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On your knees for the sake of your marriage

One of the most intimate things that a couple can do together, but also for each other, is to pray. But what do I pray for him/her? How do I pray for my partner if he/she angered me? When does one even start praying for a marriage in your hectic day-to-day life?

According to Faith Durie, Managing Director at Faith Durie Kussings (as seen on the tv programme Faith, Hope and Love),it is important to first understand what prayer means, before you can understand how prayer can add value to a marriage. “Prayer means authority, overcoming, protecting, life, relationships, enlightening, intercession, conversations with God, healing and blessings,” she says.

“In our marriage of over 20 years we experienced the difficult and the fun, the heart sore and the gladness, as well as the attacks, setbacks and the victories. This brings me to what prayer means for us as husband and wife in our marriage. For my husband it created some room where he could have a deeper and more meaningful relationship within himself, with God and confirmed God’s authority which He assigned to him as husband in Genesis. I realise that my treasure lies in my husband who serves God!”

Her husband, David, agrees: “For me as husband it strengthens and encourages me and my family and especially my wife who prays for me, because it confirms our spiritual connection and strengthens our marriage as a unity and institution again.”

Faith and David’s tips:

1. Start the day by praying together (husband and wife).
2. Also pray together as a family before the day starts.
3. Be sensitive towards your spouse’s wellbeing and pray for him/her in spirit if you aren’t physically there.
4. Pray for your spouse if they are battling with their health. In this manner you are getting involved on behalf of him/her.
5. Pray in the Spirit if you and your spouse are in a conflict situation and ask God for wisdom and insight.
6. “We also pray about our finances, especially if something has to be acquired – He is after all the breadwinner of our lives and purses!”
7. “Our children kneel with us on praying pillows. They know we kneel at Jesus” feet in order to start the day right. Nothing can start or work without Him.”

Do what God asks for

Preacher Bennie Mostert, writer of several books on prayer and among others his book, Doelgerigte Gebed, it says that it’s important that couples first get their own lives aligned with God’s commands for you as husband/wife in your marriage. “You don’t have the right to stand before God and pray for your partner if you don’t even do what God asks you to in a marriage.”

Bennie also highlights that you must consciously choose to pray for your spouse, even when you don’t necessarily like him or her at that very moment. It is impossible to pray for your partner if you don’t have the right mind-set and you don’t unconditionally choose your spouse and your marriage. The right motive is that your spouse’s life glorifies God and NOT that his/her life must change so that your own life can be better or more fun somehow. Don’t feed your selfish desires above the correct motive.

“Listen to God, ask Him what you should pray for. Too often we just jumpstart into prayer, but don’t consider asking God, the creator of your marriage, what we should pray for when it comes to our spouses,” says Bennie.

“God’s standard for your marriage must become your prayer goal, nothing less, and because you are one before God, you must also not accuse your partner before God.
Without love in your heart you cannot pray. Choose to love your partner, then he will be able to passionately pray from a heart filled with love,” says Bennie.

He gives some advice on what to pray for regarding your spouse:

What should I pray regarding my wife?

• Thank God for your wife and ask Him to bless her.
• Pray for:

o Her womanhood, her being a mother and her relationship with the children.
o Her work and all her responsibilities.
o All her relationships with friends, colleagues, family and strangers.
o Spiritual growth and a holy life.
o Her fears and worries.
o Her protection, strength and health.
o Her spiritual obedience.
o Her sexuality and her role as spouse and friend.
o Knowing her own worth.
o Ask your wife: “What do you need me to pray for?” and add it to your list.

About what should I pray for my husband?

• Thank God for your husband’s role in the house and for Him to bless him.
• Pray for:

o His role as spouse, father and head of the family.
o His work and all his responsibilities.
o The management of his own and the family’s finances.
o The protection of his thoughts and also his temptations.
o His sexuality, purity and self-image.
o All his plans and dreams.
o His priorities and the future.
o Fulfilment of the Spirit and the daily choices that he makes.
o His influence on people, and the wisdom and advice that he gives to others.
o That he will share his heart with you and include you in his living experience.
o Ask your husband: “What do you need me to pray for?” and add it to your list.

Not praying for your partner is like attending to the city walls too late! Help your spouse by praying for them so that God can uplift them, so that you both can hold onto prayer within your marriage and your lives. No relationship can be built without communication, so build your own relationship with God through ongoing communication on prayers and praying.