“Do you pray?” For your husband? For your wife? Not married yet? How about for the one you will marry?
I often ask this question to any woman, or man, who confides in me that their marriage is not in a “good place.”
Their answer is always the same! “Not as much as I should.”
Why, I wonder? Prayer is one of the most precious privileges God has invited, even commanded, us to participate in.
Look at a few things the Bible reveals about prayer:
(Jesus said), “And WHEN you pray...” Matthew 6:5
Husbands, (do this)...so your prayers WILL NOT BE HINDERED. I Peter 3:7
NEVER STOP praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
(God) is able to DO IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us! Ephesians 3:20
(Jesus said) “When someone gives you a hard time, RESPOND WITH THE ENERGIES OF PRAYER, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does.” Matthew 5:44 MSG
So, I ask you, dear reader, do you pray for your spouse? (Or, the one you will marry someday?)
This year, as Valentine’s Day approaches, and I prepare to speak on marriage, I am reminded of how essential and valuable prayer has been in my own marriage over the past thirty-one years.
As the day, which symbolizes romance, flowers and chocolate, fast approaches, I challenge you to give your valentine the most priceless and, yet, costly gift imaginable. Give her/him the gift of your prayers!
Consider two conditions however:
First, Jesus said, “When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (No need to boast about the gift you are giving. Give her/him something tangible as well. Pray about what would bless your husband/wife.)
Second, pray unselfishly! Not for your own good, pray for theirs. (You may well benefit, but your purpose is to focus on your spouse.)
How do you begin? Here are simple, but powerful ways you can pray (even if you're not "feelin it").
5 Ways to Pray for the One You Love
1) Lord, bless _______________!
2) Lord, help _______________ to become every bit the man/woman of God that You created him/her to be. And, use me as an instrument to help _______________ become that man or woman. May I not be a stumbling block to hinder Your work.
3) Lord, teach me how to love _______________.
4) (This one is the hardest!) Lord, I thank You for ________________ just the way she/he is! God, I ask You to CHANGE ME (and make ME who and how You need and want me to be in this marriage.)
5) Finally, pray scriptures for your wife/husband!
Husbands: Lord, teach me how to give honor to my wife, to treat her with understanding as we live together. Remind me that even where she may be weaker than I am, that she is my equal partner in Your gift of new life! Help me to treat her as I should so that my prayers will not be hindered! I Peter 3:7
Wives: Lord, teach me to clothe myself with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to You, God. Help me, Lord, to be the wife my husband can trust in, and who will greatly enrich his life. Show me how to bring him good, not harm, all the days of my life. I Peter 3:4 and Proverbs 31:11-12
So I ask, Will you give your spouse the gift of your prayers? Will you commit to pray for the good of your spouse every day? I encourage you to try it, even for one month. Expect and look for God’s answers in your own life, as well as theirs.
I will be praying for you! And, I will be checking back! (If you miss a day, just start again the next day.) Don't give up! Simply, pray!