Marriage is one of life’s most thrilling and challenging relationships. It has enormous potential to bring deep satisfaction and joy for individuals while influencing a culture and world in gorgeous ways. On the other hand, a marriage in breakdown brings greater heartbreak than few other things do.

The number of couples in crisis is reaching tragic proportions. It seems like someone needs to sound an alarm and give a shout out for being PROACTIVE in the marriage relationship. Each of our marriages is vulnerable because the temptations are many, the battle is long, encouragement is sparse, accountability from others is shy, and recognition that God can fix ANYTHING is often based on shaky belief.

Starting today, we want to join with you every Friday in praying for marriages. Larry and I believe prayer is the first and most powerful step that any of us can take if we want to be proactive about strong marriages. Why Fridays? Because, in most of our homes, spouses are separated for many hours during the weekdays but have more time together on the weekend — for better or for worse.

So whether you are praying for your own marriage or for the relationships of others you know, let’s hook arms and band together with superior weaponry in the battle for marriages to be refreshed, renewed, healed, restored and thriving!

ALMIGHTY GOD, You have the power to intervene on any journey through strain and storms like disability, chronic illness, financial insecurity, grief over loss, infidelity, and addiction. Renew my confidence that You can overcome the most hopeless situations (mine or someone else’s) and bring unexpected joy.

Open my eyes to see what is good in my marriage and celebrate it out loud. Give me insights about how to respond positively and constructively where things are broken. Help me and my spouse to extend Your pure grace to one another — over and over again. Help me to support this in the marriages around me as well.

Lord, please cause my marriage to be an example to others (especially children, mine and others) of Your enduring love. Even when things in my marriage are not well, God, please use hardship to turn each person in my family toward You rather than away.

Thank you, Jesus, that I am Your child before I am anything else. I am not defined by my role as husband, wife, parent, son, daughter, illness, weakness, addiction, shame, hurts, career, or obstacle I may be facing. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You who, with joy set before You, endured the cross, scorned its shame, and finished the race victoriously by keeping Your vision on the eternal perspectives of Your Heavenly Father.

Put Your grace and joy in my heart, Lord, and let it spill out on my spouse this weekend!