| A Guest Post by Jana Carlson |
Marriage is hard.
Even healthy Christian marriages take work and go through difficulties.
Ours is no exception.
When my husband and I celebrate our twenty-second anniversary this year, it will be a testimony of God’s grace and the sustaining power of His Word.
We were very young when we got married while touring with a full-time ministry team. A year later, we had our first child.
A few short years after that, I was the mother of three children, living each day in survival mode just to keep everyone fed while my husband worked hard to provide for us by day and pursue his calling by night.
We moved ten times during our first decade of marriage and learned countless lessons about our relationship, family, and life in general.
Together, we’ve weathered many storms, including multiple job losses, severe financial difficulty, chronic illness, and trauma.
The trying circumstances of life take a toll on our marriages at times.
In the difficulties of marriage, God’s Word is the key to victory.The trying circumstances of life take a toll on our marriages at times. In the difficulties of marriage, God’s Word is the key to victory.
Fighting for Victory in the Battles of Marriage
Every marriage has its ups and downs. When we’re in a rough patch, it’s easy to lose sight of the real issue.
The battle for your marriage is ultimately a spiritual battle.
Your real enemy is not your husband; it’s Satan, the enemy of our souls.The battle for your marriage is ultimately a spiritual battle. Your real enemy is not your husband; it’s Satan, the enemy of our souls.
Ephesians 6:11-17 tells us about the armor of God and the strategy for winning the spiritual war. We must:
- Remember who our real enemy is
- Discern the truth
- Keep our hearts right with God
- Pursue peace
- Live in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ
All of this is accomplished using the one weapon God equipped us with – the sword of the Spirit, His Word, the Bible.
We must read it, meditate on it, and pray it.
Praying Effectively for Your Marriage
Praying Scripture increases the effectiveness of our prayers because our prayers are no longer determined by our emotions, fleshly desires, or limited knowledge.
My prayers for my marriage used to be more of a wishlist for my dream husband.
They were largely motivated by a desire for a more comfortable existence—one that catered to my wants and made life easier by changing my husband’s mind or character.
After discovering the joy of praying through passages of Scripture, prayers for my marriage changed dramatically.After discovering the joy of praying through passages of Scripture, prayers for my marriage changed dramatically.
No, it’s more than that. I changed as my understanding of prayer changed.
My desires became less about my circumstances and more about faithfulness to the Lord.
And our marriage changed, too!
Praying Scripture is one way we can align ourselves with the will of God.
It positions us to be used by Him to accomplish His purposes and to carry out His plan.
Instead of telling God how to answer our prayers, we see His will in His Word and remind Him of it in prayer.
Then we trust Him to fulfill it—for our good and His glory.
Using Scripture as a Framework for Prayer
God’s Word is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16)
It is alive, active. It pierces our souls and discerns our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts (Heb 4:12).
It changes us from the inside out.
When we open our Bibles, we learn about God—His character, His heart, His ways, and His will.
And we learn about ourselves.
The Bible convicts us, gives us discernment, and transforms our hearts.The Bible convicts us, gives us discernment, and transforms our hearts. It changes us from the inside out.
A favorite passage God used to impact our marriage tells us what true love looks like:
“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.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7ESV
When we use this passage as a framework for prayer, we learn what God’s vision of love is.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate our hearts, we will inevitably be convicted of the ways we fall short of God’s ideal for a loving wife.
As a result, our prayer becomes one of repentance, as we ask for wisdom in how to live out this “prescription for love”, and one of gratitude, as we consider the loving example of Jesus in our lives.
As our prayers are reshaped according to Scripture, our minds are renewed (Rom 12:2), and our hearts are reformed.
Changed hearts result in changed lives.
The Power of Praying Scripture over your Marriage
Our marriage improved dramatically when I began to pray Scripture.
By God’s grace and the power of His Word, I became a better wife which naturally led to a better marriage.
My heart and mind were transformed and my actions followed.
We’ve put together a helpful resource to encourage you in praying Scripture for your marriage.
Download this free printable for three prayers to pray based on Ephesians 6:11-17, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7, and Genesis 2:18.
Praying Scripture over your marriage will:
- Help you discern the truth about marriage, who you are, and who God is
- Renew your mind
- Transform your heart
- Strengthen you and equip you to endure the inevitable storms in marriage, and
- Help you to pray prayers that are in alignment with the will of God
May your heart be encouraged and your faith be strengthened as you experience the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His Word for your marriage.
Jana Carlson has an insatiable love for the Word of God. She blogs at Wield The Word where her desire is to inspire women to know God’s Word and live it out. Jana lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and their 3 grown children. She works as a copywriter and enjoys reading, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and spending time with family and friends. Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.