How to Pray in Marriage
In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the spirit himself intercedes for
us with groans that words cannot express. - Romans 8:26
Have you ever felt like this when it comes to prayer?—“I just don’t know what to say when I pray. Sometimes I’m at a loss for words.”
If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone. We’ve all felt like this at some point.
The Spirit of God . . . helps us in our present limitations. For example, we do not know how to pray worthily as sons of God, but his Spirit within us is actually praying for us in those agonizing longings which never find words.
And God who knows the heart’s secrets understands, of course, the Spirit’s intention as he prays for those who love God (Rom. 8:26,27, Phillips, emphasis mine).
The Holy Spirit is God’s answer when we don’t know how to pray. You and I cannot pray as we ought to pray. We are often crippled in our prayer lives. That’s where the work of the Holy Spirit really comes into play. He helps us in our prayer lives by showing us what we should pray for and how we ought to pray.
That’s quite a promise.
One of your callings in marriage is to assist your partner when he or she needs help. You are always to be listening for a call for assistance.
Similarly, there is someone looking out for us when we need help in our prayer lives: the Holy Spirit. There are several specific ways that He helps us.
First, the Spirit intercedes for you when you are oppressed by problems in life or when you feel down on yourself. He brings you to the place where you can pray. Your ability to begin praying is prompted and produced by the working of the Holy Spirit within you.
Second, the Spirit reveals to your mind what you should pray for. He makes you conscious of such things as your needs, your lack of faith, your fears, your need to be obedient, etc.
He helps you identify your spiritual needs and bring them into the presence of God. He helps you by diminishing your fears, increasing your faith, and strengthening your hope.
If you’re at a loss to know what you need to pray for about your partner or even what to pray for together, ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you.
Third, the Spirit guides you by directing your thoughts to the promises of God’s Word that are best suited to your needs. He helps you realize the truth of God’s promises.
The discernment that you lack on your own is supplied to you by the Spirit. Perhaps you’re looking for a verse to apply to your marriage. Again, help is available through the Spirit.
Finally, the Spirit helps you pray in the right way. He helps you sift through your prayers and bring them into conformity with the purpose of prayer.
When you experience a crisis, it may be difficult for you to talk. But you and your spouse can hold each other in your arms and quietly allow the Holy Spirit to pray for you. This is called the silent prayer of the heart.
When you are having difficulty praying, remember that you have someone to draw on for strength in developing your prayer life.
H. Norman Wright is a licensed Family Counselor and child therapist and has taught in the Grad. Department of Biola University. He is the author of more than seventy books