Whether you’re engaged and want to get your marriage off on the right foot or you’ve been married for a while and realize your marriage needs work, the best thing you can do is pray. Unfortunately, prayer is often our last resort instead of our first line of defense. We’ve all been there, but the fact that you’re here right now says that prayer is important to you! And I’m excited to share these three powerful ways to pray for your marriage.

Before we jump in I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. Prayer isn’t powerful. (gasp!) Let me explain. Lots of people pray, but prayer in and of itself has zero power. It’s who we pray to that has the power. It’s God – the Creator of the Universe – who lives eternally in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – that holds the power.

If you’re just throwing words out into the universe, uncertain of where they’re landing then I want to let you know you’re missing out! Jesus left heaven and came to earth to live a perfect life and die the death that you deserve. If you accept his sacrifice in your place for your sins, then the Holy Spirit comes and takes up residence in your heart, and your relationship with the Creator is mended!

That means, when you pray, he hears! It doesn’t mean that whatever you pray for will be answered. God isn’t your own personal genie, but he hears. And if you ask for things according to his will, he’s pleased to answer and go to bat on your behalf. No prayer isn’t powerful, but the One we pray to is!

pray for your marriage

What to pray for your marriage…

There are a billion books out there on prayer. A seemingly infinite amount of Bible verses to consider. Where do you start? Honestly, I wouldn’t stress about it. The beautiful thing about God is that he wants to help us. He loves to hear from us. Even though I struggle to remember this, I 100% believe that God isn’t out there trying to make life hard on us.

What should you pray? Start with whatever is on your heart. One of my favorite books on prayer reminds me that selfish prayers are a part of spiritual growth. We can’t get to depth with God if we don’t start in the shallow end. So don’t overthink it. Just talk to him about every aspect of your marriage. Beyond that, just love the Bible. Seek knowledge and understanding. If you do those things, then He’ll show you what prayers to pray.

Out of my own selfish prayers, studying of scripture, and desire for more knowledge and understanding I’ve come to realize the following list of prayers are generally great things to be praying about for your marriage. I hope they’ll be a help to you and your spouse 🙂

Pray for Yourself

It may seem counterintuitive, but if you want to pray for your marriage start by praying for yourself. So often we ask God to fix our spouse or fix our relationship, but we forget that we’re a part of the relationship. I remember praying one time, “God, I can’t imagine any way that this argument is my fault. If I’m wrong, please show me.” It wasn’t super genuine. I honestly thought God would say, “You’re right Sarah. You did nothing wrong. Just sit here and wait while I go deal with Trent.”

Instead, he answered my prayer and showed me just how much I had contributed to the fight. I didn’t love that, but it was for the best. Here are some things you can pray for yourself that will have a positive effect on your marriage.

  1. To reflect the love of Christ: Philippians 2: 3-11 reminds us that the one person who could boast, be prideful, and require others to serve their every whim… didn’t. Jesus instead was humble and lovingly served his enemies, to the point of death. Pray that you would willingly reflect that same kind of love to your spouse.
  2. To reflect the fruit of the Spirit: If the Holy Spirit lives inside of you, then there should be some visible fruit on the outside. Read Galatians 5:22-23, and ask God to make those things evident in your life.
  3. For the Holy Spirit to reveal any room for improvement: You may not be able to pinpoint a specific scripture to pray, but being humble enough to accept your shortcomings and work to improve them is a mark of maturity. Sanctification is a life-long pursuit, so be ready for a long ride.

Pray for Your Spouse

You may want to pray for your marriage, but are you praying for your spouse specifically? They’re on a journey of their own and have their own unique hang-ups. That list of things above can be duplicated down here, but there are a couple of additional things to pray about for your “other half.”

  1. Their unique struggles: Maybe your spouse isn’t a great communicator. Maybe they don’t love or respect you like you feel they should. Have you ever thought about how much their past defines them? How much the way they grew up has a hold on their actions? You can harp on them to change, but it won’t have any lasting effect. Pray for Holy Spirit conviction.
  2. Their anxieties: You either know what they are, or you know what the side effects are. Ask God to remind them of Truth – that He’s in control and working all things for their good. Ask the Holy Spirit to give them peace from within, even if their circumstances don’t change.

Pray for Your Marriage

I’d be willing to bet that if you’re regularly praying for yourself and your spouse then your marriage will start to change for the better. A marriage is just the union of two people. If those two people are running towards Jesus full force, their relationship will be all the better for it.

However, two individuals can love Jesus and still have issues. I mean, we’re still just two individual people with unique wants, needs, and struggles, so here are some things to pray about for your marriage as a whole.

  1. Good Communication: Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Pray that the Holy Spirit would help to bridle your tongues so the words you speak to each other are life-giving.
  2. Love + Respect: Ephesians 5:21-33 is one of the best blueprints for marriage found in the Bible. It talks about mutual submission, love, and respect. And it ends by saying that the marriage between a man and a woman is a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the Church. If these things don’t describe your marriage, pray for them to be so.
  3. Intimacy (mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical): Spouses should know more about each other than anyone else. If there are any walls up between you, pray that the Lord would tear them down. If one of you needs to confess any hidden sin or offense, ask for conviction, strength, understanding, and forgiveness.
pray for your marriage

Prayer Won’t Fix Your Problems

I know. This sounds sacrilegious, but it’s true. If your marriage needs help, the first place you should run is to God, through prayer. However, you have to do your part. The Holy Spirit will convict, encourage, and strengthen both you and your spouse, but He won’t move you like a puppet. You have to put your hands to the work.

I hope my saying that doesn’t keep you from prayer. I believe you should definitely pray! It’s just that I’ve seen a lot of couples in the church who seem to think all change is God’s job. That’s not the case. It’s a partnership. Let Him do what only he can do, and be vigilant to do what you can.

Because that’s the better way,

QUESTION: what are some things that you pray about for your marriage? is there a bible verse or book that you love? let us know in a comment below!

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And if communication is an issue for you, you may want to check out this other blog: 5 Ways to Improve Communication in Marriage

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