“Someone said that a successful marriage requires partners of steel. I believe that is true. But I would add that prayer is the anvil upon which the partners in a successful marriage must be shaped. If you and your spouse follow a proper plan of prayer, God will shape you according to His desires and will make your marriage everything He wants it to be.
“What is a proper plan of prayer? It is simply a plan that helps you and your spouse consistently and fervently pray God’s will for all areas of your relationship. God loves you so much that He revealed His will for every area of your life in His Word. For your marriage to reach the highest level possible, you and your partner must know God’s will for your relationship and live accordingly. The best way to begin is to pray God’s very Word, asking Him to carry out His will in your lives” (Lee Roberts, from the book “Praying God’s Will for My Marriage”).
And that’s what we’d like to do in this Marriage Message. As we’ve said before, the principles for loving each other in marriage are the principles for living that God reveals throughout the Bible. So with that in mind, we’d like to encourage you to not only read the principles for living that are given to us in the Bible, and to live them out, but to also use them as prayer guidelines in praying for each other.
But what if you are the only one who is praying in your marriage?
“Your prayers for your marriage have power, even when you are the only one praying. That’s because the two of you are one in the eyes of God, and what one does affects the other —either for good or for bad. Of course, the power is even greater when the two of you pray together, but I don’t want to belabor that point. If you have a husband (wife) who will pray with you, consider yourself blessed. Most people don’t have that.
“What if you are the only person in the marriage who is a believer? Or only you are really living God’s way? Or only you are willing to submit to God’s perfecting process? Or are willing to work on the relationship? What if you understand the enemy’s attack on your marriage and your spouse doesn’t get it? Can YOUR prayers alone save the marriage? I believe they can. In fact, I have heard of miracles in that regard.
“… Even if you are the only one with a willing heart, your humble prayers can pave the way for God to do miracles in you and in your marriage relationship.” (Stormie Omartian, “Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage”)
The following are prayers that God has impressed upon my heart that you may find helpful as you pray for your marriage. They are based upon the scriptures that are given after each prayer. We hope they will bless your prayer life.
• Lord, please show me how to find the time to store your commands within my mind. As I turn my ear to Your wisdom, help me to apply my heart to doing things YOUR way. I know you are the giver of wisdom; help me to hear what you want me to learn even if I don’t always understand Your ways, or why you allow certain things to happen in my married life. I want to trust you with my whole heart. Please help me. I know that as I trust in You, You have promised me that You will make my paths straight. Thank You. (Based on Proverbs 2:1-6 and Proverbs 3:5-6.)
• Lord, help me so that “love and faithfulness” never leaves me, no matter what happens within my marriage. Show me how to bind them around my neck and to wear them around the tablet of my heart so they protect me. Help me to guard my heart from the temptations that are all around me. You know my weaknesses, but so does the enemy of my faith. I don’t want to do things that would dishonor You or my marriage vows. I want to be a promise keeper, just as You are a promise keeper.
Give me discernment when temptation is waiting to ambush me. I don’t want to stumble into that which will snare me into sin. Help me to “preserve sound judgment and discernment” and not to let them out of my sight, for I know they will be life for me. I know that “there is a way that seems right” but that it can lead to death. Help me not to go there. For you are my confidence and you are able to keep my foot from being snared. Thank You Lord. (Based on Proverbs 2:11-12; Proverbs 3:3; Proverbs 2:12-26; Proverbs 4:23.)
• Sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. Help me to “let no unwholesome thing” come from my mouth, but only what is helpful” for building my spouse and children up, rather than tearing them down. I acknowledge that I am not my spouse’s Holy Spirit. That is Your position. I do not want to grieve You, or say things what will cause more damage to my marriage relationship, rather than help it.
I know that the “tongue of the righteous nourishes” and “spreads knowledge.” Help me to “speak the truth in love” when it will benefit the situation rather than contaminate it. I don’t want to be a fool who lacks judgment and speaks in haste. I know that discernment, and the timing, and tone of my words are as important as what I say. Thank You, and help me Lord. (Based on Ephesians 4:15; and Ephesians 4:29; Proverbs 29:20; Proverbs 10:21; and Proverbs 10:32.)
• Money, Lord, I know that loving it is the “root of all kinds of evil” because it has caused many to wander from the faith and pierced themselves with grief. So I don’t want to place a higher value on it than You know is best or would condone. But sometimes it causes problems in our marriage when our expenses seem to be higher than the money we have available each month. You promise to meet all our needs “according to Your riches in Christ Jesus.” If one of us is spending more than we should, or if we need to look further into how to expand our income, I pray that You will reveal this truth to us and help us to line our lives with Your will.
You tell us not to worry about how our needs will be met. Help me Lord, not to worry and to release those things that I cannot change concerning our finances. I know that as I seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, You will give us the things we truly need. I need Your help in being “content whatever the circumstances.” I know that “I can do all everything through Him who gives me strength.” After all, You own it all, and if You deem that we should have more, it will be done. (Based on 1 Timothy 6:10; Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:11-13; Psalm 136.)
• Heavenly Father, it is so difficult to forgive my spouse sometimes. But I know that I am not perfect either. I’ve fallen short of Your standards. And yet you love me and even sent Jesus to die for me while “I was yet a sinner.” Help me to be as gracious to my spouse as you are to me. I know that if I forgive my spouse for the things that grieve my heart, and Yours as well, that you will forgive me for the things I have done that I shouldn’t.
I also know that if I refuse to forgive my spouse, it will poison my spirit as it starts as a bitter root defiling not only my marriage, but others I come in contact with. Help me Lord to let go of unforgiveness and to be in the center of Your will for my life. (Based on Romans 3:23; Romans 5:8; Hebrews 12:14-15; Matthew 6:14-15.)
We hope these prayers will help you in your marriage and that they will inspire you to dig deeper into the Bible to learn, live, and pray as God leads.
Cindy and Steve Wright