How can you pray for your marriage? What do you want God to do for you and your spouse? Where do you need his help?
If you’ve been part of our email friend group for more than a minute, you may remember when I first began asking questions like these, both here and on my Instagram and Facebook pages. Your answers covered a wide and wonderful spectrum. You wanted God’s help when it came to handling conflict, talking about money, and navigating differences in your faith. You wondered about dealing with parents and in-laws. You wanted to know how to honor and protect one another—and to extend forgiveness when you fall short.
And you wanted to have fun together.
Robbie and I want these things too. We want God to teach us to love and cherish each other in everything from our communication to how we meet one another’s physical and emotional needs. As empty nesters, we want to cultivate a marriage that doesn’t grow stale but follows the Proverbs 4:18 promise: The longer they live, the brighter they shine. And, perhaps more than anything else, we want to know how to pray—for each other, and for our marriage.
Which is why I am sliding into your in-box today with a printable marriage prayer card…
…and counting the weeks until the NEW BOOK releases!
I know what the book says, of course (I’ve stared at the pages umpteen times in the editing process), but there’s something about holding a book in your hands—one that has prayers all written out and accessible for every need—that makes trusting God seem so much more do-able.
Praying the Scriptures for Your Marriage is not a book about “fixing” your spouse. Nor it is one that highlights any kind of idealized Christian marriage. It’s a book for real-life marriages with stories from real-life couples—couples who know what it’s like to struggle and stumble, even as they move toward that sweet spot of grace. It is a book about bringing your cares and your questions to God—the One who works in us to desire and do what pleases him—and then trusting him with the outcomes.
And there will be outcomes.
Study after study details the benefits that come with mutual prayer—perks that include a higher satisfaction in marriage, a greater sense of emotional well-being, and even better sex. Even when you’re fed up with your spouse (they left their towel on the floor, they were late again, they sing off-key in the shower), praying helps. “Prayer gives couples a chance to calm down,” is how a piece in the Wall Street Journal put it. “And it reinforces the idea that you’re on the same team.”
If praying together is not something that would fly in your home—maybe your spouse is not a believer, or they aren’t sure prayer works, or one or both of you just balk at what feels like a strange or unfamiliar idea—that’s okay. This is a book meant to help you pray as you can, not as you can’t.
When Robbie and I taught marriage courses at our church, we understood that a lack of prayer in a marriage did not in any way signal a lack of love. One of the things we encouraged couples to do, if they were not comfortable praying together, was to consider the material, reflect on the questions, and then ask one another:
“What’s something I can do to support you in this area? How can I let you know you are loved?”
How can I let you know you are loved?
Malachi 3:16 says, “Those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.” Could it be that God pays attention when we talk with each other? Might he even receive these conversations as prayers? When they’re birthed in the context of marriage—a relationship that’s designed to reflect God’s covenant love and be a picture of the gospel of grace—we have to believe that he would.
I wish I could put a copy of Praying the Scriptures for Your Marriage in your hands right this minute! For now, I’m contenting myself with this gift: A printable Marriage Prayer designed exclusively for my email subscribers. The card includes some of my favorite scripture-prayers from the book, prayers Robbie and I have prayed for our own marriage as well as for our adult children as they’ve begun their new lives as husbands and wives.
I hope you like this marriage prayer card as much as I do. Click here to download (you’ll be asked to verify your email address and then you’ll get a link to the card in your inbox). You’ll find two identical prayers on the page: One for you, and one you can share with a friend or tuck into an engagement card or anniversary gift (did you know that PAPER is the traditional gift for celebrating the first year of marriage?).
Speaking of gifts…
The new book comes in two formats: a softcover that’s perfectly sized for your nightstand or for slipping into your purse, and a hardback version with a clean, simple cover—something a man might pick up. Something that feels “just right” for a wedding or anniversary gift. (In fact, if you invite me to your wedding in the next year or two, don’t be surprised to find the hardcover slipped into the box with the crockpot or the wine glasses from the registry; I’m stocking up!)
I’ll be sharing more about Praying the Scriptures for Your Marriage as release day draws near, along with a few more fun freebies that are in the design phase right now. I have LOTS of ideas to help us pray about our most important relationship, and I’m running them all by Robbie to get his input. Because let’s face it: What’s a great marriage idea if your man’s not on board?
And speaking of being on board…
Robbie and I kicked off the new year (our 38th as a married couple) with two weeks on a boat.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a canoe or a catamaran, my man is happiest when he’s on the water. I’m still navigating my role as First Mate (and there may or may not be a forthcoming blog about some of our boating “adventures” and how God used them to, um, strengthen our marriage), but all told, we had a great time. Our adult children were with us for part of the voyage; if you’re wondering how many grown-ups can fit in a dingy, the answer is “at least ten.”
P.S. If you’d like to pre-order the book (and get the “best price” guarantee when you do), I would be super grateful. I don’t know much about algorithms, but pre-orders let retailers know when to stock up and which books they want to showcase for their readers. Which feels helpful… 😉
And in the meantime, here’s what Robbie and I are praying for you:
May your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. (1 Thessalonians 3:12)