5 Urgent Reasons to Pray for Your Husband

5 Urgent Reasons to Pray for Your Husband

Wouldn’t it be great if we could reach a healthy, joyful place in marriage then put our relationships on auto-pilot and coast through a lifetime of togetherness and agreement?

Instead, marriage is one of the most difficult relationships in life. It’s challenging—sometimes agonizing—to keep a marriage on track. We experience highs and lows, periods of agreement, and seasons of head-butting. Since we live in an imperfect world with genuine struggles and enticing temptations, it’s safe to say that nothing is automatic.

But one thing I know—the effort to hold together in wedlock is #worthit. Even with as much work as it requires, I wouldn’t trade the sense of wholeness, purpose, and partnership that marriage offers.

 

Surviving in a Disposable World

Ours is a “throw away” society. If the microwave dies, we buy a newer, fancier brand and dispose of the worn-out model. When our car needs expensive repairs, we’re apt to trade it in. And sadly, when marriages encounter troubled times, our social norms point to giving up and finding a new spouse who’s easier to live with.

But God designed marriage as an unbreakable relationship. It’s the ultimate example of covenant love between Christ and the church. Therefore, God provides all we need to thrive (not just survive) within the institution of marriage. Strength, joy, satisfaction, and fulfilling partnership are ours to enjoy.

When we invite the Lord into our marriages, we can embrace the hope of Jesus Christ. He actively redeems, heals, and restores—if we allow it. Mike and I have learned that surrender to God and His ways bring His partnership. He alone can provide and protect our relationship, walking alongside us through every season and struggle of life. He cares for us, for our marriage, for our family, with tender mercy.

I wish we’d known that years ago. The road to discovery was long and painful, plagued with near-fatal mistakes. To reach a point of surrender, we had to walk an excruciating journey. May I encourage you to learn from our mistakes?

 

Pray for Your Husband

There’s a simple way to reach a point of surrender, to avoid some of the perils and pitfalls of marriage, and grasp the help of Jesus. If you have a desire to flourish in your family life, there is an urgent need for you to pray. Immediately. Begin right this minute and never stop.

I can almost hear you moan. If your marriage is badly wounded, it’s a challenge to find the heart, or the words to pray. It’s one thing to pray for your marriage. But taking it a step further and praying for your husband can be a lot to ask, since you may not like him very much right now.

And that leads us to the first of many compelling reasons to do it anyway:

 

Praying for your husband softens your heart toward him. 

As you talk to the Lord about your husband, you’ll begin to see a shift if your view of him. The Lord will help you see your spouse from a heavenly perspective, as someone who was created in the image of God. It’s a supernatural experience, yet one that happens slowly and gradually. Over time your heart will soften and you’ll feel less prideful and resentful toward him. If you stick with it long enough, you’ll see your prayers transition from “change him, Lord!” to “help me love Him as You do, Father.”

Here’s a good place to start. As you lift your husband in prayer today (dare I say right now?) ask for his peace.  John 14:17 says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful” (HCSB).

 

Pray it Like this:

 

Father, fill _____ (your spouse’s name) with peace. Not peace from the world or circumstances, but with the peace that comes from following wholeheartedly after You. Keep his heart free from trouble or fear and consume it with Your great love in Jesus’ name.

 

I hope you’ll join me over the next several posts. I look forward to sharing four more urgent and inspirational reasons to lift your husband in prayer.

If this post blessed you, please consider sharing it on social media to encourage others!

May you find strength in God’s Word,

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Room Prayers for Marriage

War Room Prayers for Marriage

Marriages are facing trials and challenges like never before. The enemy of our souls continues to rise up and attack our homes and families. Some wonder whether any marriage can survive.

 

The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Marriages can survive. Not only that, they can thrive and flourish.  And prayer is a key that unlocks doors of hope and possibility.

 

 

When your marriage is troubled, praying Scripture can break through barriers that you never dreamed. We don’t always know what to pray when we feel broken and healing looks impossible.

 

To celebrate over 3 decades of marriage, author Cathy McIntosh offers 31 Specific Prayers for Your Marriage.  It’s a prayer devotional specifically for marriage. Inside, Cathy shares her passion and encouragement to pray fervently for marriage relationships.

 

Proven, Miraculous Results

 

During a season when her own marriage nearly crumbled. The Lord prompted both she and her husband, independently, to pray. The results that followed were nothing short of miraculous. Looking back over more than 30 years, Cathy is humbled and grateful that their marriage has not only survived but has thrived. She attributes the victory to God and to fervent prayer.

 

Each of the 31 daily marriage devotions provides a Bible passage or two to focus on God’s truth, a specific prayer based on the Scriptures, and a simple step of faith to encourage tangible action in your journey of prayer. By engaging with this prayer devotional, your marriage and relationships will see blessings through:

  • a refreshed closeness to the Lord
  • developing a strong practice of prayer
  • softening your heart toward your spouse
  • strengthening your marriage relationship

 

Use it as a daily devotional, shared prayer time for couples, or take your time and savor the experience by pouring yourself into the prayer and suggested steps of faith. 31 Specific Prayers for Your Marriage is available now with immediate download. Follow this link to discover more and make a purchase:  https://cathymcintosh.com/product/prayer-devotional-for-marriage/

Get Instant Access Here!

 

Prayer Devotional for Marriage

Calming Anxiety in Marriage

Calming Anxiety in Marriage

Let’s be honest. Matrimony sometimes feels like a place of discouragement and disappointment.

 

Marriage was created by God as an institution of security, love, friendship, and lifetime partnership. But anyone who’s married knows it doesn’t always fit such descriptions.

 

When struggles arise, as they do in any marriage, it’s common to sense anxiety rising. In the past, I have worried that I was failing to be a good wife or provide what my husband needed. At times I felt nervous thinking perhaps our marriage wouldn’t survive and that my kids would grow up with divorced parents. I have felt the anxiety of financial concerns and the burden of caring for our home and family while working full time.

 

There’s no doubt about it. Marriage can generate mountains of stress if we allow it to. I spent years allowing thoughts of “maybe” and “what if” cause more anxiety in my marriage than I care to admit.

 

Navigating Fear and Insecurity

 

It’s easy to see, now, how I worried to excess and allowed my tendency of overthinking rob me of peace and joy in my marriage. Looking back, I realize that I didn’t have the tools I needed to navigate my own fears and insecurities. In my early marriage, I was just learning to follow the Lord and didn’t understand the concept of surrender.

 

I received wise counsel such as “just give it to God,” or “let go and let God work it out.” But I had no idea how to put those phrases into practice. Truth be told, I didn’t even have an effective prayer life at that time. In church, I heard that God would help us but in the reality of my daily struggles, I couldn’t see evidence of His aid or comfort.

 

I didn’t know how to talk to my husband about what I was feeling. Communicating my insecurities was a terrifying thought. After all, I might find that each one was completely true, and then where would I be? So, I suppressed my worry and provided an environment in my thought life for anxiety to flourish.

 

That wasn’t fun for anyone.

 

The Truth of God’s Word

 

I had to learn to rely on God’s Word and allow its truth to fill my heart and mind. In doing so, I discovered the calming and peaceful impact that Scripture could have on my daily life.

 

My husband and I reached a point in our relationship where we separated. It was there, alone in different homes, that each of us began to pray. In our division, at last, God led us to an incredible act of unity. As we started to pray for each other, for our marriage, and ourselves, God revealed His nearness and unceasing activity in our lives.

 

Prayer delivered such peace and calm to my anxious heart that I could finally begin to see the future of joy and fulfillment that lay ahead. It restored my hope and taught me how to lay my concerns at the foot of the cross, surrendering worry and anxiety to the Lord. Through His goodness and power, God restored our relationship and brought wholeness that we’d never experienced.

 

That was twenty-five years ago. And with God’s help, we have enjoyed and thrived in a peace-filled marriage.

 

Praying Scripture for Your Marriage

 

In celebration of God’s goodness and aiming to help others calm anxiety in their own marriages, I created a 31-day prayer devotional for marriage. Each day provides Scriptures with prayer guidance that will invite the Lord to do a mighty work in your relationship.

Prayer Devotional for Marriage

The impact that these Scriptures have had on our marriage is nearly indescribable. We’ve transitioned from struggling and considering divorce to a fulfilling life-long commitment with open communication and unwavering trust for one another.

 

31 Specific Prayers for Your Marriage is more than just a list of Scriptures. It provides practical application pointers and hands-on guidance for growth in your prayer life. I believe, wholeheartedly, that it can help calm anxiety and stress in your marriage. It certainly had a God-sized impact in mine.

 

May you feel the Lord’s nearness today,

 

 

 

 

Calming Anxiety in Marriage

 

Calming Anxiety in Marriage

 

 

 

 

Finding Joy in Marriage Through Prayer

Finding Joy in Marriage Through Prayer

“It’s difficult to find joy in marriage.”

“Marriage is hard work.”

What profound understatements. I remember in the giddiness of our young engagement thinking, “We love each other so much, marriage will be easy for us.”

Boy, were we wrong.

We entered marriage with visions of everlasting adoration. That is, until work schedules, distractions, and ambitions got in the way. We forgot who “we” were, each thinking only of “me.”

Cutting remarks began. Distrust followed and soon we stopped walking in adoration. In fact, I’m not sure how much we even liked each other.

The Separation

Then one day, I asked my husband to leave our home. He obliged.

The pain of marital separation was colossal: a hollow sort of emptiness where despair reverberated. We believed separate lives would bring relief. Instead, it brought a measure of hopeless anguish neither of us expected.

Finding Joy in Marriage Through Prayer

Alone in separate beds and in separate homes, unbeknownst to the other, we individually turned to prayer. My husband admittedly hadn’t prayed in years and my novice efforts felt awkward and uncomfortable. But in the desolate silence, we each cried out to the Lord, seeking help. We began interceding for our marriage, own hearts and reluctantly for one another.

That’s where the healing started. At first, the healing was nearly unnoticeable. There was no immediate reconciliation; no lightning bolt of realization or admission of wrongs. There was something greater. Deep inside each of us, there was the beginning of hope. Read more here…

 

Today I’m excited to share a guest post with blogger, Tiffany Montgomery on her blog Hope and Joy in Christ. To read the full post and follow her great series, 31 Ways to Reclaim Joy in a Christian Marriage, please be sure to visit her blog.

Tiffany is also providing a giveaway for my new prayer devotional and dozens of other products as well. You won’t want to miss out!

Visit the Hope and Joy in Christ blog here!

joy in marriage through prayer

How Prayer Rescued Our Marriage

How Prayer Rescued Our Marriage

Ours is a story like many others:

Married for love with a desire to honor Jesus
Soon consumed by worldly ambitions
Work schedules prevented church and small group attendance
Stopped pursuing God and each other
Accepted this life rhythm and ignored warning signs
Turned from each other and lost our way
Separated and prepared for divorce

But that’s when God stepped in.

Our marriage was on the brink of ruin; in danger of becoming just another statistic. But when we found the courage to look each other in the eye, we knew we still wanted more. We recognized the hidden embers of hope, buried deep inside. Sadly, we had no comprehension of how to move our relationship in a positive direction.

So we sought help.

I recall the one visit we made to a marriage counselor who affirmed much of what we already knew—it was his fault. And it was her fault too.

The therapist encouraged both of us to make some changes and reprioritize what was important. When he asked if we’d like to schedule a second appointment we declined in agreement, both of us somehow knowing the Holy Spirit would take it from here.

And He did.

Looking Back . . .

Let’s back up a few steps. The pain of marital separation was colossal: a hollow sort of emptiness where despair echoed through our hearts and minds. We believed separate lives would bring relief, but instead, it brought a measure of hopeless anguish neither of us expected.

Alone in our separate beds, each of us, unbeknownst to the other, turned to prayer. In the desolate silence of night, we cried out to God and asked for His direction and help. We began to intercede for our marriage, for our own hearts and, yes, for one another.

That’s where the healing started.

Long before our visit to a marriage professional, God began drawing us individually to Himself, whispering to our spirits, “Remember me.” My husband admittedly hadn’t prayed for years. I was an untrained rookie, but we independently began distinct conversations with our Lord and Savior.

By the time we attended that counseling appointment, heavenly, solid groundwork was already in place. It surprised us. The last thing we expected as we left the counseling center was the agreement that we didn’t need more professional help. That decision was insanely counter-intuitive, but we each had supernatural peace.

The Hope That Followed

Over the weeks, months, and years that followed, the Lord helped us re-establish a friendship and learn to laugh together again. We re-engaged with a local church, attended marriage retreats and events, and drew close to God. As we let our guards down, we eventually found a way to feel safe in each other’s company. We learned to trust again. It took time and effort, but the Lord knit our hearts together in love.

We watched, day by day, as the Lord transformed us, just like He said He would in Romans 12:2 which reads, “do not be conformed to this age but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (HCSB).

A Marriage Rescued Through Prayer

Through prayer, God renewed and transformed our minds into alignment with His. We recognized that a whole and healthy marriage was the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Mike and I declare without hesitation that prayer rescued our marriage. We almost lost it all, but the Lord held us together. Our marriage didn’t just survive, it has flourished and prospered, bringing joy and unimagined blessings along the way. Soon we will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary and we eagerly await the decades we will continue to add to that number—until the Lord calls us home.

We’re still on the journey of drawing closer to the Lord and each other. Our learning curve is far from over because we’re still two imperfect people doing our best to live together in love and unity. We have a lot of great days but still face some terse and challenging ones too.

One Piece of Advice… Pray!

I’m often asked for one piece of advice to offer wives. First, please allow me to share several truths about marriage of which I am fully convinced:

  • Marriage was God’s idea.
  • The Lord is never wrong.
  • What He put together, no man can separate.
  • He has a good plan for us—not a plan of destruction but one of hope.
  • The enemy of our souls despises what God has ordained—including our marriages.
  • The enemy is on the prowl, seeking whom he can devour and destroy.
  • When we resist the enemy, He will flee (See Ephesians 6:11 and James 4:7)
  • Any marriage can survive when God is given His rightful place as head of the home.
  • The Lord worked miracles in our marriage.
  • He is willing and able to work miracles in your marriage too.
  • If you open the door and invite Him into your marriage now, a lot of heartache can be prevented.
  • If you open the door and invite Him into your marriage, a lot of past hurts can be healed.

 

With those truths in mind, If I could give one piece of advice that promises generational impact, wholeness, healing, joy, and happiness in your marriage it’s this:

Start praying right now, and never stop praying for your marriage.

The Apostle Paul offers great encouragement in Ephesians 6:10 by declaring that we can “be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength.” In verses 11 through 17 of that same chapter (read that passage here), Paul instructs believers to put on the full armor of God so that we can resist the plans of the evil one.  His final instruction in this section of Scripture is to pray. Verse 18 says, “Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request and stay alert in this with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (HCSB).

Again, can I encourage you to begin praying right this minute?

Like me all those years ago, you may feel like an untrained rookie when it comes to prayer. You may struggle to know how to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence. Or you may consider yourself a prayer warrior but find you need some encouragement in interceding for your marriage. There are times when we are too close to a situation to know what to pray. I’ve been there—where my heart felt too crushed to express my needs. I’m thankful that the Lord gives His Word and we can use it to form our prayers. I’m also thankful that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

How Prayer Rescued Our MarriageI Invite You to Learn from Our Journey

To help as you take what may be the first steps of praying for your marriage, or to encourage you as you deepen your commitment to prayer, I have created a special resource: an e-book titled 31 Specific Prayers for your Marriage. (Take a look at the sample to the left.) It’s a project 31 years in the making, designed to draw you toward God’s hope and promise in your marriage.

Purchase the eBook here!

 

Victory in Marriage

When I look back on nearly 31 years of marriage and consider the magnitude of what the enemy tried to steal from us, it brings tears to my eyes. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the Lord’s action and intervention in our marriage.

I want you to feel that same sense of gratitude and help you witness the Lord’s faithfulness on your behalf. He’s waiting to hear from you in prayer. And the sooner you invite Him into your marriage, the sooner you’ll begin to see His fingerprints, which bring His healing touch.

I hope you’ll join me on a journey of prayer with 31 Specific Prayers for Your Marriage and celebrate the joy and victory that follow! And you’re sure to enjoy participating in my email list, too:

When you subscribe, you’ll receive a free printable: 7 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Marriage This Week as my gift. Going forward, you’ll receive ministry news and updates delivered right to your inbox!

Blessings,

Cathy McIntosh

 

 

 

How Prayer Rescued Our Marriage

a prayer devotional for marriage

Marriage Prayer Devotional

Prayer Devotion for Marriage

prayer in marriage
Finding Joy in Marriage

Finding Joy in Marriage

Joy in Marriage

Finding joy in marriage comes with great challenges. If you’ve been married longer than one day, I’m sure you realize that.

There are many times when joy flows freely and our hearts feel full of love and respect for our spouse. Other times, marriage is one of the most difficult parts of life.

As we keep the Lord’s purposes in mind, marriage represents the relationship between Christ and the church (His bride). Even Scripture calls this a mystery. And yet we know that God created the institution of marriage and it can yield blessings beyond our imaginations.

In our 30 years of marriage, Mike and I have lived in nearly every spectrum, from unimaginable difficulties to overflowing blessings. I’m happy to say most of our years were full of love and laughter, but for a few of them… the despair and heartache seemed nearly unbearable.

I’ll say this: I’m glad we hung on. During times when we wanted to give up and move on, I’m so happy we stayed. My husband is a gift from the Lord—a divinely appointed partner to share life alongside me. No one (except God) knows me as well. No one can calm me down or fire me up like Mike. We are each other’s allies, friends, and champions. But it hasn’t always been that way.

Next week on the blog, I’ll share how Mike and I overcame our most challenging marital season so you’ll want to come back and hear that amazing tale. Today’s post kicks off a short series on marriage in celebration of June—the wedding month.

June: The Wedding Month

On the topic of the wedding month, I read an obscure fact this week. Did you know that June weddings date back to medieval times? I’ve always thought that the popularity of June nuptials pertained to college graduations and summer vacations, but here’s something, umm… interesting… to consider:

Long ago, weddings were scheduled to coincide with annual baths.

Seriously.

It seems there was just one time a year when thorough baths were given (I can’t imagine what that means—maybe the use of soap??) and that was in May or June. Brides wanted to smell fresh on their big day. Or perhaps it was the groom who wanted the bride to smell fresh. Anyway, they planned the ceremony accordingly. The tradition of carrying flowers stemmed from an attempt to hide any residual body odor.

So there’s that.

Even though we bathe regularly throughout the year, Mike and I married in June. It’s a great honor to also share our anniversary with our daughter and son-in-law. In celebration of the month of weddings and for two upcoming family anniversaries this month, blog posts will focus on the joys of marriage—and how to find God’s joy when things don’t look beautiful and rosy.

7 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Marriage

I wish I could say there were “easy” shortcuts, but there are none. Finding joy in marriage takes dedication, work, and unending effort. But it is oh, so worth it (or as my daughter often says, “hashtag worth it!” Yes. It’s #worthit.

Finding joy in marriage isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. There are simple things we can do—practices we can adopt—that can make a huge difference. In fact, I’ve compiled a lovely, printable list of 7 Simple Ways to Add Joy to Your Marriage This Week. It’s free and ready to download by signing up here.

(Please note that the email you provide will give you access to relevant email news and updates as we walk together toward finding joy in our jumbled lives.)

Will you celebrate this month of weddings with me and take deliberate steps toward adding joy to your marriage? Effort poured into a marriage relationship is never wasted. Your determination and focus will pay off, and the results just may prove grander than you imagined or hoped.

Blessings,

Cathy McIntosh

 

 

 

joy in marriage

joy-filled marriage
 

 

 

 

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