is the foundation that keeps the rest of your life on track. When we take our focus away from Christ and start looking to something else, we begin to be deceived about every area of our life.
Without her glasses, David’s wife, Ruthie, would be legally blind. She wears contact lenses during the day, but when she removes those contacts at night she can’t see anything. Everything is a blur. She walks through the house like a zombie—hands out in front of her trying to avoid bumping into anything and falling.
True worship is like eyeglasses for the soul. It allows us to see the world for what it really is. When our hearts are aligned with God, we can make sound judgments about values, priorities, desires, needs, etc. When we take our eyes off Christ and look at something else, everything becomes hazy and blurry. What used to be so clear is now not so cut and dried. This is how we get off track—our hearts and minds begin to focus on something other than God. Once we stop seeing the world correctly, we begin to justify all our other actions.
Every sin flows out of a lack of worship of God. You can’t pursue an inappropriate relationship outside your marriage while you are worshiping God. You can’t ignore your family by working too much or pursuing a hobby while worshiping God. You can’t emotionally disconnect from your spouse while truly worshiping God.
Not only that, but worship also puts all the rest of life in perspective. When we lose our focus on God, our problems and circumstances look really big.
But when we worship, we are reminded how big God is, and our problems are put back in perspective.
Worship changes the calculus of our perspective quite a bit. God is not sitting in heaven wringing His hands about how all this will work out!
Don’t take worship lightly. Everyone who gets serious about living all of life before God will have a revolution in their heart and mind.
We can win the daily battle for our marriage by winning the daily battle over who or what we will worship! That’s why we pray in The Marriage Prayer, “Help me bring him (or her) into Your presence today.”
Challenge – pray this prayer for 30 days and see how it impacts your marriage relationship!
Patrick Morley and David Delk
Pat is the CEO of Man in the Mirror. He and Patsy have been married for 35 years. David Delk is the President of Man in the Mirror and has been married to Ruthie for 20 years. Their book, The Marriage Prayer (Moody), brings biblical insights to life through true stories of real couples.