A few years ago, my pastor preached a sermon on marriage. He gave us a prayer he thought we might find helpful as we pray for our spouses.
It goes like this: “Jesus, please give my spouse a more Jesus-centered spouse.”
I was really hoping for a different prayer. How about, “Jesus, please make my spouse more centered on me.” You get what I mean, right? We all want our spouses to act the way we want them to, to say and do things that serve us. After all, that would be far more comfortable for me. I like it when I get my own way.
Instead, he gave us a prayer that makes me uncomfortable because it exposes all the places where I could be more focused on Jesus and less focused on myself.
You know, that prayer is exactly what I need. (You can determine for yourself if it’s what you need too.) For me, praying selfishly doesn’t make me a better person, and it doesn’t give me opportunities to live the gospel—to give the world a picture of God’s committed, unfailing, forgiving, serving love.
Did you know that science also gives us reasons why praying for your spouse is a good idea? Three researchers discovered that when you pray for your spouse, it promotes faithfulness—your faithfulness. The more you pray for your spouse, the more you realize that marriage is sacred. So when you treat it that way, you are more likely to remain faithful.
So, really, it turns out that while you’re praying for your spouse, you’re praying for you too.
Not sure where to start, here are some prayer topics for you to use:
Pray for God’s protection on your marriage.
Ask God to bless your spouse’s work—whether he or she works for pay or not.
Pray for your spouse’s relationship with the Lord.
Seek God’s discernment on important decisions.
Pray for your spouse’s health and safety.
Thank God for putting him or her into your life.
Pray that God would lead him or her to a supportive friend or two.
Ask for wisdom in managing finances.
Pray for peace in your home.
Ask for forgiveness when you are the reason there isn’t peace.
Pray that your marriage would reflect the gospel.
How else have you prayed for your spouse? Share in the comments.
Linda Buxa is a writer and Bible study leader. She had that marriage prayer posted on her bathroom mirror for months.