We pray when we are at church, before we eat, and at bedtime with children. Often we pray for direction and guidance for careers, our personal battles, and our enemies. We use prayer for healing, to change in the world, and to ask for miracles. But how often do we pray for our own spouse?
In your day to day living, your spouse is the person you probably complain about the most, argue with the most, and the one that does the most things that drive you absolutely crazy. In addition to this, they are the ones that get taken for granted, in both your life and your prayer life. Imagine the transformation that could take place if you made it a priority to pray for your spouse, instead of just complaining about them! The following 7 areas are suggestions to help you begin praying for your spouse; one topic for each day of the week.
1. Pray for a Shift in Priorities
It can be frustrating if your spouse puts their job or other commitments before the family or the marriage, even if it isn’t on purpose. This usually produces a lot of hurt feelings, arguing, and stress on both the husband and the wife. Use this opportunity to pray for your spouse, that God will help them to see that they need to readjust their priorities. Also hand over to God the anger or other negative feelings that you have experienced because of this. Know that He can give you peace and patience with your spouse through prayer.
2. Pray for Change
Sometimes we just need to pray for our spouse’s weaknesses. However, this is not an invitation for you to pick out every little thing your spouse does that drives you crazy! Focus on one or two bigger issues, such as their temper or if they struggle to communicate feelings. Through prayer, ask that God will first support them in being aware of these problem traits, and then help them to make progress. Also pray for understanding of where your spouse is coming from and patience to guide you when addressing these areas.
3. Pray for Resolution
Does it feel like you and your spouse have the same arguments over and over again, with no resolution? Pray about the negative breakdown in communication that occurs between you and your spouse. Ask God for guidance to better speak one another’s languages, and that you can remain loving and respectful towards one another even when you really want to yell, call names, or curse. In addition, pray that God will speak through you and give you the words of wisdom you need.
4. Pray for Protection
There are so many things in a span of a day that can go wrong, putting your spouse in harm’s way. Make sure to pray that God is watching over them, helping them to avoid situations that are unhealthy, negative, or dangerous. Ask God to help your spouse avoid situations that could be tempting them to sin. This is also something that you can ask God for help with in your own life, in order to make you a better person and a better spouse in your marriage.
5. Pray for Guidance
How often does your spouse need to make important decisions at work or when they are away from you that impact your lives? That’s why it’s important to pray that God provides clarity and guidance to your spouse in these moments. What about the times when you need to make an important decision together? Again, it’s imperative to pray for guidance from God for yourself and your spouse to make the right choice that pleases Him. Remember to pray to God that His will be done, not yours.
6. Pray for Peace
We all know how life issues can cause our spouse to feel stress and anxiety, and how those feelings of being overwhelmed bring additional stress into your marriage. Imagine how different things could be if you prayed for peace for your spouse. With so much chaos and turmoil that goes on, pray for your spouse to feel an inner calm and to be able to focus on what’s most important: their relationship with God, and their commitment to your marriage and family. In addition, use prayer to ask that God makes you an instrument of His peace in your own marriage.
7. Pray to be Thankful
Often our prayers are all about me, me, me! How often do we use prayer just to thank God for what He has blessed us with? Make sure to thank Him for the gift of your spouse (yes, they are a gift!), the positive things in your marriage, and the promise that despite the tough times, He will always be there. In addition, make sure to tell God how grateful you are for the little things in your marriage. Ask for help in remembering how truly blessed you are, and to remind you to never take your spouse for granted.
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling. Christy enjoys doing marriage/couples counseling, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also provides family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.
Journey to Joy Counseling serves the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.