DISCLAIMER: Do not believe anything that I say! Test everything that you read below against all verses in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Brit Chadashah (NT). Pray for the truth and to be led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh)! I am not your pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi, or anything else. I am just a guy who has an opinion.
One of the things that I needed to get comfortable with pretty quickly was to pray. Not only when I was alone, but also to pray in front of my family. Not everyone is at a point where they can do this right away. That is OK. It is something everyone in the family should eventually be comfortable doing.
I was always insecure about praying out loud. I don’t know why, but I was. Praying out loud was new to me, and my wife and son had never heard me do it, so I guess it was a little like stage fright. I thought that she might judge me and tell me how I did not do it right or that I messed up in some way. I thought she might laugh at me and make me feel like I wasn’t up to the level of all these other men who “knew” how to do it. I could not have been more wrong.
The first few times I prayed in front of my wife, she seemed to glow with a happiness that I hadn’t seen. I think she started to see the person she had wanted all these years. I think, in her mind, she was starting to get the man that she wanted as the spiritual leader of the house. I can tell you that when I saw the positive reaction, it encouraged me more. I wanted to build on the previous prayer and add more to it. Today, it is like second nature to pray at a moment’s notice and I have no anxiety about it.
I say this because prayer needs to be, if it is not already, a key aspect of anyone’s walk. This is not only true of the man, but of the woman and even children. Children need to be encouraged to pray early and often.
…For the Truth
I will tell the full story in another blog post, but when my wife and I were trying to find our footing in our walk with GOD (YHVH), I was praying to find answers. The only problem I had was that the answers I was seeking were not what I received. I have been praying for clarity on denominational questions that I had. I wanted to understand, in more detail some of the gray areas that I had been taught over the years.
The truth I was given has changed our lives forever. I had been praying for the truth, but it was not what I expected. Now that I have been given the truth, I cannot turn back to the false doctrines that I had been taught by men.
Praying for the truth should be a consistent and perpetual thing you should pray for. Only some of the truth was revealed to me at that time. Enough to get me going in the right direction. If I had been given all the truth at one time, there is a good chance I would have rejected it.
The one bit of advice that I would tell anyone is to pray for the truth. I will not lead you to truth, nor will anyone else. Only GOD (YHVH) through the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh) can do that. That is why when people are telling you what to believe or that GOD (YHVH) told them this was the correct way, you should politely tell them that you are in a different place in your walk that that you will also pray for GOD (YHVH) to lead you to the correct answer.
…With your Family
As I mentioned earlier, it took me a little bit of time to get the courage to start praying out loud. When I realized that I needed to step up and be the man of the house, then, my whole approach changed. I needed to start setting the example to my wife and son. I needed to start demonstrating to my son what is expected of the head of the household. I needed to start showing my wife I was the spiritual leader of our family. When they see me pray, there is an understanding that as the head of the household, I bear great responsibility for all of them. I need to be a leader and this is one of the attributes of that leadership.
When I started praying out loud with my family, some dynamics started to change. My wife responded a little differently. My son started to understand when the role of the husband is about. Prayer was not all we did during this time, but it became an underlying part of everything we do.
If we have any issues, we sit down and pray. If we see a need, we stop and pray. I engage my son at times to pray for the family. This is usually over a meal. It engages him and brings a comfort level to him that I never had at his age. It is preparing him to be that spiritual leader of his house when he is married and has children.
One last thing I do, usually at the end of every prayer, and especially if I am leaving town, I pray for a hedge of protection, first over my wife and son, and then over myself. I pray for a spiritual and physical hedge of protection. I pray over them first because I bear responsibility over them and I seek to protect them first with my requests to GOD (YHVH).
Where does this come from? Let’s look to Job 1 for the answer.
9 Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing?
10 “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
11 “But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.”
The Bible uses patterns and “shadows” as Paul says. There is a pattern here that GOD (YHVH) puts a hedge of protection around people. I seek this out from HIM for my family and myself. This is what a spiritual leader should be doing: looking to protect and care for those he has responsibility for.
…With your Spouse
As the spiritual leader of my house, I bear a great responsibility for not only myself, but for my wife and my family.
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,
26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.
31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.
32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
I see this verse as one of the supporting verses that put a lot of responsibility on me. There are others, but that is for another time. I have to answer to Jesus (Yeshua) for how I have handled things not only with my personal actions, but also for how I treated and cared for my wife. This might be controversial, but I believe there is a structure that GOD (YHVH) has put in place and HE does it for a reason.
I pray for my wife and she prays for me. Sometimes, we sit down and pray together. Praying for and with your spouse will help you to not only strengthen your relationship with each other, but also between you and our Heavenly Father. If you make this a priority in your spiritual walk, you will find much more peace (shalom) in your house and in your lives.
Prayer sets the stage for many thing in your spiritual walk. If you “bathe” everything in prayer; before you open your bible to read or study, every morning as you start your day, after you have reconciliation with your spouse, if you begin and end with prayer, you will find yourself prepared to “hear” what GOD (YHVH) is trying to tell you. You will be more open to be led by the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaChodesh).
Prayer is critical in your walk. I do not think I have ever met one person who walks out the Bible faithfully that does not have an active prayer life.