The issue of relationships is something that’s constantly talked about. Husbands, wives, kids, bosses, neighbors… relationships can be rewarding and fulfilling, but they can also be testy and challenging. When your heart is involved, your deepest needs tend to come to the surface.

**So how can you pray for your relationships? **

Here are a few sample prayers for when you’re at a loss for words.

1. Prayer in the midst of conflict

Father in Heaven, I know I add fuel to the fire in my relationships because I am needy myself. I don’t like to admit it, but I know it’s true. Thank you that you see me as I truly am and that you still love me. Please help me to see myself honestly, and to own my own part in this conflict rather than point my finger. Please give me insight into my own needs and give me patience as I encounter needs in the ones I love. I need you, Lord. Please guide me and empower me by your Holy Spirit. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Conflict very often reflects unmet needs. Sometimes there’s an easy solution, such as the need for sleep. But frequently, the need is much deeper:

If your unmet needs are showing up in your relationships, talk to a mentor, a friend, or a counselor to work through some of these issues. Pray for patience as you encounter the unmet needs in others, and regularly ask God’s Spirit to guide and empower you, trusting he is doing so.

2. Prayer for help when I feel “less than”

Lord God, I so often feel inadequate without even realizing it. The disapproval I pour out on others often stems from my own insecurity. I don’t intend to fight. God, I need your help. Please remind me to address my issues. Help me to see myself differently and to allow you to love me and to change me. Help me to find my confidence in your strength and in your forgiveness. I invite you to direct my life today. I need you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

It’s a natural tendency to want God to change the other person. Yet the reality is that you can only change yourself. Sometimes just realizing what words and situations make you feel “less than” is enough to begin the journey of change. Other times you may need help seeing yourself differently.

Be the beginning of change in your relationships. Find ways to give approval more often to those around you. When things need addressing, don’t show your disapproval, but choose a calm time to talk. Ask for prayer. Relationships that are worth keeping are worth the effort.

3. Prayer for the words to say in a challenging relationship

Dear Father in Heaven, it is not possible for me to keep my mouth from speaking things it should not. I need your power to guard my tongue. Help me to think before I speak. Help me to feel that nudge of your Holy Spirit before words rush out of my mouth.

Father, I need you to help me to know what to say that will build this person up rather than tear down or hurt. Please make me aware, by Your divine power, of their needs so I can respond in a way that benefits them. Help me to run to you when frustrations and anger bubble up, and may you ease my emotions and send me back with grace on my lips. Help me to be bold when issues need addressing, but gentle and loving in the way I address them.

Father, you are the only one who can perform this miracle in my life. I look to you today to set a guard on my heart and my mouth, as I don’t want to grieve you. And please forgive me for the times when I have grieved you! Walk with me closely today, because I need your Holy Spirit to teach me how to deal with this situation. Thank you. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

God gives sound counsel in his word about how to deal with relationships. It all begins with what comes out of your mouth.

Listen to his words of wisdom:

"The tongue holds the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21

The power of our words is tremendous. It has been said that people will seldom remember the words you spoke, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

It’s true, isn’t it? It’s easy to remember those who have made you feel inspired and empowered. But it’s also easy to recall those who made you feel down and useless… just by their words.

Words have power. They can heal or hurt, build up or drag down, encourage or discourage, inspire or deflate.

You can begin the change today. And the good news is that you don’t have to do it alone! Jesus wants to transform and restore your challenging relationships, starting today. I encourage you to use the form below (in the "Connect" tab) to connect with a mentor for prayer.

Photo Credit: Tord Sollie