Friday, February 6

A Wedding Prayer, a Marriage Prayer

Just recently, I came across the prayer Art’s dad prayed at our wedding. And it occurred to me this is much more than a wedding prayer. It’s a marriage prayer.

As I read back over this prayer, I am amazed at how God has answered so many of the requests intertwined in the words. This was being prayed over two broken, fragile, headstrong, needing-to-learn-a-lot individuals. Individuals who weren’t sure we were going to make it. But we did.

And so can you.

If you know someone who is about to get married, send them a link to this post. But I would also say it’s a great prayer to pray over your marriage now. Whether you’ve been married for 2 weeks or 32 years, take your spouse’s hand and either have someone read this prayer over you or read it together. Use it as a reminder and recommitment.

And if your marriage isn’t at a place where that is possible, pray this in the quiet shrine of your heart. As Psalm 34:15 tells us, God hears you. He knows. He loves you. He will show you the way.

Download a printable version of this prayer here.

Monday, November 17

5 Ways to Pray Boldly For Your Marriage

I was cleaning my kitchen counter the other day and brushed past a framed snapshot taken on my wedding day. Someone caught that moment we were driving away waving to all our wedding guests.

I stared at the photo taken 22 years ago. I laughed at how big my hair was. I sighed at how much smaller my waist was. And I wished I could pull that young bride aside and give her some advice and perspective that would certainly have benefitted me.

I would have whispered…

“Sweetheart, there is only one day where marriage naturally looks like the storybooks. It’s this day. This day, your wedding day, is where every hour has been arranged and planned to be beautiful and special. And as you wave goodbye to this one day, realize what happens from here is all about choices.

Choose to understand that love isn’t always a feeling. Many days love will be a choice. It’s a choice to press through and learn to enjoy the fragile blend of both the bliss and disappointments of two people learning to become a family.

Being married is amazing. Being married is incredibly difficult. Being married can seem impossibly hard. Being married can seem incredibly beautiful. There is no other person who can frustrate me the way my husband can. There is no other person who can make me feel as loved as my husband can.

Yes, marriage is a fragile blend of all this and more.

Remember to keep little things little through the power of prayer, humility, and the discernment to know how and when to address them. Watch these kinds of disillusioning thoughts and capture them before they take root:

He didn’t load the dishwasher even after I asked him to. He doesn’t listen to me.

He just handed me a brochure about the new gym opening down the street. I’m never good enough for him.

He took a phone call while we’re on date night. He doesn’t love me enough to give me his full attention.

Yes, the unraveling places of relationships often occur in these kinds of spots with these kinds of thoughts where little discouragements grow into big wedges of discontentment.

And most of all, remember to pray your marriage through. Don’t fall into the trap of just thinking about your differences, discussing your issues, complaining about your challenges, and attempting to fix these things on your own.

Thinking, talking, complaining and working on those things is not at all the same as praying for them.”

And then I would end this sermonette to my young bride self with the best advice of all, “Remember, the more you do battle for your marriage on your knees, the less you will fight in the flesh.”

And as I finished imagining this conversation I would have so loved to have, I felt challenged that even 22 years later, I needed a fresh dose of applying my own advice.

That’s why I put together this free, 5-day marriage challenge. We need to set aside time to pray boldly over our marriages and proclaim God’s Truth over our spouses.

Whether you’ve been married 3 minutes or over 3 decades, I’d love for you to join me as we determine to not just pray “about” our marriages but to truly pray our marriages to a new place.

I can’t wait to walk through these next 5 days with you.

Sign up for Praying Boldly for Your Marriage: a 5-Day Challenge here.

Tuesday, January 7

5 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Marriage

I sat down to write some thoughts for a young friend getting married. I wanted these words to be encouraging but also realistic. I didn’t want to pen the typical “best wishes on your wedding day.” Wishes might be sweet for a church day full of flowers and white tulle but it takes a whole lot more for a marriage to go the distance.

So I wrote honest thoughts as they came to me:

Being married is incredibly difficult. Being married is amazing. Being married can seem impossibly hard. Being married can seem incredibly beautiful. There is no other person that can make me feel as frustrated as my husband can. There is no other person that can make me feel as loved as my husband can.

As these words tumbled out I wondered if my friend would think I was a bit crazy. One minute I painted marriage as blissful as a kite catching wind and rising to the sky. And the next minute as if the string had gotten caught in a thorny bush and sent the kite crashing to the ground with thuds of disappointment.

So which is it? Bliss or disappointment?

It’s a fragile blend of both.

In the end I crumpled up my original note and simply wrote this, “Determine to pray more words over your marriage than you speak about your marriage.” I tucked the note into the white envelope as I tucked that statement into my own heart.

5 Scriptures to Pray Over Your Marriage

I wrote that note not because it had been true for my relationship but because I suddenly realized I wanted it to be true.

The teacher being taught by her own written out lesson.

And you know what I’ve discovered in the weeks since? I haven’t been praying nearly enough for my marriage.

I think about things. I discuss things. I complain about things. I attempt to fix things. I work on things. I apologize for things. I want to change things. And then I discuss things some more.

But talking about things and thinking about things and working on things… these are not at all the same as praying for them.

In Luke 6:39 Jesus asks a very important but simple question, “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?” My husband and I need Jesus leading us, guiding us, teaching us, redirecting us, and showing us how to have a marriage that honors Him and each other.

I want my husband and I to spend a lot less time in the pit this year.

And I think praying more words over my marriage will certainly be key to this. What about you? Below are some lovely Scriptures I’m weaving into my prayers right now.

But, before we end this post, will you commit to doing something with me? Let’s assign ourselves the next step we want to take with getting more intentional in praying for our marriages. If I were you right now, I’d be so tempted to think this would be a good idea but then not take the next step. But thinking about doing this won’t change a thing.

Actually getting intentional about praying for something in my marriage today is the first step toward that marriage I’ve been dreaming of – the one that seemed so possible for Art and me twenty years ago in that church full of flowers and tulle.

Making sure I’m headed in that direction as a wife is only a few intentional prayers away.

Scriptures:

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters… You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light,” 2 Samuel 22:17 and 29.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,” Colossians 4:6.

“What shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 6:12.

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful,” Hebrews 10:23.

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