Pray Over Your Marriage

From Proverbs31 Ministries. For more from Proverbs31 Ministries, click here.

DAY 1 –  5 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Marriage

 “[Jesus] also told them this parable: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?’” Luke 6:39 (NIV)
 
I sat down to write some thoughts for a young friend getting married. I wanted these words to be encouraging, but also realistic. I didn’t want to pen the typical “best wishes on your wedding day.” Wishes might be sweet for a church full of flowers and white tulle, but it takes a whole lot more for a marriage to go the distance.
 
So I wrote honest thoughts as they came to me:
 
“Being married is incredibly difficult. Being married is amazing. Being married can seem impossibly hard. Being married can seem incredibly beautiful. There is no other person who can frustrate me the way my husband can. There is no other person who can make me feel as loved as my husband can.”
 
As these words tumbled out I wondered if my friend would think I was a bit crazy. One minute I painted marriage as blissful as a kite catching wind and rising to the sky. And the next minute it was as if the string had gotten caught in a thorny bush and sent the kite crashing to the ground with thuds of disappointment.
 
So which is it? Bliss or disappointment?
 
It’s a fragile blend of both.
 
In the end, I crumpled up my original note and simply wrote this: “Determine to pray more words over your marriage than you speak about your marriage.”
 
I wrote that note not because it had been true for my relationship but because suddenly I wanted it to be true.
 
The teacher being taught by her own lesson.
 
And you know what I’ve discovered in the weeks since? I haven’t been praying nearly enough for my marriage.
 
I think about things. Discuss things. Complain about things. Attempt to fix things. Work on things. Apologize for things. Want to change things. And then I discuss things some more.
 
Maybe you can relate?

But talking about things, thinking about things and working on things … these are not at all the same as praying for them.
 
That’s why I’m so glad we have these next 5 days together to set aside time and pray boldly for our marriages.
 
In our key verse, Luke 6:39, Jesus asks an important but simple question, “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?” My husband and I need Jesus leading us, guiding us, teaching us, redirecting us and showing us how to have a marriage that honors Him and each other.
 
So let’s make a goal together to spend a lot less time in the pit. Praying more words over our marriages will certainly be key to this.
 
Here are some Scriptures I’m praying over my marriage. I want to invite you to pray these over the next 5 days (and beyond!) with me:
 
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters … You, LORD, are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light” (2 Samuel 22:17 and 29, NIV).
 
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:6, NIV).
 
“What then shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”(Romans 8:31, NIV).
 
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”(Ephesians 6:12, NIV).
 
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, NIV).
 
Actually getting intentional about praying Scripture over our marriages is a wonderful investment we can make today.
 
PRAYER
Dear Lord, sometimes I talk about my marriage more than I pray about my marriage. Help me to focus on praying boldly over my husband, our marriage, and our family consistently. I want to be intentional about praying so that I may see Your faithfulness and gain confidence in trusting You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Lysa TerKeurst

*Proverbs31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, & their associates are not affiliated and do not sponsor or fund WifeCode828. This is a personal blog and we enjoy sharing resources to benefit God’s kingdom. Our sole purpose in sharing the content above is to help us all grow. We believe the Proverbs31 Ministries bless all wives and feel led to share some of their content while giving full credit to their work. Please see the actual Proverbs31.org website for full content, their materials, and events.


 DAY 2- The 3 Marriage Lies

“[Love] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13: 7-8a(NIV)
 
I know the heart-ripping hopelessness of a relationship unraveling. The coexisting. The silent tension. The tears.
 
The first five years of my marriage were really hard. Two sinners coming together with loads of baggage, unrealistic expectations and extremely strong wills.
 
There was yelling. There was the silent treatment. There were doors slammed. There was bitterness. There was a contemplation of calling it quits. There was this sinking feeling that things would never, could never get better. That’s when I first started hearing the 3 lies:
 
I married the wrong person.
 
He should make me feel loved.
 
There is someone else better out there.
 
I believed those lies. They started to weave a tangled web of confusion in my heart. All I could see was all that was wrong with him. I became so blind to his good. I became so blind to my not-so-good.
 
And I wasn’t shy about sharing my frustrations about the whole situation with my friends.
 
Many nodded their head in agreement with me, making me feel ever so justified. But one didn’t. She said, “I know what you think. But what does the Bible say?”
 
Ugghhhh. The Bible? I didn’t think her “religious suggestion” would help me. But over the next couple of days, I kept hearing her question about looking into the Bible replaying over and over in my mind.
 
Reluctantly and with great skepticism, I tried it one afternoon. I turned to a couple of verses she suggested including 1 Corinthians 13. As I read the list of everything love is supposed to be, I got discouraged. My love didn’t feel kind, patient or persevering. The love in my marriage felt broken.
 
I closed the Bible. It didn’t seem to do anything but make me feel worse. So much for that.
 
Then a few days later I heard an interview on a Christian radio station where a couple was talking about these same verses. I wanted to gag and turn the station. What do they know about how hard love can be? That’s when they said a statement that grabbed me, “Love isn’t a feeling, it’s a decision.”
 
Wow.
 
I went home and flipped to 1 Corinthians 13 again. This time instead of reading it like a list of what love should make me feel, I read it as if I could decide to make my love fit these qualities. I boldly declared over my marriage, “my love will be kind. My love will be patient. My love will persevere. Not because I feel it — but because I choose it.”
 
When I talked to my husband about it,  we decided to make some 1 Corinthians 13 love decisions. Slowly, the cold, stone wall between us started to come down.
 
It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t overnight. But slowly our attitudes and our actions toward one another changed. And I stopped believing the marriage lies and replaced them with 3 marriage truths:
 
Having a good marriage is more about being the right partner than having the right partner.
 
Love is a decision.
 
The grass isn’t greener on the other side. It’s greener where you water and fertilize it.
 
Maybe you’ve heard the marriage lies before. Maybe you’re hearing them right now.
 
My heart aches for you if you are in a hard place in your marriage. And believe me, I know tough relationships are stinkin’ complicated and way beyond what a simple devotion can possibly untangle. But maybe something I’ve said today can help loosen one knot… or at least breathe a little hope into your life today.
 
PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank You for this truth, no matter how hard it is to read. I pray 1 Corinthians 13 over my marriage today. I pray that my husband and I would both declare and believe those Biblical qualities for our relationship. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Lysa TerKeurst

*Proverbs31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, & their associates are not affiliated and do not sponsor or fund WifeCode828. This is a personal blog and we enjoy sharing resources to benefit God’s kingdom. Our sole purpose in sharing the content above is to help us all grow. We believe the Proverbs31 Ministries bless all wives and feel led to share some of their content while giving full credit to their work. Please see the actual Proverbs31.org website for full content, their materials, and events.


 DAY 3- Advice to Wives: Stop Praying

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2(NIV)
 
Irritated. Frustrated. Hurt.
 
Those were the words bumping around in my mind as I grabbed my Bible and sat down to do some sort of quiet time.
 
I felt like such a fake mindlessly scanning these words on thin pages. My heart wasn’t connecting. My mind wasn’t tuned in. All I could think about was the argument I’d had with my husband.
 
Why couldn’t he see my point? Why didn’t he understand? Why was he being so stubborn?
 
I closed my Bible and decided a much more productive thing to do with this situation would be to pray. That’s what godly women do. And oh how spiritually sound I felt listing all the many things the Lord could do to fix my man – all that was wrong with him.
 
Sounds spiritual. However, it was anything but.
 
Suddenly in the middle of my prayer, all I could sense God saying was, “Stop.”
 
Stop? Stop praying? Well, that certainly couldn’t be from the Lord … so I kept going.
 
But the word “stop” was pulsing through my mind with each beat of my heart. And deep down, I started to sense why.
 
God wasn’t looking for me to be a “fix him” wife.
 
God was looking for me to be a “love him” wife.
 
I needed to stop praying. At least, I needed to stop praying the way I had been. Yes, there were things my husband needed to work on. But nothing good was happening when all I did was complain about him.
 
I needed to be a wife daring enough to ask God to reveal to me how to love him. And I needed to ask God where I was going wrong—where I was being selfish—where I needed to work.
 
When I shifted my focus on letting God change me, that’s when I started to see real progress.
 
In this season of struggling through all of this, God taught me three powerful lessons:
 
1. Is this an irritation or an issue?
There is a big difference between an irritation and an issue. Identifying the difference helps me pick my battles. If this is just an irritation, maybe I need to practice being more flexible, patient or willing to extend grace.
 
2. Am I praying about or for my husband?
If I do sense something that needs to change, I need to pray for my husband—not about him. Praying about him is just ranting. Praying for him means digging into God’s Word and praying scriptures specific to his struggles. That’s powerful! When we pray the WORD of God, we pray the WILL of God.
 
3. Where is my focus?
I’ll never be able to control how another person acts and reacts, but I certainly can control how I act and react. My focus shouldn’t be on having the right partner. My focus should be on being the right partner.
 
Slowly, as I shifted my heart in these areas, I saw such progress in our marriage. Do I still get irritated, frustrated and hurt? Of course.
 
But when I stopped trying to fix him, I was freed up to choose to love him like we talked about yesterday.
 
I could love him more completely like Ephesians 4:2 reminds us, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” 
 
And loving him is so much more fun and realistic than fixing him.
 
But before we end our time together, I just want to acknowledge that these things we talked about today are easy to type but much harder to live. Good gracious do I readily admit that!
 
I write this to point out my issues… not to heap any kind of condemnation on you. Every marriage is unique and different in their challenges and struggles.  But maybe there is something here that could help you today as you pray for your relationship.
 
PRAYER
Dear Lord, help me to focus on being the right partner. Shift my heart to reflect Yours Lord. Help me to put aside my pride so I can hear You whisper to my heart those things I can do to improve my marriage. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 
Lysa TerKeurst
*Proverbs31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, & their associates are not affiliated and do not sponsor or fund WifeCode828. This is a personal blog and we enjoy sharing resources to benefit God’s kingdom. Our sole purpose in sharing the content above is to help us all grow. We believe the Proverbs31 Ministries bless all wives and feel led to share some of their content while giving full credit to their work. Please see the actual Proverbs31.org website for full content, their materials, and events.


 DAY 4- Jesus Loves Those in Messy Marriages

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” Jeremiah 17:7-8 (MSG)
 
I threw the cup of orange juice across the kitchen. It felt good to do something, anything, to release all the surging anger and frustration. And I didn’t even mind cleaning the pulpy, sticky mess.
 
It felt soothing to know how to clean something. I knew how to wipe away this mess. And I liked seeing the mess disappear.
 
If only my marriage mess could be fixed with soap, water, and a handful of paper towels. If only.
 
No one ever told me about this side of marriage before I donned the white dress and danced to MC Hammer at the reception.
 
But after over 20 years of learning, growing, and pressing through the messes to see something beautiful form in the midst of it all, here’s what I know…
 
Jesus loves those in messy marriages.
 
He loves my husband and me in the midst of it all. Jesus doesn’t love the mess of hurt, isolation, and bitterness. Those are things He wants us to work on. But He never stops loving us.
 
Yes.
 
Jesus loves me. And His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of me. The good parts of me. The broken parts of me. The ugly parts of me. The bitter parts of me. The loving parts of me. And even the part of me that throws orange juice.
 
Yes, He loves me.
 
And Jesus loves my husband. His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of Him. The good parts of him. The broken parts of him. The ugly parts of him. The bitter parts of him. The loving parts of him. And even the part of him that looks at me like I’m crazy when I throw orange juice.
 
Since Jesus loves us both of us, He’s the best source of help for our marriage.
 
I don’t say that without a deep awareness of how stinkin’ hard it is to go to Jesus when I’m mad as fire at my husband.
 
And I certainly don’t say it in naive simplicity. Gracious, I know you might be facing a marriage situation that rips your heart into a thousand pieces every day.
 
But still, I know Jesus is the best source of help.
 
Honest cries for help lifted up to Jesus will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.
 
Jeremiah 17:7-8 in The Message version reminds us:
But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.
 
So, how do I stick with Jesus? I proclaim I’m sticking with Jesus:
 
Jesus, I’m sticking with You.
I’m giving You what I don’t understand and what I can’t fix.
I’m giving You what I don’t like about me.
I’m giving You what I don’t like about him.
And I’m giving You what I don’t like about my marriage.
I’m listening for Your instruction.
I’m positioning myself to go where I’ll hear Your truth.
To talk to others who love You and serve You.
And to read wise instruction from good books and most importantly Your Book—the Bible.
 
And even if it kills me, I’m not throwing any orange juice today. Amen.
 
Jesus loves those in messy marriages. I should know. Though Art and I have a wonderful marriage now, we can still hit some rough patches now and then.
 
But you’ll be happy to know I haven’t thrown any orange juice across the kitchen lately!
 
PRAYER
Dear Lord, so much of me wants to stick with my anger, frustration, and opinions. But I’m choosing to stick with You. Today I’m going to hold my temper, hold my tongue and hold Your Truth. Help me remember that marriage was never meant to make me happy all the time. Marriage is a decision to honor You by honoring the one You’ve entrusted to me to be my husband. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 
Lysa TerKeurst

*Proverbs31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, & their associates are not affiliated and do not sponsor or fund WifeCode828. This is a personal blog and we enjoy sharing resources to benefit God’s kingdom. Our sole purpose in sharing the content above is to help us all grow. We believe the Proverbs31 Ministries bless all wives and feel led to share some of their content while giving full credit to their work. Please see the actual Proverbs31.org website for full content, their materials, and events.


DAY 5- Praying Together For Your Marriage

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry;” Psalm 34:15 (NIV)
 
After these past few days together, I wanted to give you something today that’s priceless to me.  It will be part of my family’s legacy for years to come.  This is the prayer Art’s dad prayed over us at our wedding over 20 years ago.  I can hardly believe it’s been that long.
 
As I read back over this prayer, I am amazed at how God has answered so many of the requests intertwined in the words.  This was being prayed over two broken, fragile, headstrong, needing-to-learn-a-lot individuals. Individuals who 5 years into our marriage weren’t sure we were going to make it.  But we did.
 
And so can you.
 
I would encourage you to take your spouse’s hand and either have someone read this prayer over you or read it together. Use it as a reminder and recommitment.
 
And if your marriage isn’t at a place where that is possible, pray this in the quiet shrine of your heart. God hears you (Psalm 34:15.)  He knows.  He loves you.  He will show you the way.
 
Father in Heaven, thank you for this husband ______, and wife, _______, and their commitment to Christian marriage. As we look ahead, we pray that their future will never lack the convictions that make a marriage strong.
 
Bless this husband, ______. Bless him as provider and protector. Sustain him in all the pressures that come with the task of stewarding a family. May his strength be his wife’s boast and pride, and may he so live that his wife may find in him the haven for which the heart of a woman truly longs.
 
Bless this wife, ______. Give her a tenderness that makes her great, a deep sense of understanding, and a strong faith in You. Give her that inner beauty of soul that never fades, that eternal youth that is found in holding fast to the things that never age. May she so live that her husband may be pleased to reverence her in the shrine of his heart.
 
Teach them that marriage is not living for each other. It is two people uniting and joining hands to serve You. Give them a great spiritual purpose in life. May they seek first Your kingdom and Your righteousness, knowing that You will sustain them through all of life’s challenges.
 
May they minimize each other’s weaknesses and be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths so that they might view each other through a lover’s kind and patient eyes. Help them every day to be kind and gentle, more like You. Give them a little something to forgive each day, that their love might learn to be long-suffering.
Bless them and develop their characters as they walk together with You. Give them enough hurts to keep them humane, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours, and enough of success to make them sure they walk with You throughout all of their life.
 
May they never take each other’s love for granted but always experience that breathless wonder that exclaims. “Out of all this world, you have chosen me.” Then, when life is done and the sun is setting, may they be found then as now, still hand in hand, still very proud, still thanking You for each other.
 
May they travel together as friends and lovers, brother and sister, husband and wife, father and mother, and as servants of Christ until He shall return or until that day when one shall lay the other into the arms of God. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the Great Lover of our souls. Amen.1
 
Sweet friend, I pray these five days together have been refreshing for your soul and for your prayer life. Please know I’m lifting you and your marriage up to the Lord no matter what your circumstance may be.
 
Because that’s what God’s girls do – we help each other out. 
 
Let’s commit to holding this truth close in the days ahead: prayer does make a difference – a life-changing, mind-blowing, earth-rattling difference. We don’t need to know how. We don’t need to know when. We just need to kneel confidently and know the tremors of a simple Jesus girl’s prayers extend far wide and far high and far deep.
 
PRAYER
Dear Lord, thank You for the opportunity to come before Your throne with every concern I have or blessing I desire for my marriage. I pray these blessings over my husband and myself today, believing You will do immeasurably more in us than we can imagine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. Lysa TerKeurst
 
1. Adapted from Dr. Louis H. Evans “Marriage Prayer for Bride and Groom”

*Proverbs31 Ministries, Lysa TerKeurst, & their associates are not affiliated and do not sponsor or fund WifeCode828. This is a personal blog and we enjoy sharing resources to benefit God’s kingdom. Our sole purpose in sharing the content above is to help us all grow. We believe the Proverbs31 Ministries bless all wives and feel led to share some of their content while giving full credit to their work. Please see the actual Proverbs31.org website for full content, their materials, and events.

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