7Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 ESV
Last summer I spent a few weeks studying 1 Peter. It was my first time ever truly reading the book (though I read it twice for New Testament survey the previous semester) and this is a verse that really jumped out at me. The insight I gained had little to do with marriage, however.
The last part of the verse says, “so that your prayers may not be hindered.” I remember reading that and thinking, “what the heck does that have to do with husbands living with their wives in an understanding way?” In my head, prayer had nothing to do with how you lived; it was just something you did with God in your spare time.
As I meditated on it, though, it suddenly started making sense. If a husband is treating his wife as if she’s weaker and less significant, he has elevated himself in his mind. Essentially, he has pride. A proud person thinks they have it figured out, so why would they need God? And specifically, in this verse, why would they need prayer? It’s as if there’s a relationship between pride and prayer.
Then in the next verse, Peter gives a list of things believers should have, and what’s the last one? “a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8. The first step to improving your prayer life… is a humble mind. Humility is a precondition for a healthy prayer life. Humility acknowledges our dependence on God.
If you want to improve your prayer life, begin developing a humble mind. Whenever you’re tempted to make a decision with your interests first, put someone else’s interests first. It will not only improve your relationship with that person, it just might also improve your relationship with God.