4 Unique Ways to Pray for God’s Comfort in Marriage And Linkup

Today I’m continuing to unpack some of the ways that I pray and prayer journal that provides the comfort I long for when my marriage and/or life wounds me deeply.

And though I’m talking mainly about prayer journaling, I’m also simply talking about ways to make our prayers more conducive to sensing God’s comfort in times of pain.

praying-for-comfort

One of the main ways to receive God’s comfort through prayer and prayer journaling is to simply make it your “go to” response in times of pain. It’s so tempting to turn to “Ben and Jerry’s” or our well-meaning friends—who might coincidentally be named “Ben” and “Jerry” 😉 —before we turn to the Lord.

So when you’re wounded by your mate, by life or both, I hope you’ll . . .

[Tweet ” Let pain be your “cue” to turn to the Lord. #gotoGod #prayforcomfort”]

Here are some unique and specific ideas for finding God’s comfort in prayer . . .

Method 1 – Prayer Journal a Psalm (or any comforting Scripture)

Allow me to show you how to do this with Psalm 35:1 as a jumping off place.

“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.”

My sweet Father, I’m desperate for Your comfort right now. Gary and I just pelted each other with venomous words and I feel so beaten down and afraid. He doesn’t understand or love me like You do, Lord! You are my hiding place. So I come to You, asking that You would indeed contend with him. Because when I try to, it all ends up going horribly wrong. Open his eyes to the ways he’s hurt me—cutting me to the quick. And don’t just open his eyes, Lord! Open both our eyes to the ways we’ve hurt each other. May You be the One who fights for our marriage, so that we don’t fall into the trap of fighting against each another.

Can you see how praying God’s word can bring perspective, adding a more heightened awareness of God’s comfort and care in a painful time?

Method 2 – Envision the Lord

I’m a visual person, so I find this extremely helpful for sensing God’s comfort when I pray. In fact, I begin my time of prayer with this method each day—unless of course, I’m driving while I pray! 😉

I simply bow my head before I begin to prayer journal and I imagine greeting and being greeted by the Lord. But when I’m in pain, I imagine the Lord running to me, encircling me in His arms and crying with me.

Method 3 – Pour Out Your Heart

This is sort of the follow-up to Method 2, though it certainly can stand on its own. But what I want to stress here is the need to be completely uncensored verbally as well as emotionally. Just let your heart break before the Lord.

Remember how Jesus poured His heart out before the Lord the night before His crucifixion? As the Savior of the world, God in the flesh, He didn’t try to pull it together or hold back—even sweating droplets of blood! And if anyone knows how to pray, it was and is Jesus!

[Tweet “Praying for God’s comfort involves baring our soul in tear-soaked streams of pain. #liquidprayer”]

Comfort

Method 4 – Let Grief Give Way to Praise

One of the consistent things I’ve noticed in King David’s psalms is how his prayers begin with pouring out his heart to God in grief, but then take a very obvious turn toward praising God. David then would declare in faith what he believed God would do for him moving forward.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I turn from my sadness (in life or in my prayers) to seeing the good God is doing in each moment, I feel greater and greater degrees of God’s comfort and encouragement. And declaring what God will do activates my faith in His incredible power.

I hope you’ll try this the next time you experience pain.

[Tweet “Christian bloggers, the ‘From Messes to Messages’ linkup is live! #MessyMarriage #joinus”]

 

What’s a method for finding God’s comfort through prayer that you would add to my list?

 

Which of the methods I’ve shared is one you’d like to try, and why?

 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Christian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

Messy Marriage

  • Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth, and Iove the four methods you’ve outlined.

    I come to this from a somewhat ‘different’ place – when I visualize God He is a Marine colonel with a weathered face – looking a bit like Clint Eastwood having just swallowed a bug – and He tells me to get on with the job, in no uncertain terms. (Why not a general? Because colonels are still REAL Marines.)

    Under my peculiar circumstances my prayers are to be harder than pain and dismay, because I simply can’t quit – there are no days off here. With the dogs, and with my blog, I have a duty that has to be met. When there are ‘personal’ issues, I ask to be as impassive as granite, and centered above the plane of emotion. I can’t afford to cry, or to be weak.

    No wonder Clint…er, God…looks like He just ate a bug when He looks at me. I suspect He’s quite cross, and that I will receive a severe dressing-down in Heaven.

    But until I get there, I have to survive THIS, and it isn’t easy, or fun.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/01/your-dying-spouse-257-overwhelmed.html

    • Susan

      Andrew….

    • I would guess that the way you envision God is very much like so many of the authority figures in your life, Andrew. It’s taken me a lot of years–and I’m still working on it, quite frankly–to view God as a loving Father. My dad was loving in the sense that I knew (or assumed) intellectually that he loved me. But it never really felt real or true in an emotional sense. So years ago I began to envision praying to God the Father and forcing my imagination to realize Him for who He really is–truly loving, concerned and involved in my life, which was far from the way my father often acted. It still feels a bit forced to talk to God the Father, but I do it and the more I do it, the more He becomes real to me in those ways.

      That’s not to say that you must do what I’ve done, but it is something that stirred my remembrance of those days when I couldn’t imagine God in that way at all. Thanks for being so authentic and true to your view of things, my friend. Praying for you!

  • Mary

    I am glad you are continuing this series about prayer. I have done the pour out method a number of times. It seems to be in times of challenging circumstances or uncertainty in my life. I did dedicate one specific journal to prayer this year. I tend to fill up a journal with a variety of things before I get out a new journal. This way I will have my prayers all in one spot.

    So glad to have you back. I hope your time was restful and full of good memories.

    • I’m glad that you’re starting a new habit of dedicating a journal just to prayer journalings, Mary. I’ve really felt that prayer journaling has opened up a whole new dimension to my prayer life and spiritual life. Thanks for your constant encouragement of me in this space, my friend!

  • bluecottonmemory

    I understand the Ben and Jerry’s go-to! It’s been a go-to season but in a way that isn’t an attack – if that makes sense. When you said this: “I imagine the Lord running to me, encircling me in His arms and crying with me” – I think that is so important, to spiritually see God right there with you! I think, also, not being scared of offending God about how you feel hurt and asking him to help you see it right. Sometimes we don’t come right out and admit what it is we’re feeling because we recognize it as not the way God would feel. Happy New Year, Beth! ~ Maryleigh

    • Yes, it’s a place I’ve turned to so often when I’ve felt discouraged, Maryleigh. Maybe not necessarily that brand of ice cream. I’m no discriminator of the frozen treat–I include all sorts of brands and options! ha!

      Thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m so glad to hear that you agree and do this with the Father. And you’re so right about not worrying that our feelings will offend God. He already knows them, so it’s more offensive when we think we can pull a fast one on Him or worry that He’s too fragile to handle our pain. Perish the thought! But there’s also, as you’ve pointed out, the shame we feel when coming to God in that way. I do hope this gives those kinds of folks the permission to bear their souls to the One who made their souls in the first place! Hugs to you!

  • Happy New Year to you Beth.
    It is blissful seeing that you have continued in this series.
    I love prayers because there many issues that get resolved through prayers. Of course, pouring out our hearts before the Lord just like Hannah did is a way to be comforted of the Lord.
    God bless you Beth

    • I’m so glad you’ve appreciated this series. And you are absolutely right about how issues get resolved through prayer. I’ve felt God resolve them both within me and outside of me–and both at times too! Those are great moments for sure! Thanks for coming by to encourage me, my friend! Always great to have you in the linkup!

  • I love your heart to show others who may struggle with prayer how to think of new ways that may resonate with them Beth! When we come to the Lord and sit in submission to His will, authority and direction over our lives it can be a beautiful and scary thing! Some of my best prayer times have been when I’m so wounded and crushed that I just sit with the Lord knowing He hears the cries of my heart. Hope you are feeling better friend! xoxo

    • Oh yes, Nicki! Those are some of my best times too. There’s something so “other-worldly” when we let the Lord touch us on earth in that way–wrapping us in His gracious arms. Thanks for your kind words and constant encouragement to me, my friend! I always hope to see you in our linkups since you share my same heartbeat. #twopeasinapod 😉

  • Beth, thanks for leading the way into healthy and redemptive relationships in our homes.

    • Thank you, Michele, for saying and for joining the linkup, my friend. Blessings to you!

  • Encouraging post and love the theme from messes to messages!! Thankful I saw your link up with Coffee For The Heart!

    • Thanks so much, Jenn! It’s so nice to meet you and so glad to have you in the linkup! I hope you’ll keep coming back around, my friend!

  • JosephPote

    What a great post, Beth! Yes, He is our God of all comfort.

    Hebrews 4:16 is one of my favorite verses, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
    In quoting this verse, I picture myself literally running into the throne room, like a small child running to his father…confident that Father will always welcome me with open arms…and will always have whatever I need in the way of comfort, wisdom, strength or courage.

    Good to have you back! Have a wonderful day!

    • Yes, I think of coming to the Father in that way as well, Joe. In fact, I shared a bit about that with Andrew below, because that’s been something of an effort for me. Now I enjoy it, but it was not always something that came natural, since thinking of God the Father often took on much of the baggage I had with my own father. My relationship with my dad improved quite a bit just before he died–because I cultivated it with much effort. But it was never as close as I wanted and that has translated into some troubling ways of viewing the Father. Now it’s so much easier, but it’s still something of a work in progress. Thanks so much for joining the linkup with your wise posts and incredible insights, my friend!

  • Beth … I love your gentle reminder that prayer should be our default mode when running into difficult times. Too often we turn to everyone else, especially our spouses, thinking that those relationships will speak peace to the deepest part of who we are.

    And when it doesn’t happen, our frustration and resentment only add to the burden we’re already carrying.

    Thanks for your guidance here, week in and out. I’m so grateful you’re in my life …

    • I say that, Linda, because it has become that default for me. Of course, that means there’s always room for improvement, but I catch myself drifting much earlier and turn more quickly when I do. But yes, it’s like going down a dead-end street whenever we turn to other things and people to satisfy us. Maybe there’s a quick burst but then it’s gone and we are left more empty and longing than before we turned to that “god.” Thanks for encouraging me here in this space, my friend! Oh, and I just remembered I need to respond to your email request sent before Christmas! Yikes! I’ll put that on my to-do list this week for sure!

  • Susan

    Beth, I’ve been cleaning out some bins and boxes in my office and I came across a prayer journal from 2013. I sat and read the whole thing. Powerful stuff!

    • Wow, that’s so encouraging to hear, Susan! I’m glad you did that and let me know about it as well. It truly is powerful stuff.

  • Patricia A Krank

    Prayer journaling is so powerful. I love to look back and see how God has answered my prayers. Thank you for this today. Patti

    • Yes, that’s one of the best things about prayer journaling–we get to see how God worked in our prayers. Thanks for coming by and saying that, Patricia!

  • Christin Baker

    It’s so nice to meet you, Beth! I love all of your methods of taking our pain to the Lord, and I LOVE writing down passages from the Psalms and turning them into prayers. When I journal my prayers, it is definitely my time to be raw and real before the Lord, and when I pour out my heart to Him, I experience such peace! It was such a blessing to be next to you at #momentsofhope, and I’d love to join your link-up! Many blessings to you!

    • I’m so glad that you pray the psalms and are real and open with the Lord about your pain. It sounds as if you know what I’m talking about, my friend! Always glad to have fellow-cheerleaders joining me in the encouragement to those who might not yet know how great these spiritual practices are. And so nice to have you in the linkup! I hope you keep coming back and sharing your great content with us!

  • pioneerpat1

    Thanks for hosting. I have a Guideposts book for 2017 and I say a prayer while reading it at different places (I carry on me). It helps that I have a started to write in it.

    Hope you have a Happy and Blessed 2017.

    • That’s so great, Patrick! I can imagine how the discipline of writing on your blog has transferred to other areas of your life. And I’m so encouraged that you carry this book with you. I hope you keep it up! Wishing you a great 2017 as well, my friend!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Beth,
    I really like these methods. I am a very visual person, so visualizing myself as a lamb in the arms of Jesus is often a comfort vision I go to. I need to, when grief or trial are burdening me, give way to praise. In all things I need to praise Him…not for His good, but for mine. Thanks so much and Happy New Year (belated)!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • That’s a beautiful idea, Bev. I’ve never done considered that before–visualizing myself as a lamb in Christ’s arms, but it’s so true! Thanks for sharing that and for encouraging me, my friend. Always great to have you in the linkup!

  • I’m a visual person, too, so envisioning the Lord is great advice. Well, all these tips are great! Thanks, Beth. I just finished reading “Fervent” so I’m definitely encouraged to pray more.

    • Thank you, Lisa. I think you’ve talked about reading “Fervent” on your blog, correct? I’ll have to check it out, because we all can use some help and insights into being more passionate for Christ and others.

  • Beth, this just feels like healing balm! The reminder that God is always our most intimate and personal comforter, and that we never have to walk through our valleys alone is huge. I love the methods. It seems when I get to the place of pouring out, I receive the greatest comfort.

    • I’m so glad you feel that way, Crystal. It truly is like healing balm for me, especially when I feel knocked down by life and marriage. And yes, it’s so comforting to know that we are never alone. It’s tempting to think that when our spouse rejects of hurts us, but nothing could be further from the truth! Thanks for joining the conversation and so glad to have you in the linkup!

  • Dear Beth

    Very strong writing! The image of the Lord sharing our suffering is very powerful.

    I like your suggestions, and I’m trying out 2 and a half out of the 4 of them. I like using
    Scripture to inspire a written prayer; I envision the Lord very much at my bedtime prayers – I like Psalm 125:2 “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people”; I especially like writing prayers of praise and adoration, rejoicing. I am still surprised at how effective it can be for calm, sleep, uplift.

    Taking my suffering and frustration to prayer is something I am putting off 🙂 That is certainly one I’d “like to try” – when there’s plenty of space and time to recover afterwards.

    David

    • Thanks, David! I do hope you try to do some or all of them. I do know how you like using Scripture to pray and that’s one of the more powerful of the methods. So a great place to continue to practice and invest. That psalm you shared is a very powerful image. I’ll have to make note of it for future reference. And yes, it is very effective. God is in the details of our lives for sure.

      And you’re wise to choose a carefully guarded moment to try turning your frustration and suffering over to God. You’ll want to feel completely alone with the Lord–with no chance of being overheard or interrupted, especially when starting out. Thanks for trying any of these, though. It’s always encouraging to me to know what you and others are hoping to apply from what I share. Blessings to you, sweet friend!

  • leahrc

    Thank you for sharing these with the LMMLinkup.

    • You’re welcome, Leah! Nice to meet you!

  • Hi Beth! Great post! I love to pray the Scriptures like you described, but if I’m honest, I’m not as quick to turn to God as I should be! I spend untold amounts of time trying to make sense of things and figure out what to do on my own, perhaps even licking my wounds a bit! I definitely had one of those times a couple of days ago! Thanks for reminding us to practice turning to God right away. He is the only one who understands fully, as you said so well. Blessings, sweet friend!

    • I can get caught up in studying the Scriptures too, Donna, and not make time for praying through those same truths that I’m mining each day. So I can relate. But yes, I’m right there with you on making this more and more of a priority in my life. I want it to be my “go to” in all sorts of situations. Thanks for encouraging me and being authentic to boot! Love it and your heart!

  • Amy Jung

    I love the prayer journal idea! Thank you for affirming ways to get real with the Lord and receive His comfort…