When people are faced with a severe crisis, they pray. A friend of mine had a nonreligious grandfather who fought in World War II. He used to utter the phrase, “There are no atheists in foxholes and hospitals.” I’m sure he wasn’t the first to say it. Why wait for a crisis? Studies do bear out this fact—couples that pray together, stay together. It’s amazing how many problems will be corrected when a couple will diligently pray and ask God for help.
Here are a few tips:
Pray with your wife every day at the same time. Limit interruptions. Let your kids know the two of you will be praying, and you expect them to give you a few minutes of peace. Take a couple moments to talk to each other about what you will pray for. If you feel awkward praying, it’s OK! Just do it…even if it’s only for 30 seconds…it’s a start. Pray for your marriage. Prayer is a high level of family communication. Here are 10 things to pray specifically for your marriage.
1. Pray for one another.
Scripture is consistently clear regarding the focus of energy in a relationship; it should always be “other” oriented. When we pray for our spouse as a primary focus, then we are likely to:
Be willing to be a part of the answer to that prayer.
Value our spouse more intentionally.
Love our spouse more deeply.
Avoid marriage conflict.
2. Pray for this day (today).
Today is the most important moment in a marriage. Not what we might do some other day, but how our marriage functions right now. When we ask God specifically to be a part of our today, then we are more likely to keep God in each moment.
3. Pray to be the presence of Christ in your marriage.
This is more than WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). This is understanding that God uses us to actually be the presence of Christ. Be Christ to your wife. Be Christ for your children. Be Christ in the home.
4. Pray that your marriage will be a positive influence on others.
“So that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”—Philippians 2:15-16a
5. Pray for your partner’s dreams.
This is helpful because it requires us to listen and to value our partner’s dreams. When we understand our partner’s dreams then we are by definition more loving husbands.
6. Pray for your children.
Then let them know you pray for them every day. When kids know their parents are actually praying for them, and that they can count on those prayers every day, that knowledge is powerful.
7. Pray that you will be a better husband.
Jack Nicholson’s classic line in As Good as it Gets testifies, “You make me want to be a better man.” Ask God to help you to be a better husband, and do it while in prayer with your wife. Humility and love in one breath.
8. Pray for wisdom.
Parenting is tough enough. Pray for wisdom. Then believe God honors your prayer.
9. Pray for a family vision.
It’s easy to “mark time”, both as a marriage and as a family. Pray for a guiding, overarching family vision.
10. Pray for protection.
Families are vulnerable in our culture. Relationships are vulnerable to many pressures. Our commitments to faithfulness, family values, and faith are all under constant assault. We can’t fight this alone. We simply must pray together.
For Good Measure: Pray for peace.
The song puts it this way, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” Let peace begin with you, in prayer, and in your home. “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace…” Amen.