If I could give one piece of advice to a couple to help make their marriage successful and keep it successful, it’s this: Pray together and trust God.
God gives us many promises in Scripture, but a specific promise is given to couples. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus says, “If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
When Jesus says “if two of you agree,” He’s using the ancient Greek work sumphoneo, from which we get our word symphony. In a symphony, a variety of instruments tune themselves to the same frequency and play in harmony. Together, they make beautiful music.
Jesus says that if a husband and wife synchronize their faith in agreement, if they pray together as a couple, the Father will answer that prayer.
It’s important to recognize that God makes promises for two of us that He doesn’t make for one person alone. Why is this? I believe it’s because God doesn’t want us to be alone. He wants us to come together as couples or as families.
But the devil wants us by ourselves, because the wolf always goes for the stray sheep. When we’re isolated, we are more easily discouraged. But the more we join our faith with other people, the more miracles God does. That’s the mark of the Holy Spirit. When you see unity, you know God has been at work.
One reason that unity in prayer is so important is because the number-one killer of marriage is stress. It’s the top reason for illnesses and the number-one reason for prescribed medications in America. Stress and anxiety deplete us emotionally. They rob us of the energy to love each other and, inevitably, cause us to start fighting.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
In other words, when we feel stress or worry, that’s when we should pray. Your worry list should become your prayer list. If you’re worried about money, about your kids, about your health or about your job, pray about those things.
When we pray together as a couple, we are giving those worries to God. He promises to be present with us and to give us the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding.” If you’re anxious, it’s because you’re not praying.
It was several years into our marriage that Karen and I finally began to pray together. That decision changed everything. Before then, our relationship was filled with anxiety, stress, and emotional unhealth. But today we don’t worry. When we experience the first hint of anxiety, we hold hands and pray.
The peace of God has filled our home because of it. Our marriages flourishes because we pray together. What about you? What about your marriage? The promises of God are right there for you. All you have to do is claim them.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today