Does this seem like a “no-brainer”? Well, it is and it isn’t. I’m sure many of you are praying for your spouse and marriage daily, and that’s wonderful!
Keep it up!
But what if you could pray more effectively?
Tip One – Thank God for your spouse.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:4-5
Every time you pray, you have this great opportunity to thank God for something good you see in your spouse. For those of you who have really challenging marriages, it may come down to thanking God that s/he loves your children or s/he didn’t criticize you in the morning (not choosing to focus on the fact that s/he criticized you in the afternoon).
God will bless our humble seeking out of the blessings He gives us every day, but that we sometimes don’t pay attention to.
Tip Two – Express to God your trust in Him to solve your marriage mystery.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
The Greek word for “present” in this passage stems from the idea of “revealing” something like in a mystery. We don’t know how to solve our own problems, so very often we worry instead. But God wants us to trust and rest in His ability to solve the mystery. And the best way to do that is to express your trust directly to God in your prayers.
Tip Three – Be specific about your spouse’s heart needs and not just behavior changes.
“ … but in everything …” (v. 6)
We are told to present “everything” to our Father in prayer. But very often we are way too general about this. We say things like, “help my spouse to treat me better” or “keep us from arguing.” Now, I’m not saying these aren’t good prayers, but they don’t focus on the character God wants to build in our mates.
I believe God wants us to ask for what our spouse’s “heart” needs, not what we may selfishly want our spouse to quit doing. (Refer to some examples of how Paul often prayed for the churches – Phlp. 1:3-11, Gal. 1:9, Eph. 1:15-23)
Tip Four – Pray more for yourself than for your spouse.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 138:23-24
I know, I’m taking the liberty here since it doesn’t exactly say pray more for yourself in this passage. But we are exhorted to pray this very heart-examining prayer … and when we do, I believe God reveals the sins we might miss otherwise.
What better way to pray for your marriage than to quit focusing on how your spouse is the problem, and focus on your sin against your spouse. And don’t forget to be specific here too!
I have to confess I’ve been praying this prayer a lot lately and God has been faithful to reveal my sins to me daily. Honestly, that’s probably the biggest step toward healing and helping my marriage than any prayer I might pray for my husband.
Tip Five – Ask your spouse how you can pray for him or her.
Sometimes the very knowledge that you want to pray for your spouse will be what God uses to soften your mates heart toward you.
So what prayer tip would you add to this list? Let us know!
Photo credit by ^@^ina (Irina Patrascu)