Praying for Marriages
One of the reasons I believe marriages are under much attack is because it is the relationship God has chosen to prefigure Christ and His Bride, the Church. The enemy does all in his power to undermine this illustration of God’s loving union with His people.
Whether the marriage is, basically, a good one, or it’s one with a very deep level of pain, disillusionment and/or betrayal in their hearts, every marriage needs prayer. Some marriages may be dealing with the reality of disappointment or unmet expectations. In others they may feel they are the only one interesting in preserving the marriage, or that they desire it more than their spouse. They may be confused about what their next step should be. Some people are in the relationship with an unbelieving spouse, which really colors the way we would pray, including prayers for salvation.
When we intercede for people in the kind of desperation a troubled marriage brings, our prayers may be the last grasp of hope they will hold onto in a difficult situation. Your prayer for them may be a lifeline they will grasp to carry them through until God moves in their marriages. And if our prayers are for our own marriage trouble, they may also be our own thread of hope, as well.
There is an extensive list of petitions for marriages in the Prayer Room. Following are some excerpts from this list.
From 1 Corinthians 13:
● May their love be sincere, not merely lip service.
● May they be patient with one another
● May there be no rudeness, rather treat each other respectfully, as they would wish to be treated themselves.
● May they resolve conflicts quickly so these do not smolder, or allow a stronghold of bitterness to take root.
● May they not lose hope that God can restore the relationship.
● May their communication be marked by grace and truth.
● May they not take on the role of the enemy—the accuser of the brethren—in the life of their spouse. May they repent if that has already occurred.
● If deception has been a means of bringing destruction, expose it. Bring repentance and truth.
● Help them to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
Forgiveness and Restoration:
● May they be quick to seek and to give forgiveness.
● Bring restoration and healing, even resurrection to a damaged or dead relationship.
● Where there is hardness of heart, open the heart, give a heart of flesh and not a heart of stone.
● If pride is standing in the way of forgiveness or reconciliation, bring humility, that your grace may abound.
● Where finances have been a root cause of friction, bring that under Your sovereign control. May they serve You, not seek materialism.
● Lead the husband into his proper role of nurturing his wife as Christ does the Church, giving himself sacrificially for her, not seeking only his own way, or his own pleasure.
● May the wife submit to that love with respect. May she not usurp his role before the Lord as leader of the family.
● May they not allow anything or anyone dilute their commitment to one another.
● Part of the mystery that human marriage reveals about our relationship with God is to be found in His unconditional love for us, the vulnerability that displays this love, and the concept of union into which He invites us.
● Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 and ask the Lord how you can grow in at least one area of the love standard He sets here.
● For those of you who are currently married, how well does your marriage reflect the above ideal of love? Ask the Lord to reveal 1 to 3 things you can do within your relationship to make it a more accurate reflection of the heavenly pattern.
● For those who have lost a spouse through death or divorce, ask the Lord to be your husband in fresh ways. Ask Him to be a balm on any residual grief or woundedness you continue to feel in the loss of your relationship.
More Ways to Pray:
● Ask the Lord to protect the marriages of the pastors, staff and other leaders of this church. Take a few moments and pray for each couple by name.
● Pray the Lord would bring healing to the troubled marriages in this congregation.
● Pray for the counselors and friends of these troubled relationships to have the right counsel, the right encouragement and words of truth, and faithfulness in prayer for these couples.
● Pray our church will be a place where marriages and families will be strengthened and struggling families will have the support and healing they need.
● Pray our church will be a place of healing and grace for those who have been wounded in marriages that have ended in divorce or have know the grief of the death of their spouse.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries