“I came here feeling hopeless, broken-hearted, with no emotion,” said Scott, a participant in a Focus on the Family Hope Restored marriage intensive retreat. “I felt this was our last chance to heal our marriage. The presence of God in the room was truly felt. It was amazing to feel the love of God come back into our lives and those around us. I’m looking forward to returning home a changed man, loving and caring for myself and my wife. I am departing with my most heartfelt emotion — I love my wife.”
This is just one true story of a restored marriage — you’ll find many more at Hope Restored. Why? Because God is a God who restores. The Bible is filled with stories of restoration. It’s also the story of restoration, of God bringing His children back into relationship with himself (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
If your marriage is in trouble, you can cry out to God with prayers for marriage restoration. As you pray for God to restore your marriage, you’re praying for Him to fulfill the full meaning of the words restoration and restore. You’re asking Him to give life to your marriage, to rebuild, heal, cure, renew, transform, mend, and perfect it.
Prayers for Marriage Restoration
The following prayers relate to several traits of successful marriages.
Based on research, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley of Focus on the Family have discovered 10 essential traits of healthy marriages.
One of the 10 traits is understanding that marriage is a lifelong commitment, created by God and meant to be permanent. How do you stay married when you’re struggling? First, don’t give up!
According to Scott Stanley, the co-director of the Center for Marital & Family Studies at the University of Denver, deciding to stay committed is foundational to your relationship. From that foundation, you can go on to restore communication, connection, and intimacy.
Restore Our Lifelong Commitment
“Lord Jesus, we feel like giving up. We know you honor marriage, but we are both hurting and frustrated, and we just don’t know the answers to our problems. God, even though we don’t know what to do, remind us to keep our eyes on You (2 Chronicles 20:11-13).
“Renew our commitment to each other and to You. Help us abandon the ‘divorce’ word and take the next step toward healing in our marriage, even if we’ve taken many steps that have led nowhere.
“Oh Lord, we desperately need You to restore our broken relationship. Reveal to us what needs healing in our relationship, what needs healing in each of our hearts. Help us remember our wedding vows, because you’ve joined us together and do not want us to separate (Matthew 19:6).
“We ask You to protect us from Satan’s attacks on our commitment and marriage. Keep our focus on You and not the world that tells us to take the ‘easy way’ out. We know that nothing’s impossible with You (Luke 1:37). As we seek Your face, show us the way forward. Increase our faith in You and Your power to restore.”
Restore Our Communication and Connection
“God, we’ve said hurtful things and have injured each other. It seems so easy to argue and find fault, and now we’ve grown distant from each other. We can’t seem to agree, and we’ve spent a lot of time treating each other as the enemy.
“Don’t let us fall into Satan’s trap. Satan doesn’t want us to communicate at a deep level. He doesn’t want us to understand each other and be emotionally open with each other.
“God, please show us how to love each other — to forgive, to give grace, to be humble. We know it’s the right way, but it’s so hard to do. Remind us that our goal is to understand each other, not be the one who is ‘right.’ Slow down our speech and our tempers, so we can really hear each other (James 1:19). Help us see that we are both broken and need Your healing touch.
“Oh God, we need You to guide us step by step when we talk, so we treat each other with gentleness and patience (Ephesians 4:2-3). Point out our pride and selfishness where necessary. Please reveal any logs we need to take out of our own eyes so we can be unified (Matthew 7:5). Direct us to helpful teaching and counsel so we can learn to manage our conflicts well. We believe You can do all things, so we offer our prayers for marriage restoration.
“God, thank you that You are a God of communication and connection. Open our ears so we hear You! Speak Lord, for your servants are listening (1 Samuel 3:10).”
Restore Our Intimacy
“Dear God, You want husbands and wives to be close in every way — physically, emotionally, sexually. But we feel so far apart from each other, like we’re strangers. We want to trust each other and feel safe with each other, but we don’t.
“Please give us the wisdom and courage to deal with any obstacles to our intimacy so we can truly be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Reveal those obstacles, whether they’re sin or temptation, issues with past relationships or trauma, anger or unforgiveness, lies of the Enemy, or wrong expectations of each other.
“Lord, we need to take the walls down between us. Replace our fear of being real with each other with courage to share how we really are, what our true fears and dreams are.
“You know both of us intimately, all of our faults and weaknesses, and yet You accepted us as we were and loved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). You don’t reject us, so show us how to be like You — to accept each other and not reject each other. Help us be patient, knowing that rebuilding trust and growing in intimacy takes time.”
Restore Our Hope for a Better Marriage
“Father, Your Word reminds us that You are the God of hope (Romans 15:13)! Fill us with Your hope as we lift these prayers for marriage restoration to You. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Almighty God, the God who is Faithful and True. Nothing is too hard for You (Genesis 18:14). Lord, we ask You to renew our hope for our marriage as we read aloud the words of Lamentations 3:21-24.”
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him."
[Please note that if you are in an abusive marriage relationship, you need immediate help from professionals. Focus on the Family is dedicated to bringing healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. But God’s design for marriage never included abuse, violence or coercive control. Emotional abuse can also bruise or severely harm a person’s heart, mind and soul. If you are in an abusive relationship, go to a safe place and call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at thehotline.org.]