cclesiastes 4:12 says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” It’s when a husband and wife are both seeking the Lord and submitting themselves to Him, that they can make a great impact for the Kingdom of God.
A marriage built on the strong foundation of Christ is a threat to the enemy. While you’re dangerous as a united team, separately, you pose much less of a threat. This is why the enemy will do everything he can to cause tension, anger, bitterness, trust issues, passivity, and resentment in your marriage.
The best weapon we have to combat the enemy is prayer. Prayer acknowledges that we can’t win this fight on our own. Our marriages need the protection of the Holy Spirit. Prayer invites the Holy Spirit to fight for us and with us, keeping us from falling into passivity in our marriages and with our spouses. Passivity and purposeful ignorance lead to an entitlement that will easily crumble a marriage.
Here are five prayers to get you started:
- Lord, help us to keep perspective about who the actual culprit is.
- Lord, help us to choose our marriage over our pride. Convict us of our pride and cast it away, by whatever means necessary.
- Lord, open our eyes so that we see our spouse the way you see them.
- Lord, keep our hearts soft, ready to repent, and ready to actively seek reconciliation.
- Lord, give us grace for one another.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
Your spouse is not your enemy! Whatever you may be going through, remember to keep perspective on who the real enemy is. Remember that he wants you to have a disconnect in your marriage. Don’t allow it! You are not in competition; you are not against one another. You are one flesh, on the same team. It’s the two of you against the problem.
“Clothe yourself with humility.” – 1 Peter 5:5
There is nothing that kills a relationship faster than pride. When we choose pride over our marriage, this breeds selfishness and entitlement. This is a silent killer. It can creep into a marriage so easily and fester a destructive bitterness without us even realizing it’s happening. While this is a scary prayer to pray because God often answers these types of prayer with situations where we must learn to surrender pride, it’s an act of submission and definitely worth it.
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with His pleasure and will.” – Ephesians 1:4-5
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” – Genesis 1:27
The longer we are married, the more the negative parts of our spouse can begin to overshadow the good parts. Unless we’re intentional about seeing those wonderful parts of our spouses, the focus will be on those traits that irritate us, causing a natural division between a husband and wife. We need to keep the perspective that our spouse is God’s child first, and then our husband or wife second. He loves them immeasurably and views them through a perfect lens. A marriage that thrives is a marriage that keeps this perspective and is built on thankfulness. When we view our spouses as God sees them and choose to not take them for granted, our hearts will exude joy and loyalty will follow.
“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” – Proverbs 28:13
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” – James 5:16
Taking responsibility and admitting your sin against your spouse is actively loving them. It can be easy to ignore sin and decide it doesn’t matter. But this is passive, prideful, and gives the enemy a secure stronghold. The longer we go without repentance and asking for forgiveness from our spouses and the Lord, the harder our hearts will subtly become. When we lack this softness and gentleness, our marriage will begin to disintegrate.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2
Bearing with one another in love means that we offer our spouses undeserved grace. It’s easy to be loving to our spouse when they’re being kind. But what about those times when they aren’t? We need to show love to our spouse even when it’s difficult. Even when they’re difficult. Our loyalty and love shouldn’t be dependent on their actions. That’s conditional love and it’s insecure. Our love should be unconditional, meeting anger or bitterness with gentleness and compassion.
Prayer is an impenetrable cloak of protection that we can use to safeguard our marriages. We just need to remember to put it on daily. Actively praying with your spouse for your marriage submits to God’s will and embraces Him as our warrior.
Want more on how to pray for your marriage and praying with your spouse? Check out month 3 of our 12-month course, coming soon!
Are there any prayers missing that help a marriage to keep perspective? Do any of these prayers challenge you? Which ones and why? Let us know in the comments–we’d love to hear from you!