Marriage and the three cords of prayer

ecclesiastes-4_12

Ecclesiastes 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Several days ago my good friend William Womack asked me to write a piece on prayer and marriage for his webpage “Doing it Together.” Naturally I said yes! Now, the process of petitioning God for the words to write has become a labor of love.

I believe the most compelling way to attest to anything in life, is to speak from experience. My beautiful wife and I have repeatedly experienced the power of prayer during our 15+ years of marriage. Through good and difficult times we have relied on the peace and power of prayer to change all matters of life.

As I began to pray about the subject of marriage and prayer, the Lord gave me this lesson and title of “Marriage and the three cords of prayer.” By no means is this lesson exhaustive of marriage and prayer, but I believe the three cords the Holy Spirit revealed to me are essential to a healthy marriage.

The basis for “Marriage and the three cords of prayer” derives from Ecclesiastes 4:12 which states “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” There is strength in multiples especially multiples ordained by God.

I believe the three cords of prayer in marriage consist of the following:

  • The cord of submitting: Ephesians 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
  • The cord of oneness: Ephesians 5:31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
  • The cord of forgiveness: 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Many years ago when my wife and I were vacationing in Destin Florida, we learned the cord of submitting to one another in the middle of an argument. My wife didn’t like the way I was parking the car, (I had a habit of touching the curb ALWAYS) which drove her nuts every time!

Of course, my male ego took over and I took the position of “I’ve driven longer then you, so who are you to tell me how to drive (such a caveman thing to say)! Well, that didn’t go over well at all. After much quarreling, the pain of silence took over.

At that moment, there was no one to call to help settle our differences. All we had was the bible, prayer, and each other.

In that moment of silence, the Lord led us to Ephesians 5:21 which states, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We began to realize that it wasn’t about who was right, it was about what the word of God said was right.

You see, at that moment we realized what it meant to proclaim Jesus as Lord. This was more than a catchy slogan, or words; Jesus had to become Lord of our emotions, marriage, submission, prayer, and lives. Long story short, we resolved the issue and went on to have an amazing vacation.

That one moment became the cornerstone for our walk together with God. Now, is that saying we get it right all the time? Not at all. Sometimes we fail, but the Holy Spirit always takes us back to that moment in Destin Florida of submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. One more thing, I don’t park hitting the curb anymore. Thank God for a wonderful wife!

The cord of oneness according to Ephesians 5:31 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Only the divine wisdom of God can seal the likeness of two as one.

The cord of oneness is like an onion because it has so many layers to explore. I also liken the cord of oneness to dominos because if one is knocked down, the rest will follow.

For example, a husband and wife must focus on taking care of each other i.e. listening and catering to various love languages (quality time, communicating, etc…). When the husband and wife take care of each other, this will flow over into the lives of their children. The family unit is happy and in harmony.

The cord of oneness as it relates to prayer in my opinion is the most powerful. When you come together in prayer as a couple, the divine ordainment of marriage becomes the special revelation of Matthew 18:20. The Lord said “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” The two ordained by God to become one encompasses the mantle of Mark 10:9 which says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

The two whom God has made one are now the force of complete unity in the sight of God and man for their words are in agreement as one divinely appointed by God almighty. This is more than a mystery, this is the amazing work of the spirit of God who sets us up to be fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

The cord on oneness in prayer joined with unshakable faith will indeed move mountains. I remember not to long ago when my wife and I where hit with a million dollar law suit. We came together in prayer united with the cord of oneness.

For two years we earnestly prayed for the person filing the lawsuit to find peace with God; and that the lawsuit would be settled with all parties in agreement with no further damages being sought. The Lord answered our prayer by granting everything we asked for and more. The God we serve is awesome indeed.

Lastly, but certainly not least, the cord of forgiveness is crucial to the longevity of all marriages…period! With forgiveness, the words of Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 4:8 enables love to cover a multitude of sin. Without forgiveness in marriage, the words of Apostle Paul will prevail every time.

Paul says in Galatians 5:15 that “If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Countless marriages have been destroyed due to unforgiveness. Unforgiveness stems from keeping prolonged records of wrong.

It’s something about the person you love that puts more weight on what is perceived as an offense. The offense takes on a life all to itself because we are vested in the offender. We feel at times “How dare you treat or talk to me that way after all I’ve done for you.” Then the divisive expression of “You always” is thrown around like mud.

In this passion of mud-slinging, all parties are defeated before the mud dries. However, the power of the cord of forgiveness can and will defeat any weapon that sets itself up against the power to forgive.

They say forgiveness is for the individual, but I say forgiveness as it relates to marriage is for the spirit of oneness which God divinely made from two. The two cannot be separated under the covering of God’s divine protection of marriage.

Furthermore, Jesus put a premium on forgiveness for Matthew 18:21-22 says, Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Jesus also used the cord of forgiveness to unite those who submit to Christ in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:8, for Peter also said above all else, love each other deeply. This love is rooted on the foundation of Jesus Christ and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 which says:

4 Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily

angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in

evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always

perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

My prayers is for all marriages to be strengthened by the cords of submitting, oneness, and forgiveness under the blood and grace of Jesus Christ. That nothing covered with the power of prayer can or will ever fail that is in the will of God.

We are called to live a purpose filled life that is meant to be a blessing to others as we walk out this thing we call life. Isn’t it good to know that the God we love and serve intended for you and I to find strength in each other?

A strength that though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. To God be the glory and honor, amen!


** If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please click “Prayer Request.” I would love to pray for you with assurance that all prayer request are kept confidential.

To God be the glory, amen!

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Perspective

elijah2 Kings 6:15-16 “15Now when the attendant of the man of God had risen early and gone out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was circling the city. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”


At times the peaks and valleys of life can and will shape our perspective with optimism or Pessimism. Culture, upbringing, events or our surroundings can play a significant role in shaping our perspective as well. For example, the events that took place when Elisha’s attendant saw a huge army encamped around them. I would imagine the feelings of despair, defeat and total annihilation overcoming Elisha’s attendant, for his perspective of the moment was through limited human sight. However, we as believers of the God of the impossible must rely upon and take on the mantle of spiritual eyes.

Elisha’s perspective was not defined by circumstances, culture, surrounding or events. His perspective was shaped by the power of almighty God. That same God who speaks and it becomes. That same God whose name is to be praised because He alone is worthy. Elisha only asked God to do one simple thing, which was to open his attendants eyes to change his perspective. A perspective shaped not by what was in front of him, but by what the spirit of God allowed him to see.

I pray that as you read this post your perspective will change as you ask God to open your eyes to the world of hope and miracles that surrounds you today. Receive the loving grace of God that has freely given you everything in life for success as an over comer, healed, forgiven and forgiving.


**If you are in need of prayer (Ephesians 6:18), please click Prayer Request.” I would love to pray for you.

Thought for the day

“Lead with wisdom. Love with all your heart. Correct with compassion. Aggressively give grace. Choose to forgive. Serve and give without expecting anything in return. Now, we are ready to follow Christ.” – Lionel