Lord, you created marriage to be a beautiful mystery. By your Spirit you somehow knit two people together into “one flesh” for a lifetime. You reveal your infinite love for the church through the simple love of a man for his wife. Your name is made great as a woman honors her husband. You designed marriage to shine a vivid picture of how good you truly are. Yet in our relationship, we struggle to experience the loving intimacy you have in mind. We need you right this minute to do a new, powerful work between us.
Our hearts need healing. We’ve done harm with our words and actions. We’ve chosen “me” over “us.” You know how we feel lonely and disappointed. Soothe our hurts and renew our strength to move toward each other once more. Make us whole so we can begin again.
Lord, we need courage. It would be easier to turn and run than face our issues. We’ve got to boldly confess our selfish motives, cold hearts, and hurtful secrets. When it’s tempting to put up walls of self- protection, we’re to remain open and vulnerable. Courage calls us to tenacious love that refuses to give up. Make us brave so we fight for our marriage every day.
Right this minute, we need mercy. Fill us with compassion so forgiveness can wash every trace of bitterness from our hearts. Give us empathy for the insecurities and fears we each carry. Let mercy offer unconditional love that chooses to release the past and hold hope for tomorrow. Teach us to comfort with tenderness and encouraging words when we suffer pain. Through mercy, grow a deep trust between us that lasts.
We need to reset our priorities. It’s so easy to let our work, friends and loved ones, and busy schedules crowd our marriage out of the picture. Today, teach us the art of attentive listening. Make us willing to sacrifice what’s good in our days for what’s best—quality time with each other. Give us wisdom to recognize whatever is competing for our loyalties. Let us make every plan and commitment with the good of our marriage in mind.
We need the love of Christ. It’s only through Jesus that we’ll have “any common sharing in the Spirit” and “any tenderness and compassion.” (Philippians 2:1) We want to live out your Word to be “like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:2-4)
By your Spirit we can be selfless. Generous. Respectful and affirming. Helpful and servant-hearted. Hopeful and full of joy. Your love will make us humble and forgiving when we fail. We’ll be at peace, “perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Corinthians 1:10) In times of stress and confusion, we’ll find wisdom to know what to do. Filled with Christ’s love, we can love each other more than ever before.
Lord, we don’t want to wait another day for change. Right this minute, do a new work in our marriage. Meet every need so we can love like Jesus. And as we love each other well, let our home shine your light for everyone to see. May our marriage give you glory in all we do. Amen.
The times my husband and I prayed together are some of my sweetest memories that I’ll forever cherish! Prayer knits two hearts into one and brings us under the headship of Christ.
Our daughter husband passed away from an aneurysm. He was 47 and Shannon is 46. We lived in Grand Rapids Michigan for 38 years.
My biggest worry is to be there with her. We now live in Virginia near Williamsburg.
She and her kids are in Michigan.
She donated all of his organs through Gift of Life.
I purchased your book for couples today.
My heart breaks for our daughter.
Teresa, we are truly sorry for the loss of your son-in-law and the pain your family is going through. We can imagine how difficult it is to be so far apart. Please know we’re lifting each of you up in prayer. Also, we would be glad to connect your daughter with some resources to support her as she and her kids are grieving. Feel free to call on us for prayer and friendship at any time.
–Joanna and Rob