And Isaac prayed to the LORD for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. ESV Genesis 25:21
Sadly, when Christians encounter challenges in their marriages, prayer is often one of the last avenues of hope that comes to mind. We work through great resources that speak of love languages, or love/respect, or boundaries (and these are all fantastic resources by the way). Other times we pursue counseling, be it with friends, pastors or professionals. We try harder, encourage others to try harder, grit our teeth and bear it. If there are medical problems, we first pursue medical treatment. Somewhere along the way, we forget the power of prayer which should be our first and strongest hope in marriage.
In Isaac’s day, they lacked the reproductive technology we have now, so it made sense that all he had was prayer. Yet even writing that line seems hilarious…”All he had was”–really? Prayer is the best thing he had! Prayer connects us to the power of the most high God and urges Him to work on our behalf. Prayer humbles us as we admit we are powerless to solve a problem. Prayer calls out to the Lord to do something we can’t. Most importantly, especially in conflict, I so appreciate prayer because of God’s impartiality. When my wife and I struggle, of course my flesh convinces me she shares the bulk of the blame. If I go to a friend or counselor, if I pick the right one and/or play my cards right, they may only confirm what I believe (same for her). Even if we go together to an unbiased counselor, we can both choose to hear only what we want to hear. However, when I pray about something, I expose my soul to my creator. If I’m the one wrong in this area, I give Him the opportunity to correct me. I lay my concerns before Him and ask Him to judge. He does (and usually in a way that starts with my sin.
May I encourage you? I have seen prayer bring babies to infertile couples. I have seen prayer restore physical healthy in marriage. I’ve seen prayer bring marriages back from the brink. Prayer works. Take time today to earnestly pray for you and your spouse. God will answer your prayers, just as He answered Isaac so long ago.