Prayer Improved My Marriage
By: Beth Steffaniak
As you might already know, I’m beginning a new series on how we can “Persevere in the Lord” in our messy marriages and lives. Last week I shared how challenging our faulty thinking is one powerful way to persevere.
This week I want to offer another practical and spiritual step we can take to “persevere in the Lord”—especially when life and marriage hammers us or simply gets under our skin.
When you and I get married, we blend our lives with another person who is facing these hard and unfair challenges. In other words, we double the harsh impact of life with a spouse in the picture, and this only grows exponentially with every child we decide to bring into our “marital nest.”
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t marry or have children, but you should be aware and accepting of the harsh realities of life and marriage (see 1 Cor. 7:32-35).
1 Corinthians 7:32-35 (NIV)
32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
One very powerful way to persevere in the Lord is to . . .
Make praying for your marriage a priority!
I’m talking praying sincere, consistent and Scripture-based prayers day in and day out for the rest of your life. It may feel awkward and scary at first, but as you pray daily and continuously for your marriage, it will become like the air you breathe. You won’t want to go without it!
Consider the promise that Scripture gives us regarding this “priority” . . .
“ . . . The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
You might feel like, well, that excludes me because I’m not righteous!
But if you have received Christ’s salvation and forgiveness, you have His righteousness .
Just remember that your position in Christ never changes, no matter how far you stray! Even though the closeness of your relationship with Christ can be negatively impacted by the sins you commit, your position and relationship to Him are never severed (Rom. 8:38-39)!
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
About three years ago a friend of mine, Becky Boerner, came to me and asked if we could start a marriage prayer group together. That was the best idea ever! Thanks so much, Becky!
I’ve not only seen my marriage blessed by prayer, but so many other wives touched, inspired and encouraged in their marriages through our perseverance in praying for one another in life and marriage.
How prayer has been “effective” in my life and marriage . . .
- God has used it to help me see my husband through His loving eyes.
- God has softened my heart regarding longstanding relationship conflicts I have with my hubby.
- God has given me a greater desire to love my hubby like He loves us.
- Prayer has drawn me closer to Christ and helped me to love God and experience His love more deeply—which filled (and fills) up what my hubby can never completely fill because he is human and imperfect.
I could go on and on, because there are so MANY blessings and encouragements I’ve experienced through praying for my spouse and marriage, but I’ll keep it brief for today.
However, I am hoping it will stir a conversation here that you might add to in the comments! Also I hope you’ll join me next week for another practical and spiritual way to persevere and find hope in your marriage!