Our son Payton got engaged to his lovely Nicole this week, and we’re so grateful for how God has led them to this point. I’ve prayed for God to bring her into his life since he was born, and now I pray that the two of them will enjoy the wonderful life that a godly marriage provides and that they will make a massive impact on our world for Christ.
When Payton asked Nicole to be his wife, I began to pray that God would teach both Payton and Nicole how to love each other as God intended. As I’ve been praying towards that end, God has reminded me of many things He’s taught me through the years of our marriage, and I wanted to share one such lesson with you this week.
Our Marriage Prayer
Many years ago, when we had but three tiny little children, I composed a prayer for David and me. Since that day, we’ve prominently displayed it to remind us always to lay our marriage on the altar and lift this precious relationship before God’s throne every day.
This simple prayer is based on my study of I Peter 4, and I pray it’s as helpful a reminder for you and your spouse as it has been for David and me.
May we be clear-minded and self-controlled so that we can pray. —How important it is to exercise self-control in our marriages! When we allow our emotions to run wild and overtake our judgment, it becomes hard to talk to God about what’s going on in our lives. We first need to pray for clear thinking and self-control so we can pray effectively for our marriage.
Above all, may we love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. — Oh, how we need to allow love to cover a multitude of sins within our families. It’s easy to hold grudges, remember offenses, be easily offended, and lash out at the one we hold most dear, but we need to love deeply instead. Your spouse is such a precious gift!
May we offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. — Have you ever found that you’re more accommodating of others than your spouse? Should that be the case? Of course not! I want to make David feel always wanted and welcome. I want our home to be his favorite place to be. I want to show him even more hospitality than anyone else… and do it without grumbling or noting all I’m doing. (Sometimes, drawing attention to all we’re doing is a big temptation, isn’t it?)
May we use whatever gift we have received to serve each other.– God has gifted each of us in extraordinary and unique ways. Do you utilize those gifts to serve your spouse, or are you only looking at opportunities to serve others? God really got my attention with this one. The gifts God gave me must be utilized in serving my spouse and children. They should never get what’s left over of me. This is a great tool Satan uses in his quest to destroy our families. We are too spent to serve at home, so our spouses only get the brittle pieces of us that remain after we have given all we have to others.
When we speak, may we do it as one speaking the very words of God.– Oh, how our speech must represent how God would have us communicate. Does your spouse get the very best of your speech? Are you as careful in how you craft your words when speaking to them as when speaking with others? If not, why? Why are we so careless in the way we talk to our spouses? Why do we expect them not to bristle at things we would never say to anyone else? (Or at least we would never say in the same way!)
When we serve, may we do it with the strength God provides so that God may be praised in all things. — May our marriages be solid and healthy, pointing a lost world to the God Who created the family in the first place. May we recognize that it is only by His grace and strength that we can live peacefully and lovingly within our marriages. May we be willing to serve Him and our families in all things.
After I began praying that passage for our marriage, God impressed on me to pray more scriptures strategically for David, and He used my praying those scriptures for David to show me ways I could help him become the man God called him to be. Much to my surprise, I saw God transform my heart even as He worked in David’s.
If I could give young couples like Payton and Nicole or more established couples like you any advice, it would be to regularly and strategically pray for your spouse. It will change your marriage for the better! I guarantee it.
By signing up here, you can take advantage of a resource I created for families that will give you 35 days of scriptural prayer prompts and some ideas to apply as you pray. I hope you’ll commit to praying this way, and I’d love to hear how God uses those prayers within your marriage.