Prayers when marriages are in difficulty
Few experiences in life are more painful than when a relationship has failed, especially in a marriage. I doubt if anyone enters into a marriage expecting it to fail. In fact, the hope of most people is that this relationship will grow and deepen over the years and last a life time. And yet as we all know, it doesn't always work out that way and for all kinds of reasons. Yet, the Bible reveals that God's intention is for a man and women to live as husband and wife for as long as they live. It gives sound advice as to how a man should love his wife, for example. That is why the church has traditionally set great store on the importance of marriage, because it is a 'gift' not only for the couple concerned, but also for any children that come from the marriage to help create a true sense of family. And so, when a marriage fails, its impact is wide reaching.
From a Christian point of view, when marriages are being tested we try to see where reconciliation can be achieved and trust restored. We love to see relationships rescued. But what about when that doesn't or cannot happen? Does God still care for those involved? I believe He does, but that does not excuse the actions of either partner who has 'wronged' the other. That has to be faced. This is where prayer is so important, because as we pray, God helps us to be honest with Him and honest with ourselves. That is such an important place to begin the journey of healing and restoration. These points are included within the following verses.
A PRAYER FOR GOD'S PEACE
LORD, my heart is aching. My very flesh and bones feel as though they are crushed by the weight of my sorrow. Who can I tell? Who would want to know? Who can I trust with this pain that pierces to the very depths of my soul. O Lord, your word says that you will 'not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame.' (Isaiah 42:2-3). I am bruised; my light is all but extinguished. Have mercy on me O Lord. Rekindle within my heart a sure sense of your love for me; help me to know your compassion and grace, pour your peace and love into my aching heart I pray. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR HONEST REFLECTION
LORD, I am not without my faults. I have tried to excuse them and often ignored them. I am sorry that I have not been fully honest. Help me to own my mistakes and shortcomings and to ask for forgiveness when I have been in the wrong. Help me to say sorry to those I have wounded. Help me not to be too stubborn or proud to ask for forgiveness. Amen.
A PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION
LORD, can this relationship be saved? I want it to work but I am no longer sure what to do next. Please help me to understand what can be done to help us to repair our relationship. Please give me the strength to trust again, to love again, to forigive again.Please help my partner to desire the same. Help us to turn to You and to turn again to one another, trusting that you can help us when we struggle to help ourselves.
A PRAYER FOR GRANTING FORGIVENESS
LORD, I know that you are a God who asks us to forgive others as you forgive us.I know that forgiving does not make bad things right or acceptable. I know that it doesn't mean that I have to endure abuse. I know that forgiving does not mean that my partner will change his/her behaviour. And yet I also know that unforgiveness corrodes my soul. It leads to bitterness and worse. Lord, I do not want to end up like a toxic waste dump, full of anger, self pity and hatred. Please protect me from that kind of self harm. But forgiving is tough. Lord, all I can say is that I want to forgive. Will you work with me on this? Will your power of loving forgiveness become mine? Lord, please let us do this together. Amen.
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