Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Stormie Omartian's new book, Praying Through the Deeper Issues of Marriage, (Harvest House, 2008).

Do you and your spouse keep stumbling over a difficult issue that you just can’t seem to resolve? Maybe it’s your husband’s anger problem, or your wife’s depression. It could be your husband’s addiction to pornography, or your wife’s addiction to shopping. Perhaps it’s financial debt, trouble with your kids, or any one of host of other issues.

Even if you and your spouse’s best efforts haven’t resolved the issue, there’s real hope for change: prayer. Praying about each deep issue you face will release God’s power into your marriage, changing it for the better in ways you’d never thought possible before.

Here’s how you can pray through the deep issues in your marriage:

Ask God to help you see clearly. Pray for the ability to view the situation from God’s perspective, so you can understand how both you and your spouse contribute to the problem, and how you each need to change.

Approach God with a repentant heart. Rather than blaming the difficult issue on your spouse or trying to change your spouse, accept responsibility for your own part in the problem, and be willing to change your attitudes and actions in order to help solve it. Invite God to use the struggles you experience in your marriage to help you grow into a more spiritually mature person.

Pray about communication. Realize that healthy communication is absolutely vital to your marriage. Ask God to help you and your spouse: be nice to each other by having your words and actions express love and respect, build trust with each other by being honest, communicate well with Him so His love will flow through you to your spouse, understand your spouse’s body language, find enjoyable activities to do together, grow closer to your spouse with each new stage of life, honor each other, learn to listen to each other well, and fight evil that seeks to harm your marriage. 

Pray about anger, rudeness, or abuse. God cares deeply about the way you and your spouse treat each other, and He will call you both to account for it. Ask God to help you and your spouse: control anger so it doesn’t control you, prevent using anger as a weapon to hurt each other, open your hearts to God’s love and peace so there’ll be no room for anger, pray about stressful situations rather than arguing about them, see the best (not the worst) in each other, find things to praise about each other regularly instead of complaining, exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), and love each other from pure hearts and a good conscience.

Pray about forgiveness. Since God has forgiven you, He expects you to be willing to forgive your spouse, no matter what he or she has done, or how often you need to forgive him or her. Realize that by choosing to forgive, you’re honoring God, blessing your spouse, and freeing yourself from bitterness that will poison your soul if you allow it to remain. Rely on God’s power to forgive, and trust Him to help you do so, despite your feelings. Ask God to help you and your spouse: always be willing to forgive each other, be humble enough to ask for forgiveness whenever necessary, let go of offenses, love each other the way He loves you, be merciful to each other, and protect you from hurting each other by making you aware of your sins and helping you confess and repent of them.