For those of you who’ve been married: Do you remember what “just married” felt like? After the sound of the tin cans clanking behind the car faded, after you set your bags down in your together home after the honeymoon—what was it like?

Reality: No matter how much training you’ve had, one flesh takes a lotta work. My sin settled in our little 500-square-foot apartment right alongside our stacks of wedding gifts. And when my sin collided head-on with his? Well, let’s just say sometimes I wished our duplex walls were a little thicker.

Falling in love is quite natural. Staying in love, and actually loving one another—that lay-your-life-down variety—is not.

And in this constant effort that is marriage, some parallels to intimate prayer materialize for me. It’s easy, I think—or maybe fluid—once I’ve muscled my way to that form of relationship not unlike the one God designed for Adam and Eve. Yet how often can I say that with God, I am naked and unashamed? That I start to move into a sort of one-fleshness, of I in Him and He in me?

On many of the Wednesdays of 2017, I’ll be helping my friend Barbara Rainey, on, explore what she calls “prayer lessons”: ideas to pray for ourselves, our most critical relationships, our communities. This week’s post, “Breathing Lessons,” feels out the hard work of making prayer as fluid and natural as the air God first breathed in our lungs.

I hope it encourages you today, wherever this finds you.


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