Prayer For Grace In A Difficult Relationship
10 Healing Prayers for a Healthy Relationship
All relationships suffer through their difficulties and challenges. These healing prayers for a healthy relationship serve as the perfect source of inspiration for finding peace and comfort with your spouse.
Thank you for your great love for us. You sent your only Son to live with us and show us how to love. He gave His life for us and resurrected on that third day so that we could also be with you in eternity!
Lord, to feel just an inch of the radiance of your love and the glow from your excellence will be more than we can imagine. Knowing your love for us is humbling too.
We are imperfect humans moving around on this Earth day to day attempting to live lives that are worthy of the calling you have on us. We need your guidance and direction.Thank you Father that no matter where our hearts are you are always reaching out to love us unconditionally! You are the ultimate example of love and we are so grateful for that!
In Jesus’ Holy name we pray,
Heavenly Father, Lord of our hearts, You see us, You know us, You love us and protect us. I pray that You will bless our relationship and lift us up in service to You as Christians and as the people you want us to be.
I ask that Your Holy Spirit sanctify us individually and as a couple, for the joy of working together to glorify You and Your church.
Lord, show us the path to service, heal any fractures in our relationship now or in the future, and build a hedge of protection around us, to guard us from outside forces that might try to attack us. Make this a godly, righteous relationship of two people engaged in loving and serving You and Your chosen people.
I thank You, Lord, for the faith You’ve given me to know that this is true – that You protect, You guard, You guide, and You love us.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
You see our shortcomings and difficulties; please have mercy on us. Strengthen and heal our relationship. We are weak, but you are the divine healer and strengthener of all hearts and souls.
Guide us to do Your will in this world, to love and respect each other, and to be your representatives among the people. Bless us with a peaceful, happy relationship, and help us share our mutual, thriving love with the world.
Bring us together emotionally and spiritually for the good of those whose lives we touch, and for the greater good of humankind. Thank you for your kindness toward us, frail as we may be, and for the strength of Your Loving Spirit manifesting in our hearts.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen
You have always been at the centre of our relationship, for it is built on the foundation of your love and grace. We find ourselves struggling daily to get along, we are under pressure and we see conflict and disillusionment between us.
Please Lord, help us to come to you moment by moment, day by day, and surrender all our difficulties to you. Fill us with your wisdom and understanding as we sift through the many strains and disagreements we face. Come strengthen us by your Spirit as we lean on your mighty power. May we always find new grace, forgiveness and understanding for one another.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus, our beautiful Saviour and friend.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the many gifts and graces You give to Your children and for the people that come into our lives who mean so much to us. Thank You for the sweet fellowship we enjoy with brothers and sisters in Christ – and Lord how good it is to walk when members of Your body live together in love and unity.
Deepen we pray the bond of fellowship within the body of Christ and may our hearts be knit together in love – in Christ Jesus. Forgive us for the times when our fleshly natures has broken or damaged the precious relationship we have with each other – in Christ, and keep us we pray walking in love, knowing that we are a spiritual house – joined together as one in Him.
Thank You Lord for those special people and relationships you have placed in my life with whom I enjoy a close bond of unity and may we encourage and edify each other as we wait for the any day return of the Lord Jesus in the air to claim His church for Himself. May we all draw ever closer to each other and to You as we see the day of Your return approaching, we ask this in Jesus name,
Heavenly Father, I bring before you this increasingly difficult relationship that I am in and pray that by Your grace, I may be willing to learn the lesson that You would teach me through this problematic time.
Lord I know that relationships are not always easy, but we seem to have slid into a constant cycle of hostility and accusations.
Forgive me for the part I have played in developing this bitterness and ill-feeling between us and I pray that You would help me repent of this wrong attitude – and turn right away from my own natural, fleshly reactions and start to walk in spirit and truth.Lord I know that I cannot do this in my own strength but only in the power of the Holy Spirit. And so Lord, I pray that I may be willing to listen to Your promptings and to submit to Your training and chastening hand on my life.
Help me each day to lay my life before You and to search my own heart so that I may identify any seeds of my own bitterness and hostility – and I pray that I may be honest in my assessment of my own faults and failings.
Teach me Your way and endow me with wisdom, grace and counsel – so that the damage to our relationship may be repaired by Your grace.
Help me to live my life as the person that You would have me be – and in a manner that is pleasing in Your sight.
Guard my heart and all that proceeds from my lips and may my words be seasoned with salt and pleasing to the Father. Thank You Lord that You are a God Who hears and answers the prayers of Your children and I pray that you would graciously renew a right spirit, within this relationship – in Jesus name I pray,
Father God I come to You in earnest pray asking that You would bring my future life-partner and “help-meet” into my life. Father Your word says that it is not good for a man or a woman to be alone and I ask that in Your grace You would provide me with the person Whom You have chosen to become my special life-partner and friend.
Prepare me I pray in the days and months that lie ahead for this life-partnership and help me to learn the importance of the biblical lessons.. of thinking of others before we think of ourselves.
Father, I know that my times are in Your hands and I pray that I will not be impatient but learn to wait for Your best timing.Thank You Lord that You are a God Who hears and answers prayers – and keep me I pray in the centre of Your will in every area of my life.
Father my dear desire is to have a precious life-partner – but in everything including this – I pray THY WILL be done, in Jesus name I pray,
I promised that I would always love, honour, cherish and respect when I married. Sometimes it is hard to keep these promises.
Please reignite our love where it has faded. Please help us to communicate our needs and understand one another. Please help us to remember good times and to cherish new times together.
Please help us to forgive, and also to respect and enjoy our differences.
5 Helpful Verses to Pray for Your Broken Relationship – Counting My Blessings
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if people were easier?
If every parent, child, sibling, spouse, neighbor, and friend could get along blissfully?
But we don’t. Relationships are messy!
And unfortunately, some end in brokenness.
Everyone I know has had at least one relationship end unpleasantly and many that had ended painfully leaving heart scars behind.
The closer the relationship the deeper the wound when it ends.
I’m guessing you have someone who came to mind … some strained or broken relationship that causes you sadness or heartache.
So, today I’m going to the Lord to pray for my broken relationships and I’d to invite you to join me and pray for yours as well.
May the patience and encouragement that come from God allow you to live in harmony with each other the way Christ Jesus wants. Then you will all be joined together, and you will give glory to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NCV)
Father, Your Word tells me you want us to “live in harmony” with each other. What a good word. We don’t have to “sing in unison” we just need to blend well — not always agreeing but listening to understand and work together. Help me! I can be so stubborn. Please forgive me.
I often think of how much better life could be if everyone just agreed with me. But You made us each unique and wonderful. Help me listen. Help me love Jesus. Please work in my heart and the hearts of those who have grown distant and heal what is broken for our good and Your glory.
We all make many mistakes. If people never said anything wrong, they would be perfect and able to control their entire selves, too. (NCV)
Father, Your word says, “everyone sins.” It also says, our tongues “are wild and evil and full of deadly poison.” It shouldn’t surprise us when we hurt each other with words and actions. Please forgive me for the thoughtless and unkind word I’ve said or thing I’ve done. And help me forgive _________ for the things he/she did that hurt me. We need You. Amen.
Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (NCV)
Father, forgiveness is hard, especially when I’m hurt and angry. I want to be kind and loving consistently but oh my, I fail.
And when I come to You sorry for the things I’ve said and done, I trust Your faithful love and amazing grace to forgive me. I need Your help to forgive _________. Please fill me with Your Spirit.
Remind me of the countless times You have forgiven me and tender my heart to be more forgiving.
Father, I also ask that you would help _________ forgive me. Give me the courage I need to humble myself and repent of any pain I’ve caused. Restore what is broken by Your grace. Amen.
Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help. (NCV)
Father, this is hard. I don’t wait well. I want to do or say something that will magically fix this. Help me remember that You may be using this time to work on me and to work on ___________. I don’t want to get in the way of what you’re doing but I get so impatient.
It sometimes takes more courage and strength to wait than it does to act. So, I will come to You today and every day asking for Your guidance. Help me wait when that is Your will and then, help me know when and how to act when the time is right. I need Your help. Amen.
God has chosen you and made you His holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. (NCV)
Father, I need a wardrobe adjustment. When I think about how often I fail to wear mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience … I’m ashamed! And You love me even with my tattered attire.
With Your help, I believe _________ and I can do a better job of loving each other. So, today I’m asking You to show me where I need to do better and love well. Heal our hearts, Father. Help us forgive.Help us to love Jesus and by Your grace, heal our relationship. In Jesus name, Amen.
I would love to pray for your broken relationships. Please leave a prayer request in the comments or if you don’t want to leave your name you can go to our Blessing Counters Pray Page and leave one there.
God bless you, my friends, and encourage you with His grace, mercy, and love.
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Powerful Prayers for Marriage and Restoration [Quotes + Verses]
Do you feel your relationship is in trouble? Perhaps your better half has left, your marriage is on the rocks, or you simply feel place with the person you are with. You value the relationship that you have with your husband or wife, and you honor and respect the vows that you took in front of God and witnesses.
Despite the best of intentions, there are times when even the most perfect relationship has problems and issues. It is common for a member of the relationship to run-away from those problems, or refuse to face them by trying to leave the relationship and the home you’ve made together.
Do not despair, there is hope, you just have to find faith and encouragement from our gracious Lord above.
Prayer can repair the most damaged marriage. The power of God can bring two people, who are intended to be together, back into a love filled marriage. Your union will know the love from the blessings of God if you keep your eyes on Him in all things. Through prayer, anything is possible.
God is all-powerful and all-knowing, He can mend any bridges that may have been burned by conflict, clear away any confusion, and give you the power to forgive when needed most. If your relationship is in need of a blessing and you have nowhere to turn, always consider the power of prayer.
God is always there to listen, and his followers on earth are always ready to assist in having your prayer requests heard.
“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Prayer for Restoring Marriage
Lord, I come before you today with a heavy heart; my marriage is in grave trouble, and I need Your help and closeness. Please make changes in my spouse's heart. Make us compatible again, and bring us closer together as we were before.
Fill us with Your love and give us the strength to love one another, care for one another, and fulfill your life long wishes for us. Show us the harm caused by careless, uncalled for words, and the pain caused by emotional distance. Heal the division between the two of us.
Make us one again. In Your precious name I pray, amen.
Prayer for a Loving Soulmate
I seek a partner who enhances me by his/her very being.
who brings more love, joy, peace and prosperity to my life, Who I can love fully and who can fully receive my love, Who loves, honors and cherishes me completely, and always.
May my heart be open and my head be clear. May my life be ready to welcome True love. May I be embraced in a circle of your love An uplifted by your grace. And so it is.
Prayer for a Marriage In Need
My heart cries out to You, my Maker of Heaven and of Earth! Please bring healing to our broken hearts, bring restoration to our relationship, ignite lost passion, and inspire forgotten intimacy. Please transform the two of us from the inside out, and lead us in Your way. We trust in you, Precious Jesus. Always. Amen.
Prayer for a Lost Love/Partner
Precious Savior, please pray that my heart's desire be granted, and the return of the love of my life would come to fruition.
I pray that my spouse/partner may have healed his/her wounds from the past, and forgiven all that has gone wrong between the two of us.
Lord, help my lost love be able to follow his/her heart to their desire and love me for me. I ask that we be forever reconciled as one, from this day forward.
Prayer for a Friends’ Troubled Marriage/Relationship
Heavenly Father, I come before you and lay this troubled marriage/relationship in your hands. I ask that you would revive this couple, and draw them toward happiness shared together.
I ask that you would renew their love and passion for one another, and that you would untangle the conflicts and strife that has damaged and angered them towards one another. Please bring understanding and tenderness of heart to both of them.
May they both embrace the miracle that you desire to do for them, and within their spirits. Amen.
Prayer for Financial Peace In Marriage
I lift up my heart to You today, my precious Lord. Please help us to rely on You more in our marriage when it comes to our finances. We can be easily distracted by the amount of money in our bank account, or even by the jobs we currently have.
Help us not to trust in the matter of money itself, but more importantly, trust in Your economy and Your word. May Your Holy Spirit fill us with wisdom in how to manage our finances, give us generous hearts to give to those in need, and teach us to not worry about money so much.
We pray there would be peace in our marriage, especially over finances, at all times, and in all ways. May Your presence keep us grounded, keep us calm, and keep us in Your will always.
Prayer for Clear Communication in Relationships
Lord, I feel my partner and I have had a difficult time clearly communicating with one another lately. We are both lacking in our compassion and understanding towards each other.
I pray we would be better than this, and that You will open our hearts to You. Holy Spirit, please help us be better communicators with each other.
I pray that we would live with understanding for what the other person is going through, and that we are thoughtful in our words and actions. Amen.
Bible Verses about Marriage:
«Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.» Mark 10:9
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.» 1Peter 4:8
“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun—all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun.» Ecclesiastes 9:9
3 Prayers for Success
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us that's filled with hope and a future. God is for us and not against us. He wants to see us succeed and have a full life.
Whether you're facing a new career, a difficult exam at school, or working toward building a relationship, these prayers will help you focus on asking God to lead you.
When you follow God and live within his blessings and favor, you will experience true success!
Prayer for Success in Work
Lord, You have promised that if we will commit our work to You, You will make it succeed. So today, I dedicate every aspect of that work to You. I need Your wisdom daily to make the right choices, ones that require fairness, integrity, and a servant spirit.
From the start of every work day, I want to begin and end with You, knowing that You will guide every step and every decision I make. Throughout the day, remind me that You are in charge, not me.
May I do all things with excellence at work as if I am doing them for You, Lord.
I want Your goals to be my goals, and Your purposes, mine. Give me a learning spirit so I can constantly increase the skills You have given me to honor You and bring You glory. I know I am not to neglect those gifts You have placed within me, but that I am to watch myself closely to keep ambition in its right place and temptation at bay.
Keep reminding me that people are more important than work projects, and that You not only want me to succeed, but You desire for me to help make others successful. Whether it’s my employer or a co-worker, help me see them as Your creations, worthy of respect and thoughtfulness. We all matter to You, God.
If I am treated unfairly at work, may I still reflect You in every way and keep my eyes on You. I know Your idea of success and mine may differ, and that to You, godly character is more important than completion of my goals.
Help me to work hard with patience and persistence, shunning laziness and embracing a thankful spirit for the employment You have given me.
No matter who signs my paycheck, and no matter how high or how low the ladder I’m on right now, I look to You as my ultimate Employer. I know that viewing You as my “Boss,” will not necessarily increase my salary or change my work conditions, but it will change me—and that You pay great benefits.Serving You will put a smile on my face, allow my best work to shine through, and will insure that success belongs to You—Your way and Your time. I pledge to do the best that I can with what You have given me, Lord.
May Your plans become the desires of my heart—and may my work always be a success for You.
Prayer for Success at School
Lord, today I’m asking You to help me succeed as a student. I believe You are the Dream-maker, the Cultivator, and the Fulfiller of all worthy dreams.
You have been the Designer of my plans all along, and it’s You who will make them successful.
Help me to focus on my schoolwork, to listen carefully and show respect for my teachers and professors, and to receive correction well in areas where I’m wrong or haven’t yet mastered.
I know I am more than a student; I am a life-long learner and Your ambassador on mission wherever I go. Refine my abilities; hone my character; and help me choose wisely the areas of study that will make my life work successful. Keep me organized and free of distractions so I can focus on school.
Show me how to listen more and then share freely when it will encourage others or make a difference to those who hear. Help me to honor You in my friendships at school and to be ready to lend a hand when others are struggling in their studies or in their lives. Help me sow seeds of kindness, excellence, and honesty.
If my faith is challenged, give me courage to stand for You, no matter what the consequences.
I want to learn, Lord. I am eager to unwrap the gifts You have given me. With each new skill I acquire, help me to apply that learning to real life as well.Let knowledge, understanding, and common sense form a bond together with Your Word that will guard me against temptation. Keep the deceiver away from my heart as I choose to walk with You daily.
Help me find moments in the flurry of school activities and crazy schedules to simply be still and know that You are God.
Protect me from a prideful ego and let humility lead me in the path of success You have carved out for me. You have given me a unique place in Your kingdom, and I trust You to open doors that I cannot open myself.
Help me not to turn to the left or right but to follow You daily. When anxious thoughts or fear of failure threaten to overtake me, I will rest in You and Your promise of success for my life.
Only You know what that success really means, but when You are on my side, I cannot fail.
everyone else, Lord, I want to succeed in my life and in my relationships. Balance is something I am always seeking so I can be successful in every area.
Help me not to put work, hobbies, or other activities ahead of You, my family, or my relationships, but to keep You in the center as the hub of my life.
Teach me Your priorities and help me keep them in the right place. Everything must revolve around You, Lord.Bless my efforts to succeed, and may excellence, not perfectionism, drive my desires. Make me not only successful, but useful—a vessel of honor to be shared and poured out for You and Your kingdom.
Thank You that Your plans for me are beyond what I could possibly ask or hope or imagine. You actually want me to succeed so I can give You all the praise, honor, and glory.
I can do nothing without You, Lord.
When seasons of difficulties or interruptions creep into my life, help me to see them as opportunities to develop patience and persistence. You have given me every piece of armor I need to fight internal or external battles, and You have promised that nothing formed against me will prosper.
You know my beginning and when my life will end. You started the work in me, and it’s You Who will make it successful. You will complete that work as I simply abide in You, walk humbly and honestly, committing my life and all my plans to You.
Teach me to value and honor the ebb and flow of life that includes celebration, joy, pause, and reflection.
Because Your plans and Your ways are not mine, Your idea of success for my life may not make sense to me at times. But as a faithful, sovereign God, You hold it all, including permission to change me or my circumstances to fit Your plans for my life.
Fill me with Your power, Your grace, and Your love, so that I can be at peace as much as is possible with every relationship and every aspect of my life. Help me to know and do Your will, Lord—so that any success You give me will in turn bring You the glory You so deserve.
What I desire most is to come to the end of my life and hear Your “Well Done!” That’s true success to me.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Rebecca Barlow Jordan is an inspirational author, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus who loves to encourage others heart to heart.She has written 11 books and over 1700 other articles, greeting cards, and other inspirational pieces. Her daily devotional Daily in Your Presence is available for delivery through Crosswalk.com.
You can find out more about Rebecca at www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com.
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This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can't find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
Prayer for Strength
Prayer for Protection
Good Night Prayers
A Birthday Prayer
Prayer for Forgiveness
Prayer for Guidance
Prayer for Peace
Prayer for Faith
Prayer for Love
A Prayer for Healing After a Breakup ⋆ She Blossoms
After breaking up, you may feel you’ll never love or laugh again. You may feel lost and broken, alone and unwanted. Do not despair, for you won’t always feel this way! You will get through this season, you will heal and grow forward.
This prayer for healing is inspired by something unexpected: a money parable. It’s not one of Jesus’ money parables…rather, it’s the Parable of the $20 Bill.
It includes several surprising tips on how to recover from a breakup, including a prayer for healing.
In Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God, Dallas Willard answers questions such as, How do we hear God’s voice? How can we be sure that what we think we hear is not our own subconscious? What role does the Bible play? What if what God says to us is not clear?
Conversational prayer changed my relationship with God! I’m learning how conversational prayer works – our home group is doing the Forming workbook by David Tackle. If you haven’t heard of conversational prayer yet, let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to write an article that focuses on conversational prayer for healing after a breakup.
Letting go of someone you love is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. When you say a prayer for healing after a breakup, trust that God cares about you, is looking out for you, and wants the best for you! Your heart and attitude toward God is different when you believe He loves you so much. A healing prayer is different when you are friends with God.
Here’s a parable that will change how you see yourself, and help you heal after a breakup.
The Parable of the $20 Bill
At a recent conference, a speaker started his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. He asked, “Who would this $20 bill?”
Hundreds of hands started going up. The speaker said, “I’ll give this $20 to one of you, but hold on a minute.” He then crumpled the $20 bill up. He then asked, “Now, who wants it?” All the hands remained in the air.
“What if I do this?” he asked. The speaker then dropped the $20 on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty.
“Now who wants it?” Still the hands were in the air.
“No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value,” he said. “It was still worth $20.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless.
But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. To Him, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless.”
A Prayer for Healing After a Breakup
Father God, thank you that I am priceless to You – even when I feel rejected, crumpled, dirty, and lost. I give you my life. I trust You and love you, and I believe Your thoughts about me are precious! You love me, and You protect me.
I don’t understand why this breakup had to happen, but I know that You are with me. Things are difficult right now, but I know You are bigger than my problems and that You have a good future planned for me.
I want Your plans to come to pass in my life, and I trust in You to change my circumstances according to Your will. Amen.
Don’t give up on God
After a breakup, you may feel God had deserted you. You feel alone and abandoned, unwanted and rejected. It’s depressing and sad to lose someone you love, especially if the breakup was unexpected. You may even feel all the prayer for healing in the world won’t help you after a breakup – and you might question whether God can heal you after a breakup.
Don’t give up on yourself!
Try not to feel sorry for yourself.
“Self-pity is a destructive and negative emotion,” says Joyce Meyers, “It blinds us to our blessings and the possibilities before us and it steals our hope for both today and tomorrow….
Self-pity is actually idolatry because it is self-focus carried to the extreme. When we allow ourselves to fall into self-pity, we are essentially rejecting God’s love and His ability to change things.”
Don’t waste your precious energy and time on self-pity. You’re in a difficult season right now, and it seems all you can do is say a prayer for healing after the breakup. Pray, but don’t feel sorry for yourself.
Be hopeful when saying a prayer for healing after a breakup
A more loving, peaceful, suitable relationship is in your future! Any prayer for healing after a breakup has to include hope for the future. God has thoughts and plans for your good, to give you hope and a plan for your life. If you will hold on to your hope and never stop fighting for it, you will see amazing things take place in your life.
Praise God for the blessings you enjoy
Tell me three amazing things about your life right now.
Is the sun shining? Do you have food in your belly? Are you able to walk, dance, sing, and have a shower without help? Can you name one person who loves you? Do you know you are a child of God? One of the best ways to heal after a breakup is to focus on the blessings in your life. Practice gratitude to God, and balance your prayer for healing with praises for the good things God has given you.
Know that God has a purpose for your life
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Prayer for Healing After Breaking Up
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this. – Proverbs 3:5-12, The Message.
I welcome your thoughts on this prayer for healing after a breakup – as well as The Parable of the $20 Bill. I can’t offer relationship advice or counseling, but you might feel better if you share your thoughts. And, don’t forget about conversational prayer for healing after a breakup! I can write a post about that, if you’re interested.
If you feel you’ll never recover from this breakup – and you don’t know how or what to pray – read 5 Ways to Talk to God When You Can’t Pray.
Father God, I pray for healing for people who feel lost, rejected, alone, and sad after a breakup. I pray that you find ways to comfort them and show them how much You care. Amen.
Grace and Truth in Difficult Conversations
A successful confrontation will always involve balancing grace and truth.
Grace is your being on the side of, or “for,” the other person as well as the relationship. Truth is the reality of whatever you need to say about the problem.
This balancing combination is referred to as being neutralized. Being neutralized doesn’t mean being neutral about the problem – not taking a side or expressing an opinion. In fact, the clearer you express your opinion, the better your chances of success.
Instead, being neutralized means that having grace and truth together counters the bad effects of having one of these by itself. In other words, grace alone or truth alone can have a negative effect in a confrontation, but having the two together neutralizes the negatives.
Jesus was the perfect combination of these two elements of growth. Jesus’ approach was superior to that of the law of Moses:
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. – John 1:17
People need both grace and truth in relationships with God and with each other. Think about a time when someone told you the truth without love. You probably felt attacked, judged, or condemned. No matter how accurate the truth, it hardly mattered, because the hurtful feelings erased the truth in the confrontation.
In good boundary conversations, truth needs grace for the person to safely receive and digest the information.
Now reflect on a time you received grace without any truth.
Grace comforts us and keeps us safe and loved, but it doesn’t provide reality, structure, direction, or correction. You may have come away from that encounter feeling refreshed and encouraged, but without the path or insight to know what to do next. Truth neutralizes that problem and provides the way we need.
Here are some ways to keep both aspects in balance when you are having the talk.
Keep in Mind That the Other Person Needs Both Just as You Do
Remember that even though you might be upset with someone, his ability to take in truth will also require love and grace, just as yours does. Your intent is not to fix, straighten out, or punish. It is to provide enough amounts of truth and grace to reconcile and solve the problem.
Lead with Grace
It is always best to start with grace, as it sets the stage for the other person to be able to tolerate the truth. Tell the person, “Before we get into the topic, I want you to know I really care about you and about us. I want us to be better, and I want us to be on the same team. I hope I can convey that to you even when we talk about the problem.”
Don’t assume that she automatically knows these things. In fact, in a confrontation the other person often needs more reassurance of the grace, because the situation may access her own unloved and condemned parts.
Keep Both Elements Present at the Same Time
Keep grace and truth integrated and woven together in your talk. As much as possible, avoid the tendency to have a “grace” part and then a “truth” part of the talk; otherwise, it could seem two different, and even inconsistent, talks. When you are confronting, sprinkle in your care. When you are caring, sprinkle in the truth.
For example, you might say, “While I want us to be close again, this problem is getting in the way, and I need to resolve it between us. I can’t dance around it or ignore it. But it’s hard, because I don’t want this talk to distance us even more.”
Be Aware of Your Imbalances
None of us are totally in the middle here. Some of us lean toward grace and are too soft on the truth. Others may be very clear about an issue and can come across harsh and critical. Work on developing whichever part of grace and truth you are weak on, so that you can stay neutralized in the boundary conversation.
When in Doubt, Go for Grace
If you are unsure at a given point in the conversation, lean toward grace. The damage done by a lack of grace is more severe than the converse. With grace alone, you stand a chance of being able to have another conversation later. With truth alone, the judgment could possibly rupture the safety of the relationship so much that things fall apart.
For example, if the person resists your point, you may want to press it to see if there is another way he can receive it. However, if he becomes increasingly unresponsive, defensive, or angry, this is probably not the time to keep pressing home with truth.
Back off, try to reestablish the connection with grace, and try again later. In our parenting book, Raising Great Kids, we refer to those times in which you are totally lost in a conflict with a kid. At those times, drop back to the relationship and get reattached.
Otherwise, nothing good happens.In your effort to stay neutralized, keep grace and truth friends with each other, not adversaries. Look to God and His example of keeping the two aspects of life together:
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. – Psalm 85:10
Excerpted with permission from How to Have That Difficult Conversation You’ve Been Avoiding by Henry Cloud and John Townsend, copyright Zondervan, 2005.
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If you are going to have relationships, there is no way to avoid difficult conversations. But, most of us have a lot to learn about balancing grace and truth in difficult conversations. What do you need to work on more — grace or truth? Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you about becoming more Jesus in the way that we love and confront others!