How and What to Pray for Your Spouse Plus Linkup!

I was raised in a pastor’s home where prayer was an everyday occurrence, at least around the table. But oddly enough, I can’t recall ever seeing my parents pray together as a couple. That might explain why their marriage was probably messier than my own has been.

And though I’m a pastor’s wife, I have to admit that I didn’t begin to pray consistently and intentionally about my marriage or specifically for myself or my husband’s ability to be the best spouses we could be until about six years ago. I find in talking with at least my circle of friends that I’m not alone in this neglect.

Pray for spouse

So today I wanted to share some ideas on how to go about praying for your mate.

But first, let me give you some ideas on what not to do . . .

1. Don’t pray for your mate instead of praying for your own attitude and actions in marriage.

You should do both, but if you have to forgo one of the two (perhaps due to time constraints), focus on yourself over focusing on your mate.

2. Avoid “consistently” praying in a negative way about your mate.

When your mate hurts you, it’s always important to be raw and honest with the Lord about how you feel. But when you make this your habit day-after-day, you probably need to adjust “your” attitude and prayers for yourself instead.

3. Don’t be unrealistic or request what isn’t biblical of your mate.

In other words, view your spouse like the faulty human that you are.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

Along that same line, don’t ask God to change your mate into a person with different wiring or tastes either. God wants you to learn to accept your spouse and marriage, so that might be another area where you should pray for yourself!

4 Key Ways to Know What to Pray . . .

1. Ask your spouse how you can pray for him/her . . . as it relates to your marriage.

But only do this if your mate would be encouraged by this kind of question. If it might make them defensive, move on to #2.

[Tweet “Ask your mate for how you can pray for him/her and for your marriage. #spouseprayers”]

2. What character flaws in your mate regularly create conflicts in your marriage?

Click here for a list of ideas. Be sure to use this list for yourself as well! 😉

3. What are some ways you’ve wounded your mate?

For example, if you’re a wife, you might’ve made a habit of resisting your husband’s leadership. If so, pray that he would gain confidence in this area or that he would be able to forgive you for the way you’ve hurt him (or better still, pray both)!

[Tweet “Pray for healing in the ways you’ve wounded your mate. #prayerheals #marriageprayers”]

4. What are some ways your spouse has been wounded by others or experienced traumas in life?

This could be anything from PTSD, to being abused as a child/teen or even as an adult, to grieving the loss of a loved one, to dealing with a harsh boss, to dealing with an illness or disability, etc. These ideas and many others that aren’t mentioned provide fertile soil to plant your prayers for the wounds of your mate.

Once you’ve considered these questions, record three or four specific requests for your spouse and keep that list handy during your prayer times. You might even want to keep them somewhere in “the cloud” or on a note app or simply on a note card that you carry with you, so that you can pray these requests at a moment’s notice.

Before I conclude this post, I want to offer a prayer that I pray for my husband that you can download and print out to pray for your husband, as well as one specifically written for a husband to pray for your wife.


Btw, if you’re single, remember that you can use these ideas and questions to begin to pray for other family members or even those “EGR” (Extra Grace Required) people in your life! Relationships of all kinds need our prayer support. 😉

[Tweet “Christian bloggers, “From Messes to Messages” linkup is live! Come join us! #MessyMarriage”]


What are some ideas or thoughts you’d like to add to what I’ve shared today on this topic?


What is one way you’d like your mate to pray for you as a spouse?


Here are some lovely linkups I joinChristian 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

  • bluecottonmemory

    When I don’t know what to pray, I pray Psalms over my husband. It never fails. You make a wonderful point – about looking to God to be our Savior instead of our husbands. When I started relying on God to mend my brokenness, it removed inappropriate expectations I had on what I saw was my husband’s responsibility about taking care of me. It created a huge difference in our life/relationship!

    • That’s such a great practice, Maryleigh. I try to tether my prayers to Scripture as well. The printable was based loosely off of several (actually) verses in Isaiah. I love the imagery there about the bride of Christ. But I didn’t really include an encouragement to pray Scripture in this post over our spouses, so I’m glad you’ve added that to the conversation.

      I’m so glad you came to that place in your heart and life, Maryleigh. It’s been so freeing for me as well–not expecting my husband to fulfill my every need. I love the way you phrase that “asking God to mend your brokenness.” Yes, there’s such healing from the Lord when we turn our eyes from our mates to our own broken hearts and lives. It can be such a game changer in our lives and marriages when we do. Hugs to you, my friend!

  • Love this post. It’s amazing how many people focus on what’s wrong with their spouses instead of look inward and ask Jesus to work on their own failings first. Love your list of what to do as well as what not to do. I’m sharing this today. Love it! 🙂 Also, it’s amazing how many books are out there about praying for your spouse, etc. and they are so lengthy. When people are in crisis they don’t have the mental capacity to read a book. Love that you got your list of key things into just one simple post. So valuable! You ROCK! xoxo

    • I view it as something of a process. Most people in hurting marriages become fixated on their spouse’s character flaws–blaming them for the demise of their marriage. So I like to start at the brokenness we all can experience in those times. But once we turn those criticisms into prayers for our spouses, we see how much grace God extends to them. I know that always encourages me to extend that same grace to my hubby.

      Thank you for your kind words, Nicki. I always love hearing what you think about my posts. You have such a heart for God that it’s a privilege to call you friend! Hugs to you!

  • Mary

    I love how you point us back to God throughout but also are quick to remind us that prayers for others involve prayers that ask God to help you too. We cannot just pray for others to be “fixed” if we are not willing for the same for ourselves.

    Thank you for putting a little disclaimer at the end for me-the single woman. I always find ways that I can use your wisdom in my own life. Sending you hugs today!

    • Yes, that’s been such a constant truth that God has impressed on me, Mary. I can’t point out my spouse’s flaws and sins without looking more intently at my own. But as we turn these–for lack of a better word–criticisms into prayer requests for our spouses and for ourselves, God ushers in the healing we so desperately need. I did think of you when I mentioned that “single” note at the end. But I believe there’s an audience out there that I rarely address–those that have divorced due to a messy marriage. It’s something I may write about in this next year. Thanks as always for your friendship and support!

  • I find that the closer I am to someone, the more difficult it is for me to pray for them unselfishly. So . . . with family, I really try to pray Scripture-based requests for them, agreeing with God on what they need and what’s important for them, and spending the time lifting them up to God and submitting to His will for them.

    • Good point, Michele. I believe that’s true for all of us. And basing our prayers in Scripture is always the best way to go. Thanks for joining the conversation and linkup, my friend!

  • OH I love that we’re both musing on prayer today, Beth …

    • It’s a great topic to be in sync with one another, dear Linda! Good to have you stopping by and lending your support!

  • Patricia A Krank

    I love this list of how to pray for your husband. Thank you.

    • Glad you find it helpful, Patricia. Thanks for your kind words. Blessings to you!

  • I appreciate your thoughts on prayer with our marriages. It’s not something my husband and I do together, but I wish we did. He is not as comfortable voicing his prayers and faith as I am, and I try to be respectful and patiently pray that in time we will be able to join the prayers we pray silently for each other, together. Happy Wednesday! Megs

    • I need to do a post on the spouse who resists praying or even any kind of spiritual practice. It’s so very common. And praying together is such an intimate thing–even if you’re only praying one or two sentences each. I totally get that, Meg. And kudos to you for being sensitive and patient with your hubby about it all. That’s a great way to deal with that challenge. Thanks for joining the conversation, my friend.

  • Love this, Beth. Great tips. I love that many of them point back to our attitudes. If we would pray to love better and love and see our husbands like Jesus sees them, it would really alleviate a lot. Have a wonderful week and thanks for hosting!

    • If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my prayers for myself and others, Jaime, it’s that God always brings the focus back to what am “I” doing with His love, grace and truth? That’s when I can see more clearly the conflicts in my marriage for what they are and am able to forgive, extend grace and most of all, humble myself before my husband. Thanks for adding the thought to see our spouse as Jesus sees them. What a convicting and eye-opening practice! Great to see you, my friend!

  • JosephPote

    It’s a funny thing, really. Every time I bring concerns about my wife before God and ask for His help, somehow He always turns the focus back to my own attitude and behavior.

    Which is actually great…because that’s the part of the marriage I actually have control of and responsibility for. 😉

    • That’s been my experience as well, Joe. Even if I’m praying negatively for my husband, God somehow knows how to get me to see things from His perspective! And I’m so glad He does! Great to have you in the linkup! I’m heading to your post right now!

  • I love this, “view your spouse like the faulty human that you are.” Too often we want God to bring judgment on the other person’s faults (why hasn’t God done something about …), but we want mercy with our “minor character flaws.” Very wise counsel. Thanks for this and for hosting, Beth!

  • Christin Baker

    Such a great post, Beth! It reminds me of Stormie Omartian’s book “The Power of a Praying Wife”–the first prayer we ought to pray when praying for our spouse is, “Lord, change me!” I am trying to get into the habit of asking my husband, “How can I pray for you today?” That way he has the opportunity to share what is on his heart and what he is most in need of at that time. Thanks so much for great tips and encouragement!

  • pioneerpat1

    A very good and thought provoking post. I something see my faults and give others a pass on them figuring it is not my job to point them out. I should just pray for them.

  • It’s so true – I rarely see or know of couples who consistently pray together for more than dinner! My husband and I are guilty of it. We each pray individually. We pray at dinner. We pray together in the difficult moments. But as far as making it a daily habit? No. But it’s so important! Why do we not? Thanks for the gentle prodding here, Beth! I love the prayer you included. Beautiful!

  • Amy Jung

    I appreciate these husband prayers! Especially the fourth one!

  • Dear Beth

    My bedtime prayer is changing! Now I tend to lead of with lots of thank yous – thank yous to the Lord in response to the day’s events. There is always a thank you for my wife. A thank you tends to lead on to your #3 and #4: noting where I have failed God’s grace in relation to my wife; asking special attention for something my wife might have faced that day or be facing the next day. If my wife has hurt/annoyed me during the day (ie your #2) I do pray about that but I tend to focus on my failure to handle it gracefully.

    I like the prayers you’ve composed.


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