While not every marriage is struggling right this moment, nearly all marriages hit crisis moments at some point in time. Today’s post from Elizabeth Klein is a great guide for how to pray your way through these valleys.
Though I don’t believe that prayer is like having a genie in a bottle grant you all your wishes, I do believe that prayer is mysterious and even magical in its own way. It connects us to Something bigger and outside ourselves, to Someone in control of all the things we don’t have control over. And, somehow – and I don’t get this part – prayer softens hearts…the person we’re praying for, yes, but also our own. Beauty and grace altogether.
I know your marriage is difficult, and I am so very sorry. I know it’s not what you had hoped for. But I’ve been there. I know the pain of a marriage that is broken, and I know that you may have little to no desire to pray for your husband and your marriage. I totally get that. But right now, regardless of the quality of your marriage, your husband is still your husband, and you can pray for him in a way that no other person can. So I want to encourage you to pray for the next seven days over your marriage, despite your pain, or maybe even because of it. It won’t fix all of your ills, of course, but if you believe, it will do something.
The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective. –James 5:16b
Day 1: Your heart.
Jesus, I lift up my heart to you. It is cold and hard and bitter roots have formed. You know why and I don’t think you blame me. I truly think you understand. But I don’t want to be known as an angry or sad or pathetic woman. Regardless of my circumstances, I want to be a woman who is close to you, and receives her value from you, who knows she is loved, and who has the strength to persevere and live fully no matter what. So I give you my heart. Show me what’s inside. Cleanse me deep down. I give you all of the hidden places, all of the things I am clinging to so tightly – even my pain and entitlement and resentment and anger – and I ask that you will forgive me, change me, heal me, and strengthen me. Amen.
Day 2: Your husband’s relationship with God.
Jesus, I lift up my husband to you. Please draw him closer to you. Open his heart to you. Remind him that you love him. Give him a desire for your word. Where he is far away from you, go after him and bring him back. Give him a heart that wants to serve, that wants to worship, that wants to pray, that is humble and teachable. Help me not criticize him for any lack in this area, but instead live my spiritual life out well and pray for his. Amen.
Day 3: Your husband’s temptations.
Jesus, I lift up my husband to you. You know the struggles of his heart and mind, better than I do. You see everything that he faces and battles on the inside. Please deliver him from evil. Please lead him not into temptation. Please keep all outside influences that are inappropriate away from him. Please dull his appetite for unrighteousness and please repel him from anything that could hurt him or us. Where he is in bondage to anything, please break those ties. Help him choose you and me over any damaging choice. Amen.
Day 4: Your husband’s words.
Jesus, I lift up my husband to you. You know that he sometimes hurts me with his careless words. Would you move in his heart and mind to help speak less harshly to me? Would you put a protective barrier around my heart so that his hurtful words don’t take root? And would you give me kind words to say to him, or even no words when I’m beside myself with anger or pain? Help us use our words to at the very least be respectful to each other. Amen.
Day 5: Your husband’s work.
Jesus, I lift up my husband to you. Thank you for providing for me through him. Thank you that he goes to work each day. (If he is unemployed, please provide work for him and provide our daily bread.) Please bless the work of his hands and help him find fulfillment in what he does, no matter what the job is. Help me encourage him and show gratitude, even when it’s painful to do so. Help me to partner with him by handling our finances with care. Amen.
Day 6: Your husband’s health.
Jesus, I lift up my husband to you. I ask that you would balance anything in my husband’s body and mind that are not lined up with your design. Please nudge him to make better choices with what he eats and drinks. Where there is an addiction of any kind, I beg you to sever the agreements he has made, and restore him to full mental and physical health. Help me to be an example of a person who takes care of herself, and help me support him in working towards his health goals. Amen.
Day 7: Your oneness.
Jesus, I lift up my marriage to you. It is broken. It sometimes feels irreparable. If I’m honest, I’m not sure I want it to continue, and I have no idea what else to do to fix it. But you are holy and you are powerful and you are all-knowing. Please enter in. You desire us to be whole. You desire us to live out our oneness on a daily basis. And to do that, we will need your help. Protect us from the enemy. Place a hedge of protection around our relationship. Keep all others out. Bring us healing and strengthen our partnership. Help me do things that build into us and not tear us apart. Today, I am declaring that I am fighting for my marriage. Amen.
Sweet girl, if this is you – if you are in a harder than hard marriage – there is hope and tangible help available to you. I would love to work with you one-on-one via coaching, or if you prefer a self-led journey, consider my MarriageMethods four-week Boost.