I was raised in a pastor’s home where prayer was an everyday occurrence, at least around the table. But oddly enough, I can’t recall ever seeing my parents pray together as a couple. That might explain why their marriage was probably messier than my own has been.
And though I’m a pastor’s wife, I have to admit that I didn’t begin to pray consistently and intentionally about my marriage or specifically for myself or my husband’s ability to be the best spouses we could be until about six years ago. I find in talking with at least my circle of friends that I’m not alone in this neglect.
So today I wanted to share some ideas on how to go about praying for your mate.
But first, let me give you some ideas on what not to do . . .
1. Don’t pray for your mate instead of praying for your own attitude and actions in marriage.
You should do both, but if you have to forgo one of the two (perhaps due to time constraints), focus on yourself over focusing on your mate.
2. Avoid “consistently” praying in a negative way about your mate.
When your mate hurts you, it’s always important to be raw and honest with the Lord about how you feel. But when you make this your habit day-after-day, you probably need to adjust “your” attitude and prayers for yourself instead.
3. Don’t be unrealistic or request what isn’t biblical of your mate.
In other words, view your spouse like the faulty human that you are.
“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8
Along that same line, don’t ask God to change your mate into a person with different wiring or tastes either. God wants you to learn to accept your spouse and marriage, so that might be another area where you should pray for yourself!
4 Key Ways to Know What to Pray . . .
1. Ask your spouse how you can pray for him/her . . . as it relates to your marriage.
But only do this if your mate would be encouraged by this kind of question. If it might make them defensive, move on to #2.
2. What character flaws in your mate regularly create conflicts in your marriage?
Click here for a list of ideas. Be sure to use this list for yourself as well! 😉
3. What are some ways you’ve wounded your mate?
For example, if you’re a wife, you might’ve made a habit of resisting your husband’s leadership. If so, pray that he would gain confidence in this area or that he would be able to forgive you for the way you’ve hurt him (or better still, pray both)!
4. What are some ways your spouse has been wounded by others or experienced traumas in life?
This could be anything from PTSD, to being abused as a child/teen or even as an adult, to grieving the loss of a loved one, to dealing with a harsh boss, to dealing with an illness or disability, etc. These ideas and many others that aren’t mentioned provide fertile soil to plant your prayers for the wounds of your mate.
Once you’ve considered these questions, record three or four specific requests for your spouse and keep that list handy during your prayer times. You might even want to keep them somewhere in “the cloud” or on a note app or simply on a note card that you carry with you, so that you can pray these requests at a moment’s notice.
Before I conclude this post, I want to offer a prayer that I pray for my husband that you can download and print out to pray for your husband, as well as one specifically written for a husband to pray for your wife.
Btw, if you’re single, remember that you can use these ideas and questions to begin to pray for other family members or even those “EGR” (Extra Grace Required) people in your life! Relationships of all kinds need our prayer support. 😉
What are some ideas or thoughts you’d like to add to what I’ve shared today on this topic?
What is one way you’d like your mate to pray for you as a spouse?
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