Marriage Challenge: A Prayer for My Wife

January 18, 2022By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments

A Prayer for My Wife

Lord, THANK YOU for sending me such an incredible partner, best friend and wife. Next to your grace, her love is the greatest gift in my life. Please never let me take her for granted. Help me to love, cherish, respect, adore, and protect her the way that she deserves. I know she’s not only my wife…She’s YOUR daughter, and you’ve trusted me to be her husband. Please help me to love her the way that you love her; being willing to lay down my life for her the way you have done for us.

Father, we live in a world where your daughters are being objectified and used as images for lust and selfish gratification. Please help me keep my eyes and my heart pure in a world of sin and exploitation. Help me have eyes only for my wife. Give her the confidence to know that she’ll never have to compete for my attention against an airbrushed image of another woman. Let her know that I’m now and always captivated by her inner beauty and by her outer beauty as well.

Please keep her away from the “Comparison Trap” that would tempt shatter her confidence and replace it with insecurity. Help her know she doesn’t need to compare her life or her accomplishments to anyone else’s because your plan for her is masterfully unique. Help me to be her biggest encourager and never her biggest critic. Give me the words to say when she needs encouragement and give me the wisdom to know when to shut up and be quiet when she just needs me to listen.

Help me to support her dreams and passions to propel her to achieving all you have for her. For all she will achieve, please don’t let her fall into the trap of believing her identity is wrapped up in achievements (or failures), but her identity is secured in your love for her. Never let her lose sight of the fact that she’s eternally loved by you and let her find strength in my love for her as well.

Fill her heart with joy. Let laughter fill the soundtrack of our life together. Even in the difficult seasons, help us choose joy as we’re reminded that our struggles are temporary, but because of you Lord, our joy will be eternal. Help me be strong for her on the days she’s feeling weak, and help her be strong for me on the days I’m feeling weak, and Lord, please give us both strength for all that’s ahead. Help us to NEVER lose faith in you or give up on each other.

Thank you, Lord, for my amazing wife! She’s a priceless gift to be treasured, and I pray that you’d help me to be a gift to her as well. Please give me the wisdom, courage and strength to be the best husband I can be today and everyday.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

The above prayer was written by Dave Willis.

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Jesus is the Answer to Every Marriage Crisis

January 17, 2022By PK ManagerDevotional No Comments

I know from personal experience that it’s not true when people say there are some traumas that marriages do not overcome. But it’s a theory that gets kicked around a lot. My wife Sherri and I have been married for 25 years. We have five children—one daughter and four sons. Our youngest is William Brawner Burgess, who we’ve always called Brawner.

In 2008, I was speaking at a conference in Tennessee to a group of about 7,000 young people. I had been a follower of Christ for twelve years. In our pre-marriage counseling, Sherri and I had repented of our sins and become followers. At the time, I was learning how to take my faith in Christ and implement it into a daily radio show. Everything seemed to be coming together.

That day, between the fourth and fifth sessions, I saw a missed call from Sherri. I called back and she was frantic. Brawner, only two years old, somehow got out of the house, fell into our swimming pool and drowned. At that moment, doctors were trying to revive him, so she asked me to get everyone to pray.

I was a five-hour drive away from home. Even an airplane wouldn’t get me there any quicker than driving, so I just drove. I couldn’t have been more surprised that something like took place. It was unlike anything we had ever experienced. I just had to get to Sherri.

Sherri is a godly woman, a blessing to me. God has used her to make me a better man. She is not a woman who doesn’t know scripture. But in her time of despair, without her husband, watching doctors trying to revive our son, she said words just came out of her mouth, and she heard herself say, “Not my will be done Lord, but your will be done.”

As soon as she said it, the doctor looked at her and said, “We have to stop.” Our child had died, his earthly death. The Psalmist clearly said in Psalms 139 that God knows everything about us. When he weaves us together in our mother’s womb, he knows every day that we will live.

Sherri began to experience the God who is close to the brokenhearted. She said our pastor showed up, family members and friends, all tried to comfort her. But they could not replace having her husband there, the child’s father.

For me, if there was ever a woman that I would have felt would not need her husband at such a time, it would be my wife. I think and wonder about this a lot. What if I had decided not to grow in my faith? What if I had decided not to learn the word of God or be discipled? In that moment when my wife was asking, “Who is God in the middle of this?,” what if I had never taken the time to find those answers? Where would we be now?

Today, we’ve been married for 25 years and our marriage has not just survived, it has thrived. You know why? Because it really isn’t true that the death of a child destroys most marriages. It’s something psychologists came up with, but it isn’t the truth. No great trauma, even the death of an earthly child, destroys a marriage. It only reveals the weakness or the strength of that marriage, and whether or not it’s truly attached to and lives under the authority of Jesus Christ.

Why has our marriage thrived in spite of our devastating loss? Not because Sherri Burgess has some superpower or Rick Burgess has keys to something that isn’t available to you. The reason we’re here today, and thriving, serving and advancing God’s kingdom, and the reason our marriage is stronger than ever is because of Jesus.

John chapter 15 tells us to abide in him so we can produce his fruit, because apart from him, we can do nothing. I encourage you to get your marriage under the authority of Christ, at the foot of the cross. Start with your wife to pursue Jesus. Being the spiritual leader of your home is not an option. Your wife and your family will pay a price if you don’t. If you haven’t devoted yourself to present yourself spotless and blameless and at peace with God, then your marriage might pay a price.

As you pursue Jesus and meet each other at his feet and under his authority, your marriage can withstand any attack, including the earthly death of a child. If you have the answers and you really know God, then your marriage can withstand anything. What is the key to having a marriage that cannot be destroyed? Jesus.

Take the next step to a great marriage by joining me for Promise Keepers’ Men’s Marriage Challenge designed with tons of game-changing marriage content with men in mind. Any man, anywhere, at any time, can join the challenge through the free Promise Keepers app.

For more information, from the App main page, click the EQUIP tab on the bottom and then click into the MARRIAGE CHALLENGE to go through the videos and 21-day challenge.

 

Rick Burgess has been the co-host of the “Rick and Bubba Show” since 1994, a nationally syndicated radio show which airs to 1.2 million people weekly. Burgess has coauthored multiple New York Times bestselling books that are autobiographical in nature, but his latest release is a 40-day devotional designed to disciple men. How to Be a Man, the Pursuit of Christ-Centered Masculinity is coauthored by Andy Blanks and was released by Iron Hill Press in 2017. Burgess has appeared on various radio and television shows including Fox and Friends and the Sean Hannity Show as a commentator and guest. He is a frequent speaker at church services and youth and marriage conferences, but his true passion is men’s ministry.

Follow him on Twitter and BurgessMinistries.com, or visit The Man Church.

To take part in the Marriage Challenge and receive more devotionals like this one delivered straight to your phone, download the Promise Keepers app.

Devotional: The Samson Syndrome⁠⠀

November 24, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

“The Philistine rulers held a great festival, offering sacrifices and praising their god, Dagon. They said, ‘Our god has given us victory over our enemy Samson!’ When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, ‘Our god has delivered our enemy to us! The one who killed so many of us is now in our power!’ Half drunk by now, the people demanded, ‘Bring out Samson so he can amuse us!’ So he was brought from the prison to amuse them, and they had him stand between the pillars supporting the roof.”⁠ – Judges 16:23-25⁠⠀
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Samson, a man who had been greatly blessed by God, here became entertainment for God’s enemies. While this passage shows the outcome of Samson’s failures, chapters 13-16 relate the whole story of his life. Over the centuries, Samson has been portrayed as both a hero and a tragic figure. His own failures and weaknesses made him prey to the people he had, in the past, so creatively defeated. ⁠⠀
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The lesson of Samson is also a lesson for our times. When we identify ourselves with Christ yet consistently fail to exhibit ethical and moral purity, the scoffers have a field day. They are convinced that their gods (the things they value most) are more valid than the God of heaven. Without knowing it, many Christian men provide office entertainment for their unbelieving coworkers. ⁠⠀
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We are all tempted, as Samson was, to compromise our Christian standards. For God’s sake and your own, ask God every day to keep you from the Samson syndrome. ⁠⠀

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This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. 

Free Printable: Thanksgiving Family Prayer Guide

November 16, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional
Thanksgiving is a time for gathering together with family, feasting, and thanking God for His provision. But when everyone is gathered together, it’s easy to focus only on the food and family—and forget to give thanks.
That’s why we’ve put together a Thanksgiving Family Prayer Guide—to help you lead your family in remembering the goodness of God. This free printable is meant for printing and bringing to the dinner table to stir conversation and provide points to pray over. It is also helpful for personal use, as a guide for meditating on God’s faithfulness.
This free printable is also free to share, so don’t hesitate to pass it on to a friend!

Devotional: Completely Free

November 14, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional
Some people simply refuse to believe in God if his existence can’t be proven by scientific, intellectual means. But God offers mankind a message that goes beyond the grasp of rational human intellect. While believers throughout the centuries have testified that faith in Jesus is reasonable, Paul reflects the fact that to most people, the message of salvation seems utterly foolish. Why? Because its only requirement is faith. Men don’t like that. Most men feel like they want or need to do something to earn God’s favor. ⁠
But for a believer, the gospel isn’t foolish. On the contrary, it demonstrates both the wisdom and power of God. It shows God’s wisdom by providing the only possible basis for forgiveness – a sinless sacrifice. It shows God’s power because Jesus secured something through his death and resurrection that man was unable to produce: namely, our salvation.⁠
One thing is clear, the gospel message came from God. Men would never have dreamed up something so amazing and wonderful—and so completely free.⁠

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

Devotional: What Happened After Joshua?

November 10, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional
“The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him—those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel.” – Joshua 24:31
This verse contains both encouragement and warning. A godly man can make a difference. Joshua and his team of elders had a positive influence on Israel. But the implied warning comes in the thoughtful reader’s question: ‘What happened after Joshua and the elders?’” It is important to model godliness and encourage others to live for Him. But it is equally important to teach the values and behaviors of godliness to those who will be left after you’ve passed on.
Live, model, encourage and cultivate godliness for the next generation.

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

Devotional: Peace, Hope, and Love

October 19, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

– Romans 5:1-5

 At one time or another, most men search for happiness in the wrong way. We try to find it in seeking money, power, pleasure and fame. But Paul tells us where we can find the most sought-after things in life. He lists three practical benefits of following Christ: peace with God (v. 1), hope in affliction (v. 3), and love that’s unconditional (v. 5).
Look over your life and identify the places, things or experiences you go to in search of happiness. Do they actually produce happiness? Does that happiness last? Now consider the three benefits of knowing Christ that Paul mentions. These benefits hold considerable power to change your whole outlook on life (and death). They go far beyond any search for temporary happiness.

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

Devotional: Find Peace Amid Panic

October 2, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
    speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
    and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
    and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
    and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

– Psalm 15:1-5

David attracted pressure like a magnet. Most powerful leaders do. He regularly made life-and-death decisions that affected thousands of people. He was surrounded with temptations. Every day was like running the gauntlet. Imagine David in the rush and crush of life, asking, ‘How can I dwell in the serenity of your presence, O God?’” Many men today know they can’t escape life’s pressure, but they can find a calm place in the midst of it. 

‘Who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?’ Verses 2-5 give ten specific conditions for living in God’s presence no matter where you are. Any man would do well to memorize this psalm as a reminder of what kind of man feels welcome in God’s holy presence. Note especially that this man ‘keeps his oath even when it hurts…lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.’ (vv.4-5). God entertains the man whose promise stands regardless of what it costs. What does it take for a man to renege on his promises? How generous is a man when there is no pay back? How strongly will a man stand against making money off the innocence of the naive? In the pressure of life, God offers his sanctuary to those who feel at home there because their life is consistent with his holiness. ‘He who does these things will never be shaken.’

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)

Devotional: Diamonds at Your Feet

October 1, 2020By PK ManagerDevotional

As he was approaching Damascus on this mission, a light from heaven suddenly shone down around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting me?’

‘Who are you, lord?’ Saul asked.

And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’

The men with Saul stood speechless, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! Saul picked himself up off the ground, but when he opened his eyes he was blind. So his companions led him by the hand to Damascus. He remained there blind for three days and did not eat or drink.

Now there was a believer in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to him in a vision, calling, ‘Ananias!’

‘Yes, Lord!’ he replied.

The Lord said, ‘Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.'”

– Acts 9:3-11

 

Russell H. Conwell, in a speech entitled, ‘Acres of Diamonds,’ told a story about a Persian farmer named Al Hafed whose ambition reached far beyond the plot of ground he tilled. Although this farmer possessed a productive plot of land and enjoyed great wealth, he dreamed of owning a diamond mine. So one day, he sold his farm, gathered his belongings, and set off on a worldwide search for diamonds. But the drive and determination with which he began his quest faded over the months and years. Eventually Hafed died–dejected, alone, and penniless–in a far-away land. This one-prosperous farmer had thrown away his life in search of an elusive dream.

As Al Hafed searched for diamonds in foreign countries, a man from Al Hafed’s home territory watered a camel in one of the clear pools on his property. In the brightness of the midday sun, he noticed a shimmer in the white sand. What this fortunate man discovered that day turned out to be the backbone of the world’s richest diamond mine, located in the Persian region of Golconda–on the back side of Al Hafed’s old farm.

Like Al Hafed, it’s easy for people to overlook the diamonds that are directly at their feet. And Saul of Tarsus was no exception. Convinced that Jesus was a false Messiah, he rejected the spiritual treasure that Jesus offered. Saul not only refused to consider Jesus’ claims, but he also refused to allow others to look in the right place. He doggedly hunted down Christians and had them thrown in jail. But God had a different plan for Saul. He forced this man to look at the truth. Several points about Saul’s conversion are impressive.

First, after Saul met Jesus, his beliefs about him were radically transformed. He began to see Jesus as the true Messiah, the fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Before his encounter with Jesus Christ, Saul was sincere and moral and deeply religious—and also deeply wrong. In the burst of light that surrounded him, Saul, the religious zealot, learned he was a sinner in need of a Savior.

Second an obscure Jewish believer had the privilege of helping move Saul along the path to faith in Jesus. Ananias was understandably reluctant to meet with Saul. After all, he had heard about this Jewish zealot’s treatment of Christians. But, in obedience to Jesus, Ananias spoke the words that Saul so desperately needed to hear. In a wonderfully symbolic moment, Saul’s blindness was removed and he received the Holy Spirit. 

Finally, Saul’s confession of faith in Jesus was immediate and bold. He wasted no time in telling others that he had been looking for spiritual truth in the wrong places. And when he finally recognized the spiritual treasure that Jesus offered, he didn’t horde what he had found. He shared it with others. If you already know Jesus, contemplate the fact that you’re surrounded by men who are looking for life in the wrong places. Also realize that you are the keeper of an immense spiritual treasure that grows when it’s given away. Like Ananias, be available for God to use you to lead others to his Son. If that idea frightens you, that’s okay. But don’t let your fear control you. Go ahead and tell others what God has done for you. Show them the diamonds at their feet. And the same Lord who prepared the way for Ananias to serve him will prepare the way for you.

This devotional is an excerpt from the PK Study Bible. For more devotionals and encouraging resources, download the FREE Promise Keepers app. (Download for iOS or for Android.)