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Guardrails For Your Marriage | Prayer

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

Guardrails For Your Marriage

Today and for a few weeks we will be focusing on guardrails in marriage.

What is a guardrail? It’s the metal, short walls that keep you on a freeway. They not only keep you safe from going off the road into a ditch or a tree, but they also help you keep going straight so that you arrive at your destination.

What are guardrails in marriage? They are walls that those who are married can choose to build around their marriage to protect it from danger. They are systems and disciplines added to your marriage to get you to the relational destination God has planned for you.

Why, did we choose this for this blog and this week's Loving The Fight Marriage podcast? Because, we don’t really ever hear anyone talk very often about guardrails for marriage? We also chose it because guardrails are so important in marriage.

Why are they important? Because Evil wants to destroy you. Evil wants to destroy your kids. It wants to destroy your marriage. If it can destroy your marriage, if it can destroy your kids, it can also destroy your future, and it can destroy you.

Several years ago, we were going through a very difficult time in our lives, and as a married couple. We felt helpless, alone, and afraid. It was a situation that we didn’t feel like we went looking for, it was one that came looking for us. We were fighting thoughts of discouragement, feeling like “Why us God?" and wondering how we could get out of the difficult pit we felt we were in. There is something really cool about God. If we allow him, God has a way of using difficulties in life to refine us, to strengthen us as individuals and our marriage.

I remember that it was at that time that God convicted us and helped us see that we had a major flaw in our marriage. What was it? We were missing one of the most important guardrails any marriage can have. We weren’t praying together every day as a couple. We would pray together, just not every day. We were failing to use one of the most powerful tools God has given us, his children, to fight against the evil attacks that come against us individually and attacks our marriage.

It was in that moment, that we really started to pray together intensely every single day as a couple. Here we had been in ministry for most of our lives and we worked side by side in ministry to help others, but we had failed in this incredibly important area of our marriage. Prayer works and especially works in marriages! Why? Because God is waiting for us to call on him, to pray, and he is ready to provide the help we need, the protection we need for our marriages. So we have prayed together as a couple almost every single day since.

Here's a better way to describe how we know that God wants to help us….

We have two adult children who are married, so we have four adult kids. They are all amazing!! We love each one of them so much. We are an active family and love to play games together. So when we get together as a family, it is so much fun!!! We also love to travel. In the recent past couple of years, we have been to London, Iceland, and Ireland together as a family. We love our kids! It’s funny, because we are so ready to help them almost any time they need help. Yet, we won’t force our help on them. We can share wisdom from experiences with them, love, financial resources, relational connections, and so much more. But we understand that as much as we want to help them when they are doing well and when they are not doing so well, we can’t until they ask for it. And when they do, we want to be able to help in a big way!!! It’s the same way with God. He is ready to help us all the time but we have to ask. He won’t force his help on us.

This concept is so important for you to catch for your marriage. That’s where prayer comes in.

Jesus was teaching on prayer one day and the importance of going to God in prayer with the view that God is our heavenly father. In fact, right after Jesus teaches us how to pray, using the Lord’s Prayer, which starts with the phrase, “Our father who is in heaven”, he goes on to say these words about asking God for what we need.

Luke 11:9-13 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

Isn’t that cool? Jesus says, look, as parents yourselves, you know how to give good gifts to your children, then understand your father in heaven wants to give good gifts even more than you do. He wants to give those gifts to you, to your marriage.

It is so comforting to know that God wants to help us on the good days and on the bad days. He is our dad, our heavenly father. So why is asking our heavenly father for help through prayer so important in marriage?

Here’s why prayer should matter to your marriage...

Prayer communicates to God that you want him and his power in your marriage.

Do you want God to help you? Do you want him to help you have a great marriage? We can try to have a great marriage on our own, we can read all the books, and we can work hard on our own attitudes. Yet, ultimately, even if we do all of those things we have still left one thing out, the most important thing. We need God’s power. There is no substitute for his power and help in our lives and our marriages. God’s power changes circumstances, hearts, and even our own sinful thought patterns. Without God’s power we are lost. Prayer communicates to God that you as a couple want his power in your marriage. I know that is what we want as a couple ourselves! We need him and want him!

Again, we are talking about guardrails for your marriage. Prayer is one of the most important guardrails!!! Another reason prayer should matter to your marriage is....

Prayer dissolves conflict.

It’s hard to pray for your spouse and say words of blessings out loud in front of them to God and have anger towards them in your heart. Even when you pray for your spouse privately, by yourself, you are praying for good things to happen to them. Again, it’s hard to be angry at someone you are asking God to bless. Prayer dissolves conflict. It doesn't remove conflict permanently, but it helps you process past conflict and any forgiveness needed. It also sets up your heart and attitude more appropriately for future healthy conflict.

When we, Travis and Dawn, pray together, it’s kind of like picking up a baby. Have you ever noticed how people act when they pick up a baby? People change their voice, their tone and their gentleness level the minute a baby is set in their arms. Prayer has that same affect. It’s hard to be mean or angry when your talking to God. I can honestly say I have never heard anyone yell in anger while praying. I’m sure it’s happened but that would be very rare.

Prayer should matter to your marriage because...

Prayer aligns your hearts spiritually as a couple.

When a couple prays together there is a powerful miracle that takes place. The Bible says the two become one flesh, when a man and a woman get married. I would say that the two become one in spirit as well, especially when they pray. It’s like glue. Glue makes things stick together so they can’t come apart. Prayer is the glue in marriage. In the moments, I am praying, my heart is most open to God and his speaking wisdom and peace to my soul. Doing that with you Travis, my husband, immediately begins to open both of our hearts at the same time to whatever God may be saying to us as a couple. The cool part is that it changes us in that moment as a couple, it glues us together, but it also begins to change our future. It positions us to know simultaneously what God’s will may be for our future and life.

Somebody once said, “True love stands by each other’s side on good days and stands closer on bad days.” Prayer is that standing closer.

Again, we are talking about guardrails for your marriage. Prayer is one of the most important guardrails!!!

Prayer should matter to your marriage because...

Prayer literally builds a spiritual wall of protection around your marriage against the evil that wants to come into your marriage to break it apart.

Don’t for a minute fall into the lie and believe that your marriage is just coasting along without any interference from anyone else or anything else. It’s not. Your marriage is in the crosshairs of evil. Evil does’t like the existence of two people who serve each other, unconditionally love one another, and are willing to die for each other. Evil hates that kind of selfless love. Why? Marriage is a picture of Jesus and his love for the church, how he died on a cross to save us all. Evil especially wants to destroy Christian marriages and all marriages.

Prayer builds a wall of protection around your marriage. While in prayer, you can literally ask God to build this wall of protection around your relationship. Again, he is your heavenly father and he is waiting for you to ask for his help in your marriage. In prayer, you can also command evil to leave you alone as a couple. Literally, tell evil, while you are praying, that it has no authority or rights to your marriage. Tell it to leave your marriage alone and use the name of Jesus when you do. Pray these words, “Evil, in Jesus name, I command you to leave our marriage alone.”

So how about you and your spouse? Are you praying together? Not just over your meal or with your kids when they go to bed at night. Are you praying with intensity side by side and before God asking your heavenly father for help in the big and little areas of your lives? Believe me, if you do, it will change your relationship as a couple and the trajectory of your future.

What if you are reading this right now and your husband or wife won’t pray with you for your marriage. What if they are unwilling to help you build this spiritual wall of protection, through prayer around your marriage? Don’t panic!!! Even if you have to pray without your spouse, your prayers will be heard by God and he will answer them. Pray for a wall of protection around your marriage and pray that God will change your spouse’s heart. Don’t hold anger or bitterness towards your spouse if they don’t pray with you, just pray for them with compassion and love.

Let's recap. What are guardrails in marriage? They are walls that those who are married can choose to erect around their marriage to protect it from danger.

Why use the guardrail of prayer?

  • Prayer communicates to God that you want his power in your marriage.

  • Prayer dissolves conflict.

  • Prayer aligns your hearts spiritually as a couple.

  • Prayer literally builds a spiritual wall of protection around your marriage


Travis and Dawn Rosinger are always ready to fight for marriages through their Loving The Fight Marriage Conferences and Loving The Fight Marriage Podcast. Feel free to submit a "contact us form" if you are interested in having them come to your church or community. As marriage speakers and podcasters, they love sharing the marriage wisdom, they have discovered, with other couples to encourage them to put their marriages first!

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