Oftentimes when we pray, we think in terms of our own needs and personal desires. We come to God with a checklist of things to be thankful for, and then ask him to bless us with the things that we need. Praying for your spouse requires that you set aside your own personal agenda, and stretch your spiritual muscles in behalf of someone else. (See "The Importance of Praying for Your Spouse" by the author)
Individual prayer requires humility and a realization that God is truly our father. Exercising faith in behalf of your spouse invokes his love and charity. You are able to see your spouse through God's eyes, including his or her talents, abilities and potential gifts that can be developed through loving care. As you pray, picture yourself kneeling before God as his servant. Then:
Give gratitude for your spouse
Being grateful is a key element of happiness. Those who express gratitude frequently recognize the hand of God more readily and are more likely to be optimistic about the future. Optimism leads to success in marriage and will help you to see your spouse's good points, as well as the little things he or she does in your behalf.
Ask God to bless your spouse
Pray for safety during travel, God's spirit to guide in making decisions, the wisdom to use money wisely, and the courage to stand up for beliefs. Pray for your spouse's protection from the evils and temptations of the world. As you do so, you will see things that you can do to help life be better for your spouse and your family.
Put your spouse in the hands of God
Allow God to do what is best for your spouse, surrendering your will to God's. As you do so, you are also giving your spouse freedom to act in his or her best interest. Salvation is an individual endeavor. You cannot will or force your spouse to heaven, and neither will God! Giving your spouse room to find God for him or herself increases feelings of unconditional love in your marriage and improves your relationship with God.
When problems arise between you and your spouse, give them to God
Visualize taking your spouse by the hand and walking up to the Savior of the world. Give your desire for control of the situation over to him, along with your difficult feelings about what is happening. Petty differences and disagreements melt away as you feel God's love for your spouse.
Praying for your spouse brings peace in ways that you cannot now comprehend. You will no longer need to scold or nag, or even drop subtle hints that something needs to change. You will find instead, that you are more kind and considerate of your spouse's feelings, and you are able to communicate love and concern appropriately.
A popular song tells us, "Prayer is the key to heaven but faith unlocks the door." Bowing ourselves in humility before our maker expresses our ultimate trust in him. Prayer for your spouse allows the infinite to open the door to greater blessings for you and your family.