My wife and I made a commitment many years ago to never go to bed with a heartfelt disagreement between us. Most of the time we have kept that commitment. However, there have been times when we haven’t kept it. Early in our marriage we had a disagreement over an issue. It was so long ago that I can’t remember what the issue was. But I do recall that I felt very strongly that she was wrong and that I was right. I was really upset when we went to bed that night.
The strangest thing happened as I tried to go to sleep. Now remember, I was completely convinced that she was wrong and I was right about the argument. But she immediately fell asleep with the “peace of God that passes all understanding.” And I tossed and turned for hours. I couldn’t believe what was happening.
I began arguing with God. “It’s not fair,” I said. “She’s wrong, and I’m right. Why does she have such peace, and I’m so miserable?” I reasoned with God that it should be just the opposite way. However, when I became so tired that I couldn’t argue any more, God began to speak to my heart.
“It’s not your wife that’s the problem,” He seemed to be saying to my heart. “It’s your attitude.”
I was broken. I realized that my pride had broken my fellowship with my wife and also my Lord. I learned a great lesson that night – you can’t be in fellowship with God and out of fellowship with your wife. In fact, you can’t have intimacy with God and have a broken relationship with a brother or sister in Christ.
I didn’t have peace with God because I didn’t have peace with my wife. Finally, I woke her up and said, “Honey, forgive me. I was the one that was wrong. Please forgive me.”
She said, “Sure,” and immediately fell back asleep. And I had peace with God and restored intimacy with Him.
Many people try to pray, but it seems as though God is far away. Often it’s because of our broken relationships. We no longer have intimate times with God because we must make some things right with others that we’ve wronged.
Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23, 24 NIV). If we’re going to have great power with God, then we must have great fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Before you go to your secret closet in prayer, why don’t you go to that person with whom your relationship is strained. It may make a difference in what happens in the secret place of prayer.