LYH58: Ruth’s Prayer: The Secret to a Long-lasting Marriage [PODCAST]

Ruth's Prayer
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You can find the full blog post on this topic at haroldarnold.com/ruthsprayer

Ruth’s Prayer

Evangelist Billy Graham has led more than 2.5 million people to Christ worldwide. It is estimated that this dairy farmer from Charlotte, North Carolina, has had a lifetime audience, including those reached through television and radio broadcasting, exceeding two billion people. This audience has included every sitting American president since Harry Truman and the leaders of innumerable countries. Graham writes in his autobiography that from a young age he understood his purpose – to preach the gospel.

Billy Graham has deservedly received many accolades for his faith journey and evangelism.  But, I believe that his great achievements were buttressed and maybe even empowered by someone who hasn’t received the same attention—his wife Ruth Bell Graham.

Billy and Ruth met when they were students together at Wheaton College. When considering matrimony, Billy Graham records Ruth’s prayer in his autobiography (Graham, 2007). It reads as follows, “Ruth went back to her room (she later told me), got on her knees, and told the Lord that if she could spend the rest of her life serving Him with me, she would consider it the greatest privilege imaginable”.

  • Step 1:  Seek God’s direction
  • Step 2: Choose who to serve
  • Step 3: Commit for life
  • Step 4: Acknowledge the privilege

This extraordinary prayer is for any couple that seeks to pursue their ultimate life’s purpose as a partnership. Make the decision today to pray that the Lord give you the rest of your life to spend in service to Him with your spouse. Then let your attitude and your action demonstrate that it is the greatest privilege imaginable. I promise that this will unleash the unimaginable in your life.

Let me know if you and your spouse can commit to that prayer.

Ruth’s Prayer: A Prayer Before (or After) Marrying

Over the past few weeks, I have had a couple of meetings with a group of premarital couples. They are excited about their upcoming marriage—full of hope and promise of what will be.  They sit closely to one another and smile liberally. In some ways their enthusiasm is infectious and a great reminder of the thrill that marriage is intended to incite. Over the past few weeks, I have also met with several crisis couples—some of whom appear on the verge of divorce. They are frazzled about a marriage that feels like bondage—full of criticism and despair. Their verbal and non-verbals communicate disdain and even contempt. In some ways their despair is infectious and a stark reminder of what happens when a marriage drifts apart. What do I say to those premarital couples to guide them away from the path of these married couples in crisis? I want to tell them about Ruth’s prayer.

Ruth’s Prayer

Whether you wed thirty years ago or thirty days ago, there is a promise within your marriage. This is not a human promise of words and good intentions, nor a promise subject to social morays or political persuasion. Sadly, the promises that seal wedding vows are all too frequently broken by “irreconcilable differences.” ”To love and to cherish” devolves into “to compromise and to tolerate” or, in more painful marriages, “to search and destroy”. These earthly promises, however well-intentioned, fluctuate with the prevailing winds of personal feelings and the opinions of others and are therefore, as many of us know from experience, unreliable. This has been the path of these couples in crisis.

But, there is another path–Ruth’s prayer.