Today I am praying for marriages that are dealing with the strain of a layoff. Aaron and I went through that a few years ago, and even though we could always pay the bills (praise God!), it was not easy; it was hard for Aaron to feel like he wasn’t able to provide for his family and it was hard for me to know how to love and encourage him through that time. Looking back, it was a precious time of growth and learning to trust the Lord and learning to love each other through a challenging point in life. We had wonderful family and friends praying us through! So today I want to pray for others in that situation. Prayer first and foremost for provision for physical needs for the family. And then prayer for the emotional state of the spouse who is jobless. Love and patience and understanding for the other spouse. Dependence on Christ in new, deep, exciting ways. Protection from bitterness and anger. Hope in the Lord and who he is as our Provider and Father. Joy in the realization that God always provides everything–nothing we have is because of our own efforts but because of him. Righting of priorities, especially in our first-world country. Delight in each other now that many materialistic distractions are gone. And a rediscovery of why they fell in love in the first place.