Marriage Series: “United Prayer” by Amanda Schreiber



Today’s marriage post is by my friend, Amanda Schreiber. I met Amanda last year at our kids’ homeschool co-op class. We helped teach the preschool class. When I met Amanda, her and her husband were going through major financial difficulty. As we talked, we realized we had a lot of similarities.  God spoke some promises to Amanda and I individually prior to our meeting. When we met, we both had been discouraged and afraid to look back at those promises out of fear of disappointment. I strongly believe God connected us together to remind us that His promises still stand. In February, I wrote about our meeting in my post “God’s Promises Still Stand.” A few months  later, God blessed both our husband’s with job opportunities, which were an answer to both our prayers.

God is doing a wonderful work in Amanda’s family. I’m excited to have her contribute to this marriage series. I know you will be blessed by this message about the power of prayer in our marriages. This goes great with Kerry’s message on Monday about how Jesus must increase, and we must decrease (John 3:30), to see God work wonders in our marriages.

United Prayer

By Amanda Schreiber




I’d like to thank Amanda for asking me to be a guest on her blog.  When she approached me with this subject a while back and told me she was going to be starting a new marriage series, I knew exactly what I would write about, as it had recently become dear to my heart.  Today I’d love to share with you the importance of united prayer in the life of a healthy marriage.

Back in April, our family decided to embark upon a 40 Day Challenge.  To learn more about this, you can check out my previous blog post that lays out the details. The crux of our family challenge rested in the belief that God was able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)…and we were expecting BIG things from Him…in our circumstances, and within the heart of our family.  One of the most crucial components to this challenge involved my husband and I committing to pray together daily.

In all honesty, it was something we didn’t do nearly enough.  We often had the intention to do so, even talked about it, but as each day drew to a close we would find ourselves too tired and would end up putting it off till the next day.  And then the next…And then the next.  Too often we found ourselves only praying together when there was an urgent need.  This is something we both longed to change.  So as part of our family challenge, my husband and I made a commitment to get down on our knees together nightly to do this.

During our nightly “kneetime” we prayed bold and audacious prayers over our family and our circumstances.  This is where things really began to take root.  It by far has been the most effective and rewarding aspect of our entire family challenge.  I can’t begin to express the importance of this one, simple, yet so necessary, act.  I truly believe this is where the majority of God’s wonder-working was activated.

So, back to our 40-day challenge, when my husband and I began to pray together each night, we took this very seriously. Aloud we declared our mountain of debt to move…we spoke God’s Word and His promises over us, claiming them for ourselves, thanking Him in advance for these blessings and promises before they even came to be.  Our belief and resolve was strengthened and we often could feel the presence and power of God hovering over us during this prayer time.  We prayed that God would “wonder-work” in and around us, believing Him to do so.  We took Him at His Word, that:

You do not receive because you do not ask…” James 4:2 (so we asked!)

…believe and it will be given to you.” Matthew 21:22  (so we believed)

Abide in Me and let My word abide in you, ask, and it will be given to you.” John 15:7 (so we abided and continued to ask and believe)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all these things will be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33 (so we sought Him first and foremost)

We hit our knees together nightly believing that God would come through and do the immeasurably more.  Common daily prayer requests included things such as asking God to either bless my husband’s current business or open up doors of new opportunity.  We thanked Him that He would open up the right ones and close the wrong ones.  We prayed that God would increase our faith and give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation.  That He would cause us to be fruitful and effective and influential to those around us.  That He would bless our relationships, and fill us with a passion for Him and His word above anything else. We thanked God, that although our needs were great, He was ABLE and He was GREATER than all of our needs.

Over the course of our 40 day challenge,  He did just that!  My husband is going on his third month in a new career.  At first we struggled with fear at this prospective career move.  But God has taught us a thing or two along the way.  We’ve learned that sometimes we just have to trust Him, even if we don’t have all the answers and all of our ducks are not yet in a row.  Sometimes we have to throw all logic out the window and just follow.  To walk by faith and not by sight.  Small steps of obedience, sometimes into the unknown.  Trusting Him with our day and our future, even when we don’t have all the answers before us.

We had asked God to open up the “right” door, and trusted that He would do so.  So, when this new opportunity was presented to us, it seemed ridiculous not to look into it.  We didn’t know exactly what the job description would be, or what the salary would be, but we had prayed for a door of opportunity. And when God opened a door, in trust, we walked through it.  God filled us with a great sense of peace, and we thanked Him for doing immeasurably more.  In my prayer journal, I wrote that my husband and I were on “cloud 9” because of this new career opportunity.  What we didn’t know, is that God had even more “immeasurably more” to show us.

A week and a half into working this new job, my husband and I still didn’t have a set salary offer.  We knew God would take care of us, because He had been faithful all along, even in our season of lacking.  We knew that in time, my husband would have opportunity for growth within this new company.  We were excited and content, and continued to thank God nightly for this new opportunity. We’ve learned that when you grow to be content with what God has given you, it places you in a position to receive even more.

After almost two weeks of work, my husband was given an official set salary.  We were completely blown away when he was offered 30% more than his previous pay, considerably more than we ever imagined.  We were speechless and dumbfounded, and simply could not believe that God had provided for us in this way.  We are still pinching ourselves over this!  This was a true example of Him answering prayer and providing immeasurably more than we could have ever asked or imagined.

Our long season of desert and leanness is drawing to a close.  God has come through!  God is moving mountains!  God has provided a way out!  God has done the immeasurably more!  He is worthy of all of our praise!

I believe that united prayer was the catalyst to these answered prayers.  My husband and I had been praying about his work and our finances for three years.  And for three long and arduous years, these prayers didn’t seem to be answered.  In fact, our circumstances seemed to be spiraling downward.  Although we individually prayed over these things during this season, we rarely prayed over these things together.  What we found is that there is great power in united prayer.  God’s Word says:

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:19–20, NKJV)

It’s important to realize that the context of this verse is true for all who are obedient to Christ and are praying His will.  I don’t believe that God desires for us to be in lacking.  But I do believe that if we find ourselves in a season of lacking, there is purpose in it.  God doesn’t waste our pain or hardships.  He uses them.  He is able to work all things out for our good according to His mighty Romans 8:28 promise.

Jesus came so that we could have life and have it to the full (John 10:10).  Abundant life isn’t found in what we possess, but rather in having more of God and the things of Him in our life.  In living a life of holy purpose.   Things of Christ are to be sought out over things of this world.  He is far more concerned about our hearts than our circumstances.  He often works from the inside out.  Beginning with matters of the heart.  He is after a heart that truly seeks Him first.  This should always be our chief prayer.  To have more of Him. True joy and contentment can only be found when we are following hard after Him and fulfilling His purpose in our lives.  In the great truth of Matthew, when we seek God and His righteousness first, then all these other things will be added unto us (Matthew 6:33).

I was curious to see when all of the changes and answers to prayer began to take place in our family challenge, so I took a look back in the journal I’d kept over those 40+ days.  I found that it was on the evening of Day 10 that my husband was first presented with a new job opportunity.  That very morning, I had written this prayer in my journal, (looking back at it now astonishes me!)

“TODAY, I KNOW OUR GOD WILL COME THROUGH! Praise You LORD for future breakthroughs and victories in our family…More of You LORD, less of me.  Show me Your face, unleash Your supernatural, wonder-working power in and through and around me, my husband, and our family.  Guard our hearts from pride LORD as You begin to reveal Yourself and Your work and Your wonders in and around us.  LORD, we give You all the glory.  Keep us humble, always, before You.   Show us profound evidence of Your activity.  May we always come on bended knee before You, never stealing Your glory, but declaring with all of our lives that YOU ARE LORD!  Astonish us with Your wonderful works.  Interrupt our lives with Your power and presence.  Fulfill Your choice calling in our lives.  Thank You LORD, for Your harvest one hundredfold!”

It gives me goosebumps (glorybumps) to read this!  Little did I know that God was in the works already.  There is much power in prayer!  For three years we had been praying the same prayer.  But the answers to these prayers came only once we committed to praying these things together.  God is eager to bless us, but deeply longs to have our hearts and our marriages completely surrendered to Him first.

God has shown Himself to be so faithful.  It makes us cringe and wonder how we could have ever doubted Him along this journey.  While we were individually yearning and waiting for God to move on our behalf,  He was patiently waiting and longing for us to act by surrendering together in prayer.

This is our God story.  I share a portion of it with you because it is full-blown evidence of the power of prayer in one’s life.  I want to encourage you to stand united in prayer with your spouse.  That even when you think you are past the point of redemption, whether it be finances, the health of your marriage, or any other stronghold or hardship that is weighing you down…you are not.  When you are hopeless and feel that there doesn’t seem a way out…there is!  It can be found through persistent prayer.  He is our great Hope.  With God, there is always a chance, and anything is possible.  Let prayer be your mightiest tool.

Again, God is able to redeem anything!  Remember, when the Israelites were backed up between the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, it was God who parted the sea and gave them a way out.  And He provided a way for us too.  He will provide a way for you.  He is faithful to His children.  I’ve caught myself murmuring, and uttering, joyful, tearful thanks to Him over and over again.  Often in disbelief.  He rescued.  He delivered.  He redeemed.  He moved that mountain.  He did it!

Sometimes His deliverance and redemption comes in ways we least expect.  Sometimes we have to walk through desert to get there.  But one thing is certain, He is able to lead us out! We must never underestimate the power of prayer in one’s life. Prayer changes things.  It changes hearts and circumstances and lifts us up even closer to God’s mighty, helping, and powerful hand.

I can’t begin to express the importance of a couple praying together.  There are so many benefits and treasures to be found in this discipline.  Not only did we see God move mountains and provide for us, it drew my husband and I closer together and strengthened our marriage in many ways.  Prayer is the spilling out of heart to our LORD.  Too often in a marriage, we neglect to build each other up, or just don’t do it often enough.  We may think encouraging and uplifting thoughts about our spouse, but these thoughts don’t always leave our hearts and find their way to our lips.  Or to our spouses ears.

Surprisingly, my husband and I often found ourselves thanking and praising God for each other in our prayers.  This became a time in which we could build each other up before our LORD.  It made us each feel validated and appreciated for the work and role we were individually playing in our family.  It created intimacy and united us as a team.  This nightly prayer habit also gave us a closer look into each other’s hearts.  It’s through prayer that we can express our pressing needs, fears, frustrations, and desires.  These things can change daily.  In the act of united prayer, we found ourselves sharing the deepest parts of our hearts with each other and with God.  We then knew how to better pray for one another.  It grew us into a better knowledge, compassion, and understanding of one another and of our God.  It gave us insight, challenged our faith, revealed our strengths and weaknesses, and provided a unity of heart that has rivaled no other.

As believers, we want nothing more than to experience the presence of God.  He is the supplier of all good things we could ever need or desire.  The act of prayer places us in a perfect position to bask in His presence to receive these things.  And who other would we rather share this holy gift with than our very own spouse?  On our wedding day, we entered a covenant with each other and with God.  He wants to be the center of our marriages.  He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), including our marriages.  A sure way to draw closer to one another and to keep God at the center of our marriages is to commit ourselves to the act of united prayer.

As of July 1st, my husband and I are on day 86 of praying together nightly. The rewards of united prayer far exceeded our expectations.   It has become a habit and a privilege to come to Him together on bended knee.  And it has proven to be a key component in keeping our marriage thriving and our hearts turned toward God.  If this isn’t a discipline you and your spouse have been doing together regularly, I urge you to make united prayer a priority.  Try it out, and with expectant faith, wait to see how God will do the immeasurably more within your hearts and your lives.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

James 5:16

 Pray onward.  He is faithful, and He is able!

Thank you LORD, for the gift of marriage and the gift of prayer.  That through Your son, Jesus, we are able to approach You with confidence.  That You hear us and don’t waste any of our pain and suffering.  Thank You that there is always purpose behind Your plan.  Your ways are higher than our own.  Help us not to lean unto our own understanding, but to trust You with every area of our lives, including our marriages.  Help us to let go of any areas we are not fully surrendering to You.  Increase our faith.  We are thankful that You know what is best for us.  That You work all things together for our good.   That You hold all things together. Protect our marriages, unite us, and draw us closer to You and a deeper knowledge of You.  We long to bring You glory.  You are faithful and deserving of all of our praise.  In Jesus’ most precious and holy name.  Amen

*Thanks, Amanda, for this great prayer to pray with our spouses! You can read more inspiring posts by Amanda on her blog I’m Still CLAY.

 **Don’t forget to leave Amanda a comment below to be entered to win 1 of 2 $50 Brinker gift card (can be used at Chili’s, On the Border, Macaroni Grill, or Maggiano’s) and a signed copy of my book “You Can Have a Happy Family – Steps to Enjoying Your Marriage and Children.” Today is the last day to enter! I’ll be announcing the first winner on my wedding anniversary tomorrow (7/20), and the second winner on my husband’s and my dating anniversary on Sunday (7/21).

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Guest Post: “Why Pray if God Already Knows What You Need?” By Linda Travelute

The last few weeks I’ve been talking about prayer.  Follow this link to read previous posts. Today I asked Dr. Linda Travelute to share an excerpt from her book on prayer. She talks about the key to getting our prayers answered is praying what God wants. I pray you’ll be blessed by this enjoyable message. Dr. Linda has a fun, witty way of sharing God’s Word.


Why Pray if God Already Knows What You Need?

By Linda Travelute

Have you ever wondered, what’s the point in praying if God already knows what you need? If God is all knowing and super smart, he can read your mind, right? Think about it, if the cry of your heart is already on his mind, why do you have to voice it? Oh, but there is a reason! Let’s uncover it.

When I was in college, I was madly in love with this guy who broke my heart. I was sure we would eventually walk down the aisle, have a beautiful family together, and spend our days working in ministry side by side.

Guess what? Didn’t happen. Even though for two stinking years, I held out for that plan! I asked and asked. I pleaded and pleaded. My heart’s cry was that God would bring him back to me. I declared restoration over our relationship. And talk about faith… I fasted. I begged. I even bargained with God. Nada.

God didn’t budge. He didn’t answer my plea. I went from being madly in love to being mad. Mad at God. Took me a while to accept that God didn’t want that guy for me.

How God Shapes Our Prayers

Something happened over the two years that I kept asking. God began to change my mind. Not at first. Maybe I was being stubborn. I can be a blockhead sometimes. But over time, God began to reshape my prayer. And it wasn’t that I just gave up on the idea. No way. I’m a tenacious kind of gal.

Every time I tossed that prayer up to God, he began to tweak it just a little in my heart. He began to slowly show me that what I was asking for was not the best thing for me. Eventually, I understood. Then I began praying for the right man to come into my life. And when I found him, boy-oh-boy, this one was a gem. He blew the old boyfriend out of the water baby!

I never looked back. I had what I needed and what I wanted. Yep, God changed my wants to match his. Sweet! It’s amazing how that happened. And it took place because I asked God for something he already knew I wanted.

Prayer Shaping begins with Thought Shaping

God wants to shape your thoughts. Prayer shaping begins when we tell him what we want. In the exchange, he helps us strip the selfishness out of each request. That kind of surgery most likely won’t happen if you ask for something just once. It happens as we go back to him again and again with the same prayer.

When in discussion with the almighty God, fully submitted folks begin to catch God’s drift and ditch theirs. Their ideas and notions of what they want and desire begin to morph into what God wants. Slowly and sometimes painfully, the transformation births the perfect prayer that becomes exactly what God wants. Then when the timing is right – BAM! he delivers.

This is being in sync with the Holy One. Also known as being attached to the vine. When we are so clued into God, because we are attached to him, our prayers voice what he wants. And that’s the key to getting prayers answered: praying what God wants. Take a look:

“But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!” John 15:7 (NLT)

Or here’s the same scripture from the Message:

“But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.”

Approaching God Like Kids

My kids kind of know what is appropriate to ask for and what is not. They know when it’s cool to ask for a friend to come over, go out with their friends to see a movie, or to order those special shoes online that they’ve been wanting. Yeah, the ones with the way-too-high price tag!

They know when it’s a good time to ask because they can tell by the climate. They can measure it against the agenda of the family. How do they know? They are in tune. They live with the power-granters, their parents. They know my husband and I enough to know what kind of requests get granted around here and which ones don’t.

How? Cause they’ve tested their requests against our will. As they have grown up they have come at us with tons of requests. Some get granted. Some don’t. After a while, they figure it out. They begin to have a better understanding of the kinds of things that are priority in our family. What types of requests get granted and which ones get the axe.

Sometimes that’s tough to weigh out. But the more conversation they have with us over their request, the better they understand our reasoning and wisdom, the mission of the family, and whether or not their request fits in.

Will we ever give them the moon? Yes! We love to bless our kids and it’s fun to give them what they ask for. We teach them to ask boldly. We also tell them that sometimes they have not because they ask not. Being plugged into our family teaches them what’s appropriate to ask for and what’s not.

The More You Talk With God, The Better You Will Be at Asking

God works the same way. When we ask for stuff that’s not in line with his will, it’s because we aren’t clued in. And we end up asking for something that isn’t in his game plan. That’s why in order for prayer to work we need to continually spend time with God. The more we talk with him about what we want, the smarter we will be when asking.

So why talk to God if He already knows what you want? 

Because we don’t always know what he wants. And by talking it out with him, we get a clue, and we get an answer!

So talk to God about what you want. You may just find he had something better in mind. Or maybe not. Either way…win-win!


This post is an excerpt from the book, Grabbing God’s Attention: The Art of Praying Like a Pro. by Dr. Linda Travelute. You can click here if you are interested in scooping up a copy. Amazon has it. Smashwords has it for various eReaders. Or if you would like the PDF version that you can print (which is especially useful if you want to write in the Taking-Action sections of the book): Clicky here!

Visit Dr. Linda’s blog at & where you can find tips and information on kicking your faith up to the next level.

 *Thank you, Dr. Linda, for sharing an excerpt from your book and encouraging us to continue praying and seeking God for His will.

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Monday’s Blog: Ask and You Shall Receive!

Since I talked about prayer last week, and started a “Praying the Word Wednesdays” on my Facebook page, I wanted to share this post on prayer I wrote when I started my blog two years ago. I pray it inspires us to seek God in everything!


Ask and You Shall Receive!

I was talking to a woman once. She said she was shopping one day and having a hard time finding something in the grocery store. She thought about asking God to help her, but quickly changed her mind and thought, “Why would I bother God for that when I can find it myself?”

It’s funny how we think we’re bothering God when we have a request. Do we think God is too busy to take the time to help us find something in the grocery store? Do we think God is inconvenienced by us when we have a need? On the contrary, God wants us to seek Him and depend on Him for everything!

Why struggle doing things ourselves when we can have God helping us? He knows everything. So why not seek Him first in everything? Asking for God’s help and guidance doesn’t mean we’re lazy and shifting our responsibilities off on Him. It means we’re relying on Him to help us do what we need to do.

If I lose something and ask God to help me find it, I don’t just sit there and wait for it to appear out of nowhere. I still look for it. But I rely on God to direct me to the right spot. God created us to be dependent on Him. We still have our responsibilities, but we depend on Him to help and guide us in those responsibilities.

A man told me recently that he started asking God for wisdom in his job. He has a job where he has to troubleshoot and come up with new ideas. He said it’s often difficult and stressful for him. As he started asking God for direction and wisdom, he noticed a dramatic change in his ability. He was coming up with great ideas and solutions to help his company. He said he knows that wisdom is coming from God and is not his own. This man still has to think and do the work, but God supernaturally supplies the ideas.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

God’s wisdom is so far beyond our own that we should gladly accept it over our own wisdom. Even the areas we think we’re smart in and don’t need any help, God is smarter and His ways are greater.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:9

When I first started walking with God I knew I could come to Him with everything. However, I had a hard time putting my trust in Him because I struggled with patience. I needed to see it happen right away. Otherwise, I’d lose faith and try to handle it on my own. This led me to make many wrong decisions.

One example was with my finances. Every time my husband and I were hit with something, I’d stress out trying to figure out how to come up with enough money to make ends meet. I would ask God first, but I wouldn’t even wait for the answer. I would immediately search for my own solution. Most of the time, my solution would be extreme and something I would end up regretting. At one point, I was seriously considering selling everything in our house to pay our bills.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:6-8

God kept nudging me to receive His help. He kept encouraging me to give my worries over to Him in exchange for His wisdom, His guidance, and His help. God showed me that my way wasn’t getting us anywhere except deeper in debt and leaving me stressed out.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Matthew 11:28-29

Once I handed our finances over to God, and trusted Him without doubt, my faith grew to see His provisions. By seeing that God provides, it helped me become more dependent on Him. I look back to all the days I wasted trying to figure everything out on my own, only to find myself frustrated and burdened greatly. Now I enjoy giving everything over to God and seeking His help. I enjoy the peace He gives me in exchange for my worries. I also enjoy seeing how He works everything out. It becomes exciting depending on God. You never know when and how God will show up.

For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:8

This doesn’t mean God gives us whatever we want, whenever we want. It obviously has to be in His will and timing. But as God works in us, our desires start to change into His desires. Then, we start asking for things that He puts in our hearts, which line up with His will. Once we become dependent on God, His desires will become a reality in our lives.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 40:28


Heavenly Father,

We praise You that we can come to You for everything we need. You are never tired or too busy for us. Help us to seek You in everything we do. Help us to put our trust in You and look expectantly to You. We praise You that You will out do our expectations when all our expectations are in You.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen!




*I have started “Praying the Word Wednesdays” on my Facebook page. Every Wednesday, post your prayer request on my Facebook wall. I’ll post a relevant verse and pray the Word of God over your request. There is great power in believing God and His Word!

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Mark 9:23

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11, KJV




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