The first three years of marriage to my husband were extremely difficult. We didn’t know how to be married and the honeymoon ended within the first week. Both of us were in a power struggle and failed to take each others needs into consideration as we fought for our own wants. Work and school filled our schedules. We rarely saw each other. When we were together, we fought. My best friend slowly became my worst enemy. After three years, we hit rock-bottom and contemplated divorce. Although our marriage seemed beyond hope, divorce was not something either of us wanted.
We decided to make some drastic changes to give our marriage every chance to survive. I changed jobs since my current position was causing much unneeded stress in our marriage. We cut back on school and even adjusted our schedules so we could take some classes together. This allowed more time to spend together. We learned to communicate and not hold grudges from one fight to another. Punishing each other for mistakes or disagreements was now off-limits. All of these things were wonderful and made a difference. However, there was one thing and one thing only that truly saved our marriage. Prayer.
My husband insisted we begin praying together each and every night. He would always go first and pray for me. He thanked God for me and would shower me with compliments in the process. He expressed gratitude for making me his wife and would tell God all the reasons he loved me. He acknowledged all the things I had done that day to take care of the house and him. Much healing took place during those times of prayer. However, the biggest impact for me was in what was not said.
My husband never pointed across the bed and asked God to change me. He only asked God to make him a better husband. He asked God to help him do all the things I nagged him about during the day. I had no idea he was even listening to me but his prayers proved otherwise and communicated his hope to become the husband I desired.
After he would finish, it was my turn and I felt the pressure. Although there were times I was tempted to pray for all the changes I wanted God to make in my husband, I just couldn’t. Instead, I followed my husband’s lead and would thank God for him, acknowledge his hard work, and pray for the changes I knew God needed to make in my own life so I could become the wife my husband desired.
In the following months, an amazing thing began to happen. God began changing us as individuals and helped us grow together with Him at the center. I’ve now been married to the love of my life for almost 24 years. There have been tough times in those 24 years but God has always been faithful to restore us as long as we keep Him and prayer a priority.
The following are suggested ways to begin praying for your spouse and marriage:
Lord, I lift up my husband to You today:
- Give him strength and wisdom throughout today.
- Provide him with opportunities and the desire to spend quality time with our family. Help him to manage his time wisely.
- Give him wisdom with our finances and help us to remember that everything is Yours, entrusted to us for Your purposes. Give him peace, assuring him that You will provide. I pray he will love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.
- Help him to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.
- Protect him physically, mentally, and spiritually.
- Help him to be a godly example to our children.
- Make the path clear You want him to follow.
- Give him peace and keep him free from worry.
- Give him wisdom in all decisions he must make today.
- Give him the desire and time to spend with You reading the Bible and in prayer.
- Bring godly men into his life who will keep him accountable.
- Help him to be content at work, remembering to work with all his heart as if working for You and not for men.
- Help him to deal with the frustrations at work in a godly manner.
- Help his relationship with his boss be one of integrity.
- Help him to overcome temptation that may come his way today. Give him strength during those times and give him a clear escape.
- Lord, help me to support my husband and be his companion, encourager, and friend. Give me wisdom to know how and when to come alongside him and help him.
- I pray that our home will be a peaceful, restful, safe haven for him.
- Help me to be someone he is proud to say is his wife. Help me to release my husband from the burden of fulfilling me in areas that I should be lifting up to You. Help me to accept him and not try to change him. You made him the special man that he is and I thank you.
- I realize that neither of us is perfect and never will be. Strengthen our marriage and help us to love one another even through our imperfections. Only You, Lord, are perfect, and I look to You to perfect us.
More suggestions on prayer are being shared on this blog each Thursday in February.
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©2013 Connie Davis Johnson