4 Prayers for a Struggling Marriage

Growth in marriage sometimes requires us to take a step back in order to move forward in a fresh direction. When we see a negative cycle spinning out of control in our relationship, it can be easy to want to throw all we have into “fixing” the problem. Even worse, we can run away feeling defeated and powerless to change the broken spaces in our relationships. While taking action is important (it’s never wise to ignore red flags in our marriages), sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is to take a step back just to pause and invite God into our mess. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Our mysterious God reminds us that he does his best work when we step aside and take a posture of still surrender in his presence.

This space isn’t the I’m-so-fed-up-with-you-I-never-want-to-talk-again kind of space. It is you, as a spouse, intentionally choosing to be still. It’s in these moments of stillness we are reminded that God is the one that empowers us to be the spouses we are called to be! In the stillness, we realize our marriages are more than just about us and our needs but a place where we can live out the Bible’s call to “serve one another with love” (Galatians 5:13).

In this space of humble, prayerful invitations or sometimes desperate cries for help to our capable and big God, we can have the grace to step back and allow the waters of our relationship to calm. When we relinquish our rights and control and realize that God is the only one able to heal the damaged places between us, we are also free to stop poking and pestering one another over the same old failures. We are free to begin to forgive each other for the mounting hurts that want to tear us apart.

Being still may look like not pointing out every flaw or choosing to extend grace when things don’t go as planned rather than fighting for your right to right. It even can look like turning the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-40). Biblical marriage is one filled with humility, sacrificial love, and forgiveness.

In this place of holy invitation, prayer is our weapon! We can call on the Angel armies of Heaven to do what only God can do in our homes. It takes such trust and humility to lay down our own battle weapons. It’s a deep surrender to let go of our own right to defend ourselves and trust God to be our guard and guide. We are not alone in this fight; God is with us and gives us the strength to step back and love our partners beyond what could ever be considered reasonable.

Here are some prayers for your struggling marriage:

1. A Prayer for Forgiveness

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Father, would you give each of us the strength, grace, patience, and wisdom to display your kindness and compassion towards one another. Would you bring to light the ways unforgiveness has made way for a root of bitterness to poison our relationship. Give us the strength to unpack the baggage that the years have created gracefully. Open our hearts to experience your miraculous gift of forgiveness. May we follow your example of loving beyond what is reasonable. Please help us stop counting wrongs and embrace your example of amazing grace in our home. Amen.

Ephesians 5:33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

God, graciously give us the ability to see each other as you see us. Show us the ways that you love your spouse. Help us focus on their gifts, talents, service, and love. Open our eyes to the reality of the endless mercy you have bestowed on each of us. Empower us to regard each other with love and respect. Grant us the self-control and humility to pause and hear each other before defending ourselves. Let love and respect permeate our interactions. Amen.

3. A Prayer for Renewed Love

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

God, I thank you for being a God of love and teaching us to be like you. I am so thankful that your word instructs us on how to follow your ways and gives us practical advice for our lives. May you help our marriage to be once again filled with love. Give both the ability to be patient, kind, humble, protect each other, lay down resentment, and rejoice in all things. May you bear the heavy things we have endured. Would you give us hope in the dark seasons of life! Bless them with a lasting love that carries them through a lifetime together. Bless each of us with a heart of love for one another. Amen.

4. A Prayer for Wisdom

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him.

God, give each marriage the wisdom it needs to step forward, one step at a time. Give us the strength to follow you first in a world that does not understand God’s way. Speak to our hearts about the wise next step for our marriage and family. Help us to see past the distractions that are thrown at us and be able to follow your narrow way. Silence the voices of confusion, discouragement, distraction, or temptation that would want to entrap us in folly. Help us to trust you and follow you for all of our days. Amen.

If you are in need of a new direction, God invites you to take a moment and pause before searching out one more self-help article. He wants you to go to him before throwing up your hands in defeat or packing that beg out of anger. There is a different option that includes God’s miraculous marriage healing power! It goes against our every instinct to run, defend, justify, or fix. God prompts us to be still in his presence, to remember that God is in control of all the threads that make up your life together, and invite him in to do the restorative work that only he can do. Seek Him first, and then find that new path forward together.

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.

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