Your Prayers Hang on Your Marriage

1 Peter 3:7, Part 4

The Bible says that the way a man treats his wife might interfere with his prayer life. Is God not listening to you because you’re not listening to her? In this lab, John Piper looks at three ways our marriages might impact how God responds to our prayers.

Principle for Bible Reading

John searches for words related to prayer, first within Peter and then more widely in the Bible to answer a hard question in this passage. By finding some other verses related to prayer, he discovered possible answers to his larger question about how marriage affects our prayer life.

Study Questions

  1. What might Peter mean when he says a husband’s prayers are hindered? Give at least three possibilities.
  2. Where else does Peter talk about prayer, or what other verses in the Bible about prayer might be relevant to this verse?
  3. Identify one or two ways you might intentionally honor your wife this week.

Introduction/Prayer/Recap (00:00–01:56)

Peter on Prayer (01:56–03:21)

Does Peter say anything else about prayer (that may help us here)?

  • If you honor your wife, your prayers will not be hindered. If you do not, they will. (1 Peter 3:7)
  • What does that mean? Let’s look at what Peter says about prayer elsewhere.
  • Peter says elsewhere that our prayers are jeopardized if we do not demonstrate a certain amount of self-control and sobriety. (1 Peter 4:7)
  • Peter applies that principle about self control to marriage in 1 Peter 3:7.

How Are Our Prayers Hindered? (03:21–06:54)

What does it mean for our prayers to be hindered?

  • First possibility: Our prayers are hindered because sin obstructs our relation to God. (1 Peter 3:12)
  • Second possibility: Our prayers are hindered because sin obstructs the unity of the husband and wife in prayer, making it less likely God will respond favorably. (Matthew 18:19)
  • Third possibility: Our prayers are hindered because a broken relationship makes it hard to kneel in prayer together.