14 Days of Prayer for Your Marriage with 1 Corinthians 13 (plus a Free Printable!)

When I was a girl earning my badges in the kids’ program in my home church, I had to memorize the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 in the King James Version.

It’s stuck.  I can still rattle off bunches of it.marriageprayer

But I hope it really stuck…you know?  Not the rote memorization, but the revelation of what love is.  God loves us this way.  And He says even if we’re performing the most outrageous acts of self-sacrifice and service and we’re not doing it out of love, then it’s just meaningless drivel.

So, I’m praying for the next two weeks through this “Love Chapter” for my marriage because I want it to be meaning-full and I want it to reflect God’s love to the world around us.  Perhaps you will be praying for your own marriage, too?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NIV).

Day One, Love is Patient: 

Lord, today let us respond with patience and show each other grace.  We know that no one changes over night and none of us is perfect.  We make mistakes.  We forget, we grow careless, and we become distracted by life and stress.  Please let us be patient with each other, with our marriage, with our circumstances, just as you are so patient with us.  Help us not to push, nudge, or give up on each other, but instead may we give each other room and grace to grow more like You.  

Day Two, Love is Kind:

God, it’s too easy to forget the simple beauty of kindness.  We can neglect courtesy and consideration.  Help us to be thoughtful and kind to one another, showing each other respect and attention in our words and deeds.   Stir our hearts to remember the small things like holding doors, making phone calls, performing acts of service, putting the other’s needs above our own.  As it says in Ephesians 4:32, may we “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave You.”

Day Three, Love Does Not Envy:

Lord, As it says in The Message, “Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.”  Let this be true of us.  Help us appreciate the gift you’ve given us in this marriage and in each other and cultivate contentment and gratitude in our hearts. We don’t need to compare our spouse or our marriage to anyone else’s.  Instead, thank You for the marriage You’ve given us.  Please remind us throughout the day of all the reasons we fell in love in the first place.

Day Four, It does not Boast, it is not Proud:

Jesus, at that Last Supper with Your disciples, You bent so low and You poured that water over their grimy feet.  You, Our Savior, came “not to be served, but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).  May we never be too proud to serve one another in the humblest of ways.  We might think, “That’s his responsibility; that’s her job.”  In our selfishness, we might feel like we’ve given so much already and how could we give any more?  But we bend low today.  We lay down our rights and our pride and choose to serve our spouse just as You served us.

Day Five, It does not dishonor others:

God, may we show each other honor in all we do and say.  Guard our mouths.  May our words be used to encourage, praise, and build one another up, not tear each other down, find fault, or trample all over each other’s feelings.  When we’re with others, don’t let us fall into those traps of complaining about marriage or our spouses, but instead let the way we talk about one another help others to know the beauty of marriage the way You designed it.

Day Six,  It is Not Self-Seeking:

Father, we live in a “me first” world.  We’re told to “look out for number one” and to take care of ourselves above all.  But that is not Your way.  Jesus “made himself nothing” and humbled himself, choosing “even death on a cross” for us—for me (Philippians 2:6-8).  Today, let us choose Your way over the world’s way:  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

Day Seven, It is Not Easily Angered:

God, forgive me for the times I’ve reacted in anger instead of responding with grace.  And so often, too often really, we can make the smallest issues into the biggest deals.  Help me not to be easily angered.  Today, may we overlook petty offenses and minor bothers.  Redirect our vision to focus on what is good rather than what we think is wrong.  Remind us of what is important and learn to let the inessentials pass by unnoticed.

Day Eight, It Keeps No Record of Wrongs:

Lord, if You kept a record of all my sins, I couldn’t stand up under the weight of them all.  I’d be buried in accusations and proof of my failures.  But You show grace.   May we likewise extend grace to each other, as it says in 1 Peter: “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love coves a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).  If we excel at anything in this marriage, may it be at forgiveness.  When Satan tries to drag all that trash up from the past, we ask that You help us choose forgiveness instead, choose to let it go, choose to move toward one another instead of apart, choose to rebuild trust, choose moving on.

Day Nine, Love Does Not Delight In Evil, but Rejoices With the Truth:

God, help us rejoice with our spouse when they rejoice and mourn when they mourn.  Let us be a place of refuge and safety for them when they share their struggles, fears, emotions, hopes and dreams.  Help us to “have each other’s back” all the time and to be such a team that we delight and take pleasure in what is good and true and battle together against what is evil and wrong.

Day Ten, Love Bears All Things (ESV, NKJV):

Lord, we are so thankful that when there are burdens to bear, You’ve called us to bear them together.  As it says in Your Word,  “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NLT).  May we bear all things together.  May we carry each other to the cross and help each other each day.  If one of us is weak, may the other be strong in You.

Day Eleven, Always trusts:

God, build trust in our marriage.  Create that environment of honesty and truth.  But more than that, may we always trust You to care for us and to guide us.  We know that start to finish, this marriage, our lives, our family is in Your hands.  We know You are trustworthy, so faithful and full of merciful, loyal love for us.  We pray that our home and our marriage reflect that to those around us.

Day Twelve, Always hopes:

Lord, we don’t want to ever lose hope.  We know that You have a plan and a future for us as individuals and as a couple, and we thank You for that.  Thank You that You never give up on us and we pray that we never give up on each other.  Each morning, let us wake with hope for a new day, for fresh starts, and for the work that You want to do in us.

Day Thirteen, Always Perseveres 

God, remind us during the hard days, when we’re hurt or angry, tired, frustrated, or broken, that You are with us.  Help us to persevere through every season of difficulty.  Draw us together during those times instead of letting circumstances drive us apart.  Where there is distance, bring intimacy.  Where there is bitterness, bring reconciliation.  Where there is coldness, bring passion.  Where there is pain, bring healing.

Day Fourteen, Love Never Fails

Father, Your love for us doesn’t fail.  You just never give up on us.  Thank You for that unfathomable and astonishing love when we are so unworthy.  We pray that our marriage will grow ever more beautiful each day, not fading, not failing.  In every single season, we pray that You will help our relationship thrive.  Teach us how to avoid the pitfalls in communication, in intimacy, in finances, in conflict, in friendship, in parenting and in every way so that we will always be putting on love, which binds every other virtue together in perfect unity (Colossians 3:14). 

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.Photo by Cora Miller

Will you join me in praying for your marriage for 14 days?  If you would like a printout of these prayers to place in Your Bible or journal or maybe on your fridge or bathroom mirror, you canclick here for the free printable!

If you’d like to see the 12 Verses I pray for my husband, you can click here!

Originally posted MAY 2, 2014 

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

7 Prayers for Your Home and Family

It’s usually when I watch my children sleep.

Or when my tired infant son finally relaxes his on-the-go muscles and snuggles into me as I sway next to his crib.prayershomeandfamily

That’s when I pray it.  Like a whispered prayer, one you can’t find all the words for, not when your heart is so full (or you are so sleep-deprived).  But it’s passionate and desperate:

Help me do this, Lord!  Help me be the wife and mom You want me to be and that they need me to be.

I need some ways to cover our home and family in prayer so that I can commit this all to Him and seek His help every day.

So, here they are:  Seven Prayers for Your Home and Family.  These are the verses I pray and the requests I make.  What about you?  Please comment with your own verses and prayers.

  • Salvation

    • Prayer:

      God, help us to keep this as our focus and never lose sight of the most important gift and responsibility you have given us—the salvation of our family.  It’s easy to get caught up in worldly standards of success and measures of our worth, especially as parents.  But honor rolls, scholarships, awards, and accolades don’t mean anything compared to salvation in Jesus Christ.  Our greatest joy would be to see our children ‘walking in the truth.’ We pray that every member of our family will choose a personal, real, abiding, and powerful relationship with our Savior and that we will ask Him to reign over our lives both as a family and as individuals.

    • Scripture verses:

 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15 NIV).

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved (Romans 10:9-10 NIV)

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:4)

  • Peace

    • Prayer:

      Lord, may our homes be havens of peace. The world around us can be stressful and high-pressured.  We may be surrounded by conflict, battles, and oppression outside this home, but we pray that inside these walls, You will bring peace.  Help us to rest in You.  Help us communicate with grace, offer love and support, and speak in love.  Even in the stressful rush of the mornings as we head out the door to school, work, church and other activities, may we breathe deeply and choose peace, gentleness, and kindness with one another.

    • Scripture Verses:

      Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27 NIV).

       “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV).

  • A Godly Legacy

    • Prayer:

      No matter what our faith background up to this point, we pray for a heritage of faith, godliness, righteousness, salvation, and a passion for Your Word and for the Gospel.  Help us to take the time to teach our children truth.  We don’t want to ever be so busy that we neglect to teach our children about You.  Give us the right words to say and guide our discussions with our children.  May our children choose to marry strong Christians and raise their own children in Your Word.  Where we have gone astray, we pray for grace and new opportunities.  For our adult children and our grandchildren, we ask that You will turn their hearts and minds to You even now.

    • Scripture Verses:

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it  (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV)

  • Unity and Love

    • Prayer:

      Father, help us to remember that we are not just individuals out to achieve our own agendas.  You have joined us together as a family; unite our hearts in love.  Remind us that we are stronger together.  Show us how to love each other sacrificially, graciously, and generously every day.  May we serve each other, performing even the smallest acts of kindness for one another without complaint or score-keeping.  We ask that our love for one another reflect Christ’s sacrificial and unconditional love so that others will look at our home and our family, and see You.  Let our love for one another draw others to know your love for them.

    • Scripture Verses

      Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7 ESV). By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35 ESV).

      Two are better than one,
          because they have a good return for their labor:
      10 If either of them falls down,
          one can help the other up.
      But pity anyone who falls
          and has no one to help them up.
      11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
          But how can one keep warm alone?
      12 Though one may be overpowered,
          two can defend themselves.
      A cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV).

  • Stewardship

    • Prayer:

      Father, You know our needs.  We lay them at Your feet and ask for Your provision.  We trust in You as our Provider.  Lord, we ask for blessing, not so that we can stash it away, or indulge our own material desires.  We don’t need the biggest house or the flashiest car or the most expensive clothes.  We ask for blessing so that we may bless others.  May we be good stewards of what You have given so that we can give it away to support missions and to care for others in need.  Please open our eyes to the needs of others around us and help us to give quickly and give generously.

    • Scripture Verses:

      And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19 ESV)

      The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor (Proverbs 22:9 NIV).

  • Purity

    • Prayer:

      God, it is so easy to fall into the pitfalls and traps of sin and temptation.  We are surrounded by what is wrong.  Help us choose what is right.  Give us strength to be vigilant about protecting the influences inside of our home, and when possible, outside of it, as well.  Holy Spirit, prompt our hearts when we need to walk away, when we need to stop listening, stop reading, stop watching…..and help us fill our minds and hearts only with what is good, true, righteous, and pure.  May we be set apart for You, living in this world, but not of it.

    • Scripture Verses:

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8 ESV).

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers (Psalm 1:1-6 ESV).

  • Laughter and Joy

    • Prayer:

      Lord, we know that there will be hard times, but we pray that You will continually stir our hearts to joy.  Let our home be a place of laughter.  Open our eyes to see reasons to rejoice, stories to share, jokes to tell, and smiles to give one another.  Make our home a place of rejoicing.

    • Scripture Verses:


      A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones (Proverbs 17:22 ESV)

      Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them” (Psalm 125:2 ESV).

      Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11 ESV)

       

      If you would like a printout of these prayers to place in Your Bible or journal or maybe on your fridge or bathroom mirror, you can click here for the free printable!

      You can also check out 12 Verses to Pray for Your Husband and 14 Days of Prayer for Your Marriage With 1 Corinthians 13 for other ways to be in prayer for your family.

       

       

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King