Prayer for couples having problems

by Maricel (PHL)

Dear Lord, I am praying to you to help me in preparing for our wedding. My husband and I are having problems in our finances and I worry that I may not plan and budget our wedding well. My husband does not approve of all my suggestions and I’m having a hard time looking for possible cheap suppliers.

I really don’t know what to do now. I always tell him that if he’s not ready to shell out some money for our wedding, it’s just fine with me. We might as well cancel our wedding plans. But he would always say that he wants to push through with it. I am not longing for a grand wedding. I just want a simple and memorable one but getting married here is really costly. We’ve been together for 15years and I even never thought that he’ll have plans of marrying me.

Though it will be my privilege to receive our Lord’s blessing in the sacrament of marriage. Please help me Lord. Please bring to me to people who are going to be a big help for this wedding. If this will push through, I hope everything will turn out fine and beautiful. I leave it all up to you my Lord.

Please bless and enlighten my husband on this preparation. Thank you.

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Prayer can be defined as a two-way personal communication between an individual or couple and God. It is a vibrant, vital link with a Supreme Being that gives meaning to a person’s life. Prayer allows individuals, couples, and families to come closer to God through healing. Prayer can be meditative (silent), colloquial (asking for abstract things like guidance or forgiveness), petitionary (asking for materialistic things), or ritual (memorized or read from a book). While it can be all of these things, it can also enrich the quality of marriage and family life. In fact, The Family: A Proclamation to the World identifies prayer as an important element in successful marriages and families.

Recently, couple prayer has been the topic of increasing research. Many married couples who have relied on prayer in addressing marital problems report that using prayer within a marriage tends to increase their level of satisfaction within the marriage. Other couples report that prayer left a constant impression upon their thoughts and actions throughout the day, making their interaction more positive. Participation in religious activities, including prayer, decreases marital conflict, verbal aggression, and stalemate strategies when resolving conflicts.

Research is thus discovering what people of faith everywhere have known for some time: married couples receive strength from prayer. But how does prayer strengthen marriages? According to research, prayer has the following effects on marriage relationships:

  • Couples draw closer to God. Once a person understands his or her relationship with God, prayer becomes natural. Many people view God as a loving figure who is there to help them succeed. He is often seen as a source of help and answers. Due to this relationship, people trust in Him and allow Him to enter their marriage. Thus, He becomes an integral part of their marriage. When this relationship is established, couples are able to see themselves, and each other, in a different light. God is their divine standard. Through prayer, they can gauge their behavior to see if they are acting like Him.
  • Angry feelings are softened. As couples draw nearer to God and decide to pray, feelings are softened. Many spouses report they don’t want to pray when they are angry because anger is not compatible with God’s desires. In fact, they often claim it is impossible to pray while holding onto bad feelings. Prayer, or the decision to pray, has a calming effect. It soothes emotions and helps angry partners treat their spouse differently.
  • Relationships are remembered. Something interesting happens when couples pray. They start to forget about their own feelings and start to think more about the other person. People usually think of themselves when fighting because they want to be heard. Prayer, however, helps them remember their relationship as a couple. Once those angry feelings are softened, a person can begin to understand his or her spouse. This happens because they stop focusing on what their spouse needs to change and start thinking about how they can change. Fewer stalemate strategies are used, and they no longer insist on being right. Instead, they want what is best for the relationship. The more often you pray, the more likely you are to treat others like you would like to be treated.
  • Instructions are received. When couples use prayer to solve conflict they do not receive complete answers. Instead, they experience step-by-step coaching that tells them what to say or do to improve their situation. Thus, they receive the necessary help, but the problem is not removed. Rather than making everything better, prayer leaves the couple with the responsibility to create their own solution.
  • Health benefits follow. Some studies have shown that prayer, and prayer offered in others’ behalf, helps people relax, increases their brain activity, and improves heartbeat rate. In short, prayer promotes health. Some studies show that those who have received prayers in their behalf recovered faster when compared to others who didn’t receive such help.

To take advantage of the many benefits of couple prayer, couples are wise to make praying together a daily tradition. At the beginning and close of each day, kneel together in prayer to God, thanking Him for your marriage and each other, and asking Him to pour down His blessings on your union. In addition to the witness of research, many couples testify to the effect heartfelt prayer can have in making their marriages heavenly.

Written by Andrew S. Brimhall, Graduate Research Assistant. Edited by Mark Butler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy, and Stephen F. Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Family Life, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University.

Couples are blessed when they regularly pray together. While serving in the Quorum of the Twelve apostles, President Gordon B. Hinckley taught:

I know of no single practice that will have a more salutary effect upon your lives than the practice of kneeling together as you begin and close each day. Somehow the little storms that seem to afflict every marriage are dissipated when, kneeling before the Lord, you thank him for one another, in the presence of one another, and then together invoke his blessings upon your lives, your home, your loved ones, and your dreams.

God then will be your partner, and your daily conversations with him will bring peace into your hearts and a joy into your lives that can come from no other source. Your companionship will sweeten through the years; your love will strengthen. Your appreciation for one another will grow.2

Couples facing challenges in their relationship may be reluctant to take their difficulties to the Lord together in prayer. Yet research shows that couples who pray are more inclined to have their feelings softened, and receive help in dealing with conflicts that emerge as part of being married together. President Thomas S. Monson recommends to married couples the counsel he and his wife Frances received from their temple sealer, Benjamin Bowring:

May I offer you newlyweds a formula which will ensure that any disagreement you may have will last no longer than one day? Every night kneel by the side of your bed. One night, Brother Monson, you offer the prayer, aloud, on bended knee. The next night you, Sister Monson, offer the prayer, aloud, on bended knee. I can then assure you that any misunderstanding that develops during the day will vanish as you pray. You simply can’t pray together and retain any but the best of feelings toward one another.3

Similar sentiments are echoed in the words of Elder David B. Haight:

If, as husband and wife, you are having serious misunderstandings or if you feel some strain or tension building up in your marriage, you should humbly get on your knees together and ask God our Father, with a sincere heart and real intent, to lift the darkness that is over your relationship, that you may receive the needed light, see your errors, repent of your wrongs, forgive each other, and receive each unto yourselves as you did in the beginning. I solemnly assure you that God lives and will answer your humble pleas.1

References

  1. Haight, D. B. (1984, May). Marriage and divorce. Ensign, 12-14.
  2. Hinckley, G. B. (1971, June). “Except the Lord build the house…” Ensign, 71-72.
  3. Monson, T. S. (1988, November). Hallmarks of a happy home. Ensign, 69-72. 

foreverfamilies.byu.edu

7 Benefits Of Couples Praying Together

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20

Recently, couple prayer has been the topic of increasing research.

Many married couples who have relied on prayer in addressing marital problems report that using prayer in their marriage tends to increase their level of satisfaction within the marriage.

Many couples report that prayer left a constant impression upon their thoughts and actions throughout the day, making their interaction more positive.

Researchers have discovered what people of faith everywhere have known for some time: married couples receive strength from prayer.

But how does prayer strengthen marriages?

According to research, prayer has the following effects on marriage relationships…

1. Prayer keeps you humbled

When you’re humbled, your heart is open to change and growth.

You have a renewed willingness to work to stay together.

When we pray, we are showing our reverence for God and each other. It’s hard to be judgmental and argumentative when you’re in that stance because prayer removes selfishness.

2. Prayer Helps with forgiveness

Again, when you are humbled in your prayer position, your heart opens to understanding instead of accusing.

Prayer has a calming effect. It soothes emotions and helps angry couples resolve conflicts easier.

As couples draw nearer to God and decide to pray, their hearts and feelings are softened.

When you pray through the hurt together, then you’re on the road forgiveness.

3. Prayer breeds appreciation

When you thank God for the blessings in your life, your spouse (no matter how frustrated you may be with him) will eventually make the list.

When you show your appreciation for him, he will show it for you, and you will begin to create a list of “loves” rather than “annoyances”.

4. Prayer Strengthens the Bond

Prayer not only opens communication between you and God, it strengthens the bonds of marriage.

Studies have found the old adage, “Couples that pray together, stay together” to be true.

In a recent poll from Gallup it was revealed that “among married couples who attend church together regularly, the divorce rate is one out of two. That is the same statistic for marriages outside the church.

However, among married couples who pray together daily, the divorce rate drops to one out of 1,153.”  Prayer reinforces the connection between couples and as a result, marriages are strengthened!

5. Prayer Encourages Unity

As we come before God as a couple, we are coming as a team and reminding ourselves that we are on the same side.

Team players have common goals and direction. Couples Praying together reinforces those goals and that connection.

When we offer our prayers to God together we are naturally aligning our hearts as couples for one shared hope and outcome.

Holding your spouse’s hands is a physical portrayal of unity. Praying with your spouse provides spiritual unity through God. Physical unity and spiritual unity are ties that bind and are not easily broken.

6. Prayer Invites God into Your Relationship

When God is at the center of our marriage, we have a “built in” compass and guide.

God gives direction and wisdom that we as couples long for in our relationship.

By praying together we are inviting God into our relationship and welcoming His hand on our lives.

He will bring healing and joy as He tenderly leads us on the path He has set out for us.

7. Prayer Changes Things

I’m not saying that couples who pray together have a perfect relationship.

But I will say that even during the hard times, prayer gives you hope.

Marriages that are struggling or in crisis can be mended when God is at its center.  He is always faithful and wants the best for us.

Even good marriages can be made great when we are open to God’s leading and direction through prayer.

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Praying for Relationships was written because there are many couples having problems in their marriages.

When you pray this prayer, you may see a gradual change in your partner, but the main change is what you see happening to yourself.

You will change first, mostly in your attitude. And there is a certain peace when you can just release your partner into God’s hands, for Him to deal with. This prayer also covers Family Relationships.

Praying For Relationships

Mt 21:21…………Father, I come before You in prayer and in faith.
Rom 13:11……..Your Word says that now is the time for all to awaken from sleep,
Rom 13:11………For our salvation is nearer now than we first believed.
Col 1:13………….Lord, deliver my loved ones from the power of darkness,
Rom 13:12………and cause them to put on the armor of light.
Rom 13:14………Help them in their daily walk to put on the Lord Jesus Christ
Rom 13:13………and to avoid the lusts and idolatry of life.
Ps 119:37……….Cause them to turn their eyes away from worthless things,
2Tim 2:26……….to come to their senses, and escape the snare of the devil.
Rom 13:13………Deliver them from immorality, strife, and envy,
Heb 10:22……….and draw them near to You, Father, with a true heart.
Mt 5:6……………Create in them a hunger and thirst for You and Your righteousness,
Ps 119:37………and revive them in Your ways.
Col 1:9…………..I ask that You fill them with the knowledge of Your will
Col 1:9…………..in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Col 1:10…………that they might have a walk worthy of You, Lord,
Col 1:10…………fully pleasing You, being fruitful in every good work,
Col 1:10…………and increasing in the knowledge of You,
Col 1:11…………strengthened with all might, according to Your glorious power.
Rom 8:30……….Bring them into the calling that You have predestined for them;
1Chr 28:9……….help them to serve You with a loyal heart and with a willing mind,
Ps 32:8………….and instruct them in the way they should go.
Jas 1:22…………Let them be doers of the Word and not hearers only,
Ps 119:97………meditating in Your Word day and night.
Ps 112:6………..Establish their heart, so they will never be shaken,
1Cor 10:13……..and show them a way of escape with every temptation.
Rom 13:8……….Let them owe no man anything except their love.
1Jn 3:18………..A love that is in deed and truth, not just in word and speech.
Ps 110:3……….Let them be volunteers serving You in the time of Your power.
Mt 6:33…………Seeking first Your kingdom so that they will reap abundant blessings.
Prov 3:9………..I pray that they will honor You with their possessions
Prov 3:9………..and with the firstfruits of their increase;
Ps 111:1……….Praising the Lord with their whole heart in the assembly
Ps 111:1……….of the upright and in the congregation,
Mic 6:8…………walking humbly with You Lord, being determined to act justly,
Ps 112:4……….loving mercy and righteousness,
Ps 112:4……….being gracious and full of compassion.

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