The Bible assures us that God is loving, holy, righteous and just in ALL His ways. If we think that God is other than these things, we are believing something that is not true of God.
We must choose to search out the Scriptures and find out Who God truly is, then believe God’s Word about Him: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num 23:19).
JOINED IN MARRIAGE, UNITED IN PRAYER
The next most important relationship we have is with our spouse. Husbands and wives need to behave with great wisdom. If we are not giving much effort to unity with and understanding for our spouse, the Bible tells us that our prayers will be hindered (1Pet 3:7). Anything that hinders our prayers is wrong, and demands immediate change.
A husband and wife know each other very well. They know each other’s struggles, trials and victories. They can pray individually for each other with wisdom and understanding. Praying for your spouse is one of the most important things you can ever do for them.
A married couple should come together in prayer as joint heirs of grace (Rom 8:16,17). Unified prayer is one of the greatest privileges and responsibilities of the marriage union. There is great power in unified prayer, even unto ushering in the presence of God (Matt 18:19,20). Thus, any behavior, habit, attitude or temper that hinders the marriage union – thus hindering unified prayer – is sinful and must be dealt with.
BLOCKING THE BLESSING OF PRAYER
After our relationship with God and with our spouse, we must also learn to live without strife and separation in our relationships with others. Difficult people will inevitably cross our path in this life. Yet this can be a marvelous tool that God will use to shape our character – if we will allow ourselves to be transformed.
Jesus taught us one way to be “perfected” more into the image of God, and it was directly related to how we respond to difficult people (read Matthew 5:38-48).
When we have a disagreement with another person, we might be tempted to remain angry, hold on to prejudice toward them, or harbor a desire for revenge. We might speak against our brother, or repeat gossip about him. We might be suspicious, critical or judgmental and give our minds to evil thoughts. We might justify our actions because we feel “wronged” by them. These sinful attitudes break our God-ordered unity with others; they also obstruct our intimacy with God Himself and the blessings God would give us.
Jesus clearly illustrated the right and wrong attitudes in prayer when telling a parable about two Jewish men. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-14).