Effective Ways to Pray for Your Marriage

Sunday, July 15, 2018 @ 3:18 PM

You already know you should pray for your marriage on a consistent basis. But sometimes it seems like nothing is changing. Perhaps that's because God's waiting for you to pray for the right things. I know this from personal experience.The unraveling of my own marriage was not something that announced itself with the formality or grandeur of a symphony orchestra.It was more of a quiet, consistent, side note. And an off-key on at that. Slowly over time, other things took priority.

For me, it was becoming a mom, while also trying to build a new business. My days and effort were dedicated to my two babies (one live, one birthed through my mind, computer and Facebook live streams), which left little energy or time for my husband and I. But he didn’t complain, and we were “good” so that pattern and way of living became our norm.

We got used to living parallel lives that would sometimes intersect when it was necessary and convenient for us to do so. In the space that used to be our own we soon found an uncomfortable distance, growing disagreement, and unspoken discontent. Soon, small disagreements turned into bigger arguments which meant days of uncomfortable silent treatment. In the silence, the enemy filled my mind with negative thoughts about my husband and I began to stew in resentment.

Praying for My Marriage?

Let me be honest here. I knew I should be praying for my marriage. But many, many times, I just didn't want to, or if I did it was not as sincere as it should have been. Being angry and being in the "right" felt better than going to God for any correction or pointing out of what I needed to be doing differently myself. Slowly God worked on that area of my thinking and I positioned myself to let Him lead me and give me a desire to pray for my marriage in the way I truly needed to.

It wasn’t until I truly humbled myself before God and humbled myself before my husband that I experienced the transformation that I needed. And to be completely transparent, that transformation is an ongoing process. I’m not 100% there yet, but with what has already happened through my renewed prayers and through the actions I take as a result of those prayers, my marriage is on incredibly solid and happy ground.

And while I can't say exactly what has happened from my husband's perspective, I can share what happened for me as a wife. It started with reading the The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. What I love about that book is that the first chapter is focused on praying for yourself and the ways God needs to change your heart and attitude about your marriage.

But this, I already knew. These things, I was already praying. And perhaps it was this way of thinking, “that I already knew” that prevented me from uncovering what I needed to uncover. As I started reading, I expected to read what I had heard before. About how to be more loving, kind, compassionate and forgiving. And I was already working on those things. But there came a moment where it was if God, Stormie, and my husband were all in cahoots to get a very critical and very urgent message delivered to me.

Happy Homemaker?

First, she talked about our role as wives and how it’s our responsibility to make sure our home is a “source of contentment, acceptance, rejuvenation, nurturing, rest, and love for your family.” That our home should be a “safe place that builds up your family.” She specifically mentioned asking God to help you keep the house clean, the laundry done, the kitchen in order, the pantry and refrigerator full, and the beds made.

On any other day, these words would have been rejected by me. I’m a modern woman, who expects my husband to be a partner, not my patriarch. I’ve got things to do too, and we should be sharing those duties equally. But it was if God himself breathed on those words and let me inhale them in the true spirit with which they were intended. And I knew I had not been making my home. I had been making my business and neglected the one area that I was designed to rule over.

Husband as the Head?

Next, she talked about how we are to allow our husband to be the head. Oh, my goodness, not the submissive wife thing! Again, I’m a modern woman, who will not let anyone TELL me what to do. But that message, in the way it was intended for me was more about the ways I had been seeking my husband’s guidance and advice, and when it didn’t align with what I really wanted to do, I just did things my own way.

He is not the type of person to really ever TELL me what do to. He just gives his perspective and opinion, and often ends with “but you do what you want to do.” I often misinterpreted those statements because I wasn’t listening to the undertones.

And so, as I did “what I wanted to do” I subtly disrespected the authority and covering provided by my husband’s wisdom. And I ended the year in a difficult place financially in my business because I did not heed his advice.

United as One?

And lastly (at least for me on this day) she talked about unity in marriage. I had been going faster, harder, stronger in my business, when my husband really wanted me to slow down, pause and rest. And in the spirit of being a determined entrepreneur, I chalked it up the enemy trying to prevent me from stepping into all that God had called me to do. I told myself my husband was just the voice of doubt and negativity, and that I had to literally shut out his voice from my mind as I continued to move forward.Good Lord, I’m so grateful God convicted me in that moment and showed me a scripture I’d likely not have come across. It’s 1 Corinthians 11:11. And can I tell you I read this at exactly 1:11 in the afternoon. God will send you signs!

It reads: “Neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.” Which then somehow led me to find, 1 Corinthians 1:10: "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought."

Oh. My. God.

I had a major epiphany which immediately took me back to January 2015 when I left my job to pursue my business full time and the year my husband and I launched our first couple’s event. We STARTED this business united, on one accord. And slowly over the years as my impatience, ambition, and need for external validation, I allowed the business to create a wedge between us. Roadblock after roadblock, obstacle, after obstacle, I had not really considered that the key to taking my work to the next level, rested in the unity within my own marriage.

What happened for me in the reading of The Power of a Praying Wife is only one part of the puzzle of putting my marriage back in place. I could talk about how on a simple drive from dropping my children off at daycare, God showed me snapshots of all the ways I was in the wrong in my interactions with my husband, or a 2 hour conversation with my dear friend Ndidi who, as a newlywed, schooled me in ways I would have never expected. Or how reading my very own book, Voices in Your Ear, has made me become a more humble student of my own teachings. I think this experience illustrates that in order to see God move in your marriage in a new way, you have to pray for new things in new ways.

How is God Speaking to You?

This process of restoring my marriage is an ongoing one, where God continues to reveal to me the things I need to know and see. And all I need to do is remain an open vessel for Him to pour into me the very things I need to keep taking the right steps.

Whenever I read a book that helps me through a difficult time, or whenever I speak to someone who has the exact piece of encouragement I need to hear, I’m grateful to God for their obedience. They could have easily not bothered to write, or not bothered to call. But it’s in their act of obedience, that I get the breakthrough I need. And perhaps in my own obedience to the nudge of God to tell my truth here to you in all it’s messy honesty, you might have your own breakthrough and ah-ha moment.

Maybe it’s happened for you already in reading this blog post. Perhaps it’s waiting for you in some future communication. What I do know is that in writing to you now, my intention is to inspire you to turn yourself over to God in prayer for your marriage in a way that you may not had done previously. Because before I could ever receive what Stormie had for me in her book, I had to open my heart to be receptive to receive. And sometimes, that’s really hard to do. Sometimes you don’t want to forgive, or let it go, or find a way to work it out. Sometimes you just want to be right, to have it be your way, and to blame your husband for all his shortcomings. It’s enticing and satisfying to the ego that way.But it grieves God’s spirit. And it makes you fall prey to the real enemy in your marriage, which is never, never your husband.

An Invitation to Prayer

I want to invite you to prayer with me. I want to share some of the specific prayers I've had for my own marriage, and how to pray in a way that truly enables God to transform you from the inside out. Sometimes we pray for our marriage, but nothing happens because we’re not quite right ourselves. We harbor resentment, we are unwilling to forgive, and we think there is only one solution to the issues we face.

But in order for God to do something new in your marriage, you’ve got to give him something new to work with. And that starts with you. You’ve got to give him a spirit that’s willing to be obedient and a mind that’s open to seeing things a different way. You’ve got to give him effort to do your part and to discipline to do what’s right even when you don’t feel like it. You’ve got to give him a willingness to be vulnerable, and a heart that wants to forgive.

If you want to get to that place, and would like to receive strategic and specific prayers to guide you to getting there, you may want to sign up to receive my 5 -Day Marriage Prayer Challenge. Each day you’ll receive a new prayer recording to stretch you, challenge you, and nudge you to grow in mindset, attitude and behavior so that you open the right doors for God to work in your marriage. These are the very prayers I often pray for myself, and I can attest to the move of God within my own heart and mind. I’d love to have you experience the same.

I know that you found this post for a reason. That there's something God wants to show you. One of the ways he speaks to us is through our prayer time with Him. And not just those little cute, quick 2-minute prayers we recite as we're already half asleep in bed.

Maybe you need to go deeper into prayer for yourself. Maybe your mind first needs to be renewed before you ever see any change in your marriage. Maybe you just need a new perspective on what it will take to restore you marriage to a stronger and happier place.

What are you taking away from this time right now?

Post in the comments what's stuck with you the most. And if you found this helpful in any way, please consider sharing it with someone who's marriage you want to see succeed.

Yours in constant prayer,
Dr. Chavonne