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Do All Pastors Pray With Spouses?

” Yikes, I said to myself, I’m a pastor and I rarely pray with my wife.”
Pastor Jeff Winter

 (pg. 73 – 40 DPC Book)

Tim Keller: The Day of a Wide Awakening

The highly respected founder and pastor of the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, Tim Keller, was brought to a life-changing insight by a request spoken by his wife, Kathy.

For weeks after two planes collided with the World Trade Center on 9/11 and lowered a surreal darkness over Manhattan, Tim and Kathy—like most of us—lived in a bubble of depression. But for New Yorkers, it was much too close to home. The twisted rubble, the loss of lives, and the endless search for the remains of loved ones, was but a cab ride away. Kathy’s struggle was intensified by her affliction with Crohn’s disease.

Initially, Kathy’s proposal didn’t seem nearly as momentous as it turned out to be. With almost childlike sincerity, she spoke to Tim but with the wisdom of a wife.

“My wife asked me to do something we had never had the self-discipline to do regularly. She asked me to pray with her every night. Every night,” he said.

A pastor’s busy life—like yours—is filled with people to see, things to do, problems to solve.

As Tim looked into Kathy’s eyes, unidentifiable feelings of guilt—or perhaps reluctance—streamed through his consciousness.

Kathy then supported her proposition with Godly insight. “Imagine you were diagnosed with a lethal condition and the doctor told you that you would die unless you took a particular pill every night.”

Tim was beginning to see where she was going.

“Would you forget?” she continued. “Would you not get around to it some nights? No—it would be so crucial, you wouldn’t forget, you would never miss a dose.”

Kathy’s reasoning and unpretentious logic were so clear, he was left to wonder, How could this have escaped me, a professional man of the cloth?

Kathy’s voice grew with fervor: “If we don’t pray together to God . . . we’re not going to make it. I’m certainly not. We have to pray; we can’t just let it slip our minds.”

Perhaps that moment for Tim Keller was like this very moment is for you. “The penny dropped.” He admitted anything that was “a nonnegotiable necessity” was something they could do.

That was more than thirteen years ago. Tim and Kathy now can’t recall a single day when they have missed praying together—sometimes, if necessary, by telephone. Their relationship, daily lives, and very existence have benefited from a simple concept that is redundantly uttered in the Bible and spoken by a fervent wife: pray together.

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[1] Tim Keller; Prayer; (New York, Dutton; 2014)