Prayer, Plain and Simple

…Make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another and working together with one mind and purpose. Philippians 2:2

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had… (Romans 15:5)

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Marriage is not for wimps nor the faint of heart. It doesn’t bode well for the selfish nor the irritable. When we set the goal to be unified in our marriage, all other important things in our lives tend to fall into place with a little more ease.

Jesus’ prayer in John 17 – His last prayer recorded in Scripture – is all about one-ness. He made it his objective to pray for our capacities towards unity, knowing that without it, we are a house divided, we are doomed to fail.

The devil isn’t stupid. He always goes for the juggler, the critical, vulnerable place in our lives, like a predator who preys on the weak and sickly. To get the biggest return on his investment, he always goes for the marriage. If he can bring that down, he’s got the family close behind to snare with discouragement, depression, shame, and all sorts of negativity.

Paul’s letter to the Philippian church came at a time when those folks were suffering persecution. Paul, too, knew all about it, as he was in chains for his faith at the time of his writing. There is so much encouragement that we can glean from in this letter, but let’s apply it today to our marriages, praying this plain and simple prayer for unity:


I thank You for showing me the path of life. In Your presence there is fullness of joy. I am longing, Lord, for fullness of joy to be manifest in my marriage. In order to attain to the unity and encouragement that is mine since I belong to you and so that I may access the comfort from the  love You have for me personally, and in order to enjoy the true fellowship my spouse and I have together through Your Holy Spirit, I offer this prayer.

I ask that we would be a source of joy to You. When You look at our marriage, I want to cause Your eyes to sparkle with delight.

Please help us to agree to agree wholeheartedly, knowing that unity trumps being “right”. Make me truly sincere in this endeavor, Lord.

Give me Your love for my spouse. Human love falls short, but with You, the source of all love, I have all I need to satisfy my spouse’s needs and to offer encouragement and joy.

Lord, I want to work alongside my spouse for Your Kingdom’s sake. Give us projects that further Your Kingdom, that bless Your people, that feed Your children and supply the needs of Your Body.

Give us one mind and purpose. May we have one heart in all things of importance. Give us one ultimate purpose in life: that of loving and obeying You and enjoying Your presence together.

Rid me of all selfishness and pride. Instead of foolishly thinking that all my ideas are superior to my spouse’s ideas, help me to flip that and be inspired by my spouse’s ideas and willing to bend my preferences.

I realize this is a crazy, counter-cultural approach to life and marriage, but so be it. This is Your Word, and I’m a doer, not just a head-nodder on Sunday.

Ultimately, I am asking for Your attitude to be mine, that of total surrender to the Father, and a complete willingness to lay down my life for my spouse. And when my spouse is on board with this prayer as well, we will both have all of our needs and desires met through Your brilliant plan of self-less living.

In Jesus’ Name


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