Our prayers can sometimes fall into grooves. We pray the same prayers over and over and never think about whether they reflect all that we really need and want to communicate to God. This can be especially true during times of longing. Our prayers drift toward our main petitions, and we can spend most of our energy on those things we are requesting.
Scripture teaches a different way. The greatest example of prayer is the one Jesus gives us as a model. In the Lord’s Prayer, we see praise and worship; submission and trust; and requests for provision and protection. In the same way, we should make sure our prayers grow beyond merely asking God for what we want.
If only asking God for what you want ever happens to you during your prayers for marriage and family, here are a few humble suggestions. When you pray for marriage, consider seasoning your prayers with these verses and examples. (Download and print “7 Prayers for Marriage”)
1. Prayers of Thanksgiving
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” (Psalm 100:4).
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:15-17).
Father, we have so much to be thankful for. We’re thankful for this season of singleness. We’re thankful for our friends and family, our work and ministries, and for the many ways that You have graciously provided for us every day of our lives. You’ve given us a place to live, food to eat and a place to worship. Help us to not focus so much on what we’re lacking, but rather teach us to count our many blessings every day. Fill us with the thankfulness of Christ.
2. Prayers of Praise and Worship
“Who is like you, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Exodus 15:11).
“I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:1-3).
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100).
Lord, we worship You. You are our Maker. You are our light and our salvation. You are the stronghold of our lives. You love us with an everlasting love. You abound in grace and mercy. We praise you for all the things You have made. You have filled our hearts with gladness. We lift our voices with praise. We shout for joy! We worship You for sending Jesus to die in our place. May Your fame spread among all peoples. May the whole earth worship You!
3. Prayers of Trust
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10).
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Isaiah 26:3).
Father, we trust Your plan and Your timing for our lives. We admit we don’t always understand the burdens we carry. May Your will be done in our lives, whatever our future holds. We trust You to bring marriage into our lives at the right time, when it would be best for us. So we rest in Your Fatherly care. We cast all our cares on You and believe that You will take care of us. Not our will, but Yours be done. You are the good shepherd, and we trust in You.
4. Prayers of Hope
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalm 42:5).
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Father, we don’t know what our future holds, but we know You are plotting for our joy. You are always working all things for the good of Your children. In Christ, our future is a bright future. Regardless of what circumstances may lie ahead, we will focus on doing the work You’ve given us to do. We look forward to the blessed hope, the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to our glorious inheritance, the overflow of love and joy in Your presence forevermore. Because of Christ, our future is as bright as a thousand suns.
5. Prayers of Lament
“With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me” (Psalm 142).
“Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears!” (Psalm 39:12).
Father, we draw near to You with sad hearts. We mourn over lost time and lost opportunities. We had hoped to be married by this point in our lives. Comfort us in our sadness. Wipe away the tears from our eyes. We renew our hope in Your plan. Even in the midst of our sadness, we choose to worship You.
6. Prayers of Boldness
“But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me” (Micah 7:7).
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21).
Father, what a rich blessing that we can boldly approach the throne of grace and make our petitions known. We are safe with You to speak from our hearts and ask, seek and knock. You are a God who listens to Your children. You are the giver of all good gifts. So we come before You now and ask You to give us all the riches Christ has purchased for us on the cross. Make us holy saints, because Christ deserves a pure, spotless bride.
7. Prayers of Intercession
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1).
“We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2).
“Brothers, pray for us” (1 Thessalonians 5:25).
Lord, we pray for all our brothers and sisters and their various needs. We pray that You would provide all we need for life and godliness. Increase our knowledge in the glory of Jesus Christ. We remember others who also long for marriage. We ask that You would bring them spouses who will love and serve them for Christ’s sake.