But I Have Prayed for You: The Power of Prayer Through My Rocky Year of Marriage

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail."
-Luke 22:31-32

The words of Jesus deepened in my heart almost two years ago as my dad shared them with me after a long and tearful conversation we had about my very rocky marriage.

At the beginning of 2015 my husband, Bryan received orders to be stationed in South Korea and our daughter, Ezrah and I were not going with him.  It was a year long tour and we had already gotten through one deployment to Afghanistan so while we were sad to be separated we thought the year would fly by.  I had recently gotten out of the Army myself so we decided that it would be best for Ezrah and I to go and live with my parents in Oregon for the year while he was gone. 

Despite our positive outlook, it was literally the longest year of my life.  

I was constantly stressed with an 18-month old to raise and I was also a new full time student.  Don't get me wrong, my parents are amazing but they also have jobs and responsibilities and they are no replacement for a father and a husband.  On top of that, the time difference was insane and it made communication between Bryan and I very strained.  The lack of good communication lead to fighting, almost daily, and though he had no control of it I resented Bryan for being away from our family and not being there to help raise our daughter.  I became so emotionally exhausted that I closed off a large portion of my heart.  I was in sheer survival mode, which most of the time I left my husband out of.  

Without going into much further detail I will just tell you that I genuinely believed that my marriage was not going to make it out of that year.  In fact I will even go further as to say, I didn't want it to.  I was strung out, tired of the fighting, the lack of communication, the stress, and I just really wanted to be free of it. 

I have been so extremely blessed to have been brought up by two godly individuals who have always pointed me back to Jesus.  So over that year I had countless talks with them as I sought their guidance, but this one particular conversation with my dad has stuck with me ever since.  

As I mentioned earlier he brought up the conversation that Jesus had with Peter (Simon) right before his crucifixion.  Jesus tells Peter the plans that Satan has for him, for you, for me.  He has asked to sift us like wheat. 

Sifting wheat is the action of separating the grain from the stalk and the chaff.  It's a metaphorical representation of a harsher reality where Satan has asked to separate us from Jesus, to rip at us, to tear at us, to isolate us from everything good. 

But true to his character Jesus says in his very next breath, 

"but I have prayed for you"

"but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail" 

This is gorgeous stuff!  My dad shared this with me that day in hopes that I would better understand the absolute power of prayer.  That Jesus himself prays for us.  He didn't tell Peter to just be on his guard or leave him on his own.  He specifically declares to Peter that he will and has been his advocate.  

This was the moment where I decided that I was going to start believing in the power of prayer.  Of course I always really had, but did I really take it seriously? 

I mean I really decided that I was going to grit my teeth and start fighting for my marriage through prayer, with full trust in the Lord.  

So I did just that, I prayed, a lot. 

This brings me to the real reason I am writing this.  Over the remainder of that year I recorded all my prayers in a journal, two to be exact, both filled from cover to cover.  

A couple of days ago I decided to get them out a read them for the first time since the ink was made fresh.  Although I was delving back into a hurtful time, reading through dark confessions and desperate pleas, I read them with joy.  

I released sobs of pure joy as I turned page after page after page because two years later I have seen my prayers come to fruition.  I can see the utter contrast between a time when I thought that I wanted a divorce and a time where my marriage is once again flourishing. 

Seeing my prayers answered in a such a way, to me, is astounding.  
So I really just want to encourage you today to pray. for. your. marriages.  

Marriage was created by God and is for God so he is more than willing to reach out his hand to heal whatever is broken.  You just have to be willing to get on your knees and put him at the center.  One of the things that I wrote to Jesus in my journal is this, "I know that my marriage will be sweeter than it's ever been because it is in your will."  

It is in the Lord's will for you to have a flourishing marriage because he is the author of it.  He good and he is for you, so when you're in prayer speak that truth and let him strengthen your faith as you rest in his healing embrace.  

A few weeks ago our pastor said something about the beauty of marriage that really resonated with me.  He said that one of his favorite things about being married to his wife is the he gets to bear witness to her life.  I absolutely love that! 

Bryan and I got married at twenty, which by way of societal standards is way too early.  I can honestly hear the people whispering, "no wonder the hit such a rough patch!"  But here we are coming up on our five year anniversary and our marriage sweeter than its ever been.  In the last five years I have had the opportunity to bear witness to Bryan as he became the father of our two beautiful girls, as he has grown in wisdom, as he has grown as a leader.  And most of all I have stood as a witness, as he fought for our marriage through his own prayers and contributed in making it the redemptive testimony that it is today. 

Our marriages are precious and the enemy wants to separate them like grain from the stalk so prepare to battle against it.  Marriage takes commitment and a vital part of that commitment is continuous prayer and reliance on Jesus.  


  1. Beautiful photo of the two of you. I am so glad you have a godly Dad who gave you such great advice to pray for your marriage!

    1. Thank you!! Me too, I feel so blessed to have been raised surrounded by people who always point me back to Jesus!