An Urgent Prayer for Our Marriages...

By: Alicia Bradford, CK Stander

Thank You, Lord Jesus, that through Your pain on the cross, You fully enter into my own pain and bring Your comfort to me in it.  Thank You that You know every tear that I shed.  Thank You that in coming to You in my pain, and joining You on Your cross, You will strengthen me with Your own blood which courses through my very own veins because You offered Your body for me.  Thank You that You promise me that those who mourn will be comforted, and that I am being brought into a priceless intimacy with You through my being willing to walk through this with You.  Thank You that You desire for me to lay my heart before You with all of my emotions, doubts, and fears, and that You receive this as a precious gift of trust. Thank You for Your
perfect love for me, which always seeks my good in all things.
 
Thank You that as You and I confront the pain and this situation together, You will bring me to that place of being able to fully forgive as You forgave; not because I am strong enough to do this, but because You in me will enable me to do it.  It is only in You, with the Holy Spirit, that I can say, “Father, forgive  ___________.”  Thank You that in coming into greater forgiveness, I am enabled to walk in more of Your victory – over death, over Satan, and over this situation.  Thank You that You first loved us while we were still sinners, and that You will enable me to love with Your love; not a love which caves in to or enables sin, but a love empowered by Your Holy Spirit which does not give up until the victory.  Thank You that victory is fully Yours, and ours, in Christ, and that nothing that I encounter in my life can separate me, and ___________, from Your love.
 
Thank You, Lord, that it may take me time to grow in the knowledge of what Your love looks like in my life right now, but that You, Jesus, are sympathetic with my weaknesses, and that You will walk alongside me to renew my mind and bring me to complete fullness of trust and freedom. Thank You that You will show me my own idols and sin, the places where my heart does not yet fully trust in You. Thank You that, as a perfect Shepherd, Your gentle and loving hand and staff will lead me. You will walk alongside this sheep to the good pastures that You have for me. You will let me rest and drink from Your well of living water. You will complete the work You have begun in me. Thank You that You go after every lost sheep, and that even when I daily wander from Your leading, You will draw me back, and that You also are going after __________, who is also lost right now. Thank You that I can trust my Shepherd, and that You will enable me to hear Your voice and to grow in my ability to distinguish between Your voice and all others, in my own mind and heart, and in the world around me.  Thank You that You give me both Your Word and Your Holy Spirit, and You will lead me into all truth. Thank You for Your promise to me that those who seek You will find You.
 
Thank You, Jesus, that as I grow in this ability to intimately know, hear, and trust You, that I can increasingly trust You to protect me, lead me, and guide me, and my family, through this. Thank You that Your love and goodness towards me is perfect, and that You will work ALL things together for the good of those who love You; and I do love You, Lord, so this promise applies to me – ALL THINGS, not just the good things, or the easy things, but everything, even my mistakes and ____________’s mistakes; because in Jesus, I am not under the law of sin and of death anymore, but I am under the law of the Spirit and of life! I can trust You in ALL things. I can thank You in ALL things. I can praise You in ALL things, even the prisons, the pain, the betrayal, the tears, the beating down of my body and emotions that I experience because of this. Thank You that trust, thankfulness and praise shift things in the unseen that I can only imagine, and that I will eventually see in the reality of my life, and in ____________’s life, and in the life of our family. Even though the situation and circumstances in ____________’s life still appear to be under the law of sin and of death, thank You, Jesus, that through my choice of trust, You can work in and through our one flesh union, for my good and for ___________’s good, and for our good, because I love You. Thank You for the testimony that I will have, and that ___________ will have, and that we will have. Thank You that You will enable me to begin having that testimony in the midst of this trial, and not just at the end.

Thank You, Lord, that the obedient choice that Adam didn’t make, Jesus did make, and that through Jesus, all that was lost in Eden is now fully ours – eternal life, full relationship with You, untainted by shame and hiding; and the fullness, beauty, health, and joy of the one flesh union that You always intended from the beginning.  Thank You that through Jesus, I have full access to this, not in some ideal abstract way, but in concrete reality. Thank You, Jesus, that Your experience on earth, and Your victory over sin and death, was bodily and concrete.  Thank You that in Jesus You offer to me a promise and a reality.  Thank You that reality in Jesus is actually more real than any fallen reality ever can be.
 
Thank you, Lord, that in Jesus, you have returned to me fullness of freedom, and that in You I can make daily choices of trust; choices rooted in the empowering of Your love.  There is not one choice that I have to make out of fear. Thank You that as many in your Word have done before me, where one person has made the choice to seek You, through that one person’s choice You were able to reach whole households, including my family.  Thank You, Lord, that my choice to trust You and to take You at Your word brings the work of the Holy Spirit into not just my life, but the lives of all to whom I am also connected, most especially my one-flesh union with ___________. Thank You that my choice to trust in You will have an impact. Thank You that I am not at the mercy of Satan or the sinful choices that ___________ is making right now, but that in choosing to honor You and to fully trust You throughout this time, in raising my eyes to You in faithfulness, Your righteousness shines down and will heal me and __________ and our family.
 
Thank You, Lord, that, where I often ask the question in circumstances that look impossible to my eyes, “Who then can be saved?” that Your answer was, and still is, “With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”  Thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that I am not not stuck in the two-dimensional world of just myself and ___________, alone in this, trying our best in our limited human strength and understanding. But I am connected to this third, and eternal, dimension: the power of You with me, and also with ___________, because we are one in You. Thank You, Lord, that this power is the same power that enabled You to rise from death and that created the whole world, and that will enable me, and us, to rise above this sin and death.  Thank You also for the power of prayer and intercession, and that You are teaching me new ways to pray for ______________ and my whole family, to see more of Your victory in all of our lives. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit takes my feeble prayers and turns them into mighty swords! Thank You, Jesus, that I now can join You in Your own work of intercession, and also participate alongside You in Your work of victory! Thank You that in this world where sin is a choice that we still often make, that I can be empowered to choose the way of life, hope, and full trust in You.  In the midst of this pain and death, I can take hold of all of the promises and reality that You offer, for the benefit of myself, _________, and my whole family.
 
Thank You that Your love is so perfect that it is not just my eventual joy perfected in You that You desire, but that You also desire me to be able to trust You in all circumstances, to strengthen me to be victorious in the midst of difficulties. Lord, I pray that I can come to see that it is in actually walking with You through this, and not in a magical escape from it, that You will in fact lead me to that joy.  Thank You, Lord, that in seeking to walk with You every moment through this trial, that I join with all of the saints who also have endured, and who endure right now in so many difficult situations throughout the world.
 
Thank You that You love my family and that You have a plan for our healing. Thank You that I can rest in Your provision in all things. Thank You, Lord, that there is more than just what I am experiencing right now, but that there is eternal blessing in this that I can’t see yet that is already mine, and ours, in heaven. Thank You that the daily steps toward trust that I make now affect the eternal future of not just me, but of those to whom I am connected and love, especially ____________. Thank You that there will be a day of rejoicing, and that where I am sowing in tears now, I will reap with joy!  I will laugh, and I will see the deliverance of the Lord in the land of the living! The pain that I endure now does not compare to the glory that will be revealed! Thank You, Lord! Thank You for Your perfect love that never fails, and that hasn’t failed, and that won’t fail me, or my family, now or ever!  Amen.
 
ALICIA BRADFORD
Alicia has been on a journey of transformation since 2008 when she found Jesus in a new way during her marriage crisis. He embraced her and invited her to follow Him in ways and to places she would never have expected. One of these unexpected places, is that she was led to complete a master’s degree in theology at the John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in Washington D.C. On this journey, she learned that her family, no matter how broken and in whatever need of healing, is the greatest gift and the first and most important mission she will ever participate in!

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