Are you and your husband at odds? Are you discouraged in your marriage? Pray. Are you longing for more intimacy and love in your marriage? Pray. Are you concerned about the choices your husband or children are making? Pray. Prayer really can change everything! It can produce a miracle! James 5:16 says “The prayers of a righteous person are powerful and effective.”
I have witnessed God do absolutely amazing things when I have prayed with total faith in His mighty power. I have witnessed miraculous healings. I have seen God soften my husband’s heart in areas. I have witnessed loved ones turn to Christ for the very first time. I have witnessed God supernaturally supplying much needed financial help in the nick of time. I have even seen God “heal” completely broken computerized equipment in our sound studio!
Here’s the thing. I don’t have the power to do any of those miracles. I especially don’t have the power to change my husband’s heart or my children’s hearts….but God can and does change hearts! In Ezekiel 36:26-27, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Awesome! So, seek God in prayer. Be persistent in your prayers for your husband and children. Your situation might seem impossible, but nothing is too hard for God. He can even change hearts.
You may have an “impossible” situation going on in your marriage, such as a husband who doesn’t believe in God, or who is an alcoholic who refuses to get help, or who is harsh and critical with the kids, or who is hooked on pornography. I would certainly recommend that you establish some serious boundaries and consequences if your husband is sinning against you or the kids, but here’s the thing you and I need to realize. Only God can change your husband’s heart. That’s where your prayers make a gigantic impact. Prayers that are offered in line with God’s will can accomplish the seemingly impossible!
That’s why praying actual Bible verses is so powerful! We know Bible verses are in line with God’s will. If your “impossible” situation involves your husband, let me point you to a list of suggested Bible verses to pray for your husband on the “Free Resources” tab at www.squadronofsisters.com. It’s a free PDF that you can print. I urge you to do so, and begin praying for your marriage, your husband, and your family. Your prayer offered in faith and trust in God is extremely powerful. Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
One more thing. Don’t grow weary in praying. Sometimes it takes months or years of praying before you see results. Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 to get inspired to press into sustained prayer for your “impossible” situation.
Being married to an unbeliever can be frustrating and discouraging. You’re pulling one way. He’s pulling another. You make decisions based on your faith and trust in God. He thinks only of himself. Ugh.
There is hope, but your situation may not change overnight. The key is persistent prayer. One wife, whom I know quite well, prayed earnestly for about 15 years before her husband finally came to Christ. It was discouraging at times, but she kept believing that God would answer her prayer, and He did. It just took time for God to soften her husband’s heart.
May I suggest that you pray Ezekiel 36:26-27 every day for your husband, inserting his name in the verse? The verse talks about God turning a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. In other words, God can soften hard hearts! Here is how you might want to pray this verse: “Jesus, give (insert your husband’s name) a new heart and put a new spirit in him. Jesus, remove (insert name)’s heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh. Jesus, put your Spirit in (insert name) and move him to follow your decrees and be careful to keep your laws.”
Also, to encourage yourself to keep diligently praying and trusting God, you may want to read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18.
Are you weary of trying to get your husband to do the things you want him to do? Are you tired of trying to handle everything? Are you getting discouraged that God doesn’t seem to be changing your husband or your kids as you have asked him to do?
Maybe it’s time to stop pushing your agenda! Perhaps it’s time to stop trying to control everything. 🙂 Maybe it’s time to trust God. This means, even the way we pray might need to change. Of course, we should always pray for our family members, but maybe it’s time to stop telling God what to do! Maybe God is asking you to give your concerns to him and to simply trust him to do what is best in the lives of your husband and children…and on his timeline. Instead of trying to control people and situations, what if you were to give your concerns to God in prayer, and then actually leave those concerns with him instead of snatching back those concerns and prayers when God doesn’t move as quickly as you want?!
Consider Isaiah 30:15….This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
This week, would you consider simply lifting the names of your loved ones to our heavenly Father and then asking Him to work deeply in their lives in the way He knows is best? Then relax and choose to trust God. He is all powerful and all loving. He is able to do the heavy-lifting where you are unable! You can trust Him. Pray, and then relax, rest, and trust.
Prayer really is powerful! You might be concerned about your husband’s actions or decisions. You may be distressed about his lack of attention or affection toward you or the children. If the offense is serious enough, you may need to establish boundaries, but at the end of the day, the truth is…you can’t CHANGE your husband. However, the good news is that God DOES have the power to change your husband’s heart! Ezekiel 36:26 lets me know God can change your man’s heart because that verse says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you”. I love to encourage wives to pray that verse for their husbands if their men appear to be off course in some area of their life. Then, we have to be patient while we wait for God to answer our prayers for our men. We also have to be intentionally watchful or we may even miss the answer to our prayer.
I was just thinking back about prayers I lifted to God several years ago regarding my husband. Just recently, I suddenly realized that God had actually answered those prayers! The changes happened so slowly and over such a long period of time that I hadn’t really noticed! Hmmm. It’s a good reminder to pray persistently, as Jesus instructs us to do in Luke 18, and then be watchful and alert for his answers. Colossians 4:2 says “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” So, don’t let an answered prayer slip by unnoticed. We don’t want to miss out on thanking God and rejoicing in His faithfulness.
Looking back, can you see God making slow changes in your marriage, in you, or in your husband as a result of your long-time prayers?
In my current Bible reading, I’ve been struck with how many times God used women to take a bold, courageous, and wise stand against the enemy. There are so many occasions where a woman steps out to lead or help God’s people when the enemy is attacking. Here are some of the examples: Abigail (in 1 Samuel 25) acts wisely when her husband did not. Rahab (Joshua 2) hides God’s people from the enemy. Deborah (Judges 4) courageously leads the people of God into war against the enemy. Esther (Esther 4 & 5) boldly intercedes for God’s people even though it was dangerous for her to do so. The wise woman (2 Samuel 20) reasoned with an enemy who was about to destroy her city and her wisdom saved the city.
What can we learn from these women? They were all very alert to the enemy’s schemes and they all boldly chose to take action against the enemy, trusting in God for the outcome. So here is the question for you: Do you see the enemy attacking your husband, your marriage, your family, or individual children? If you do, are you going to just wring your hands in despair, or are you going to take action? Hopefully, you will become a courageous woman of action! What does God want you to do? Do you need to relentlessly pray for God to intervene? Do you need to boldly confront an issue? Do you need to get wise counsel from a godly woman? Do you need to establish firm boundaries in a relationship? Do you need to ask others to pray with you?
Most women love words. We love to talk. We love to communicate. Thus, for most women, praying to God comes fairly easily. After all, prayer is communication.
On the other hand, most men don’t enjoy talking as much as women, and many men find it challenging to express their deepest thoughts and feelings. As a result, when a husband hears his wife praying an articulate, expressive, lengthy prayer…he can end up feeling intimidated. The wife doesn’t mean to intimidate her husband spiritually, but she ends up doing just that!
If this could be the case for your man, seriously consider shortening up your prayers and using simple words. Don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT saying your husband is stupid. I’m simply saying that women need to be careful that we’re not “showing off” our vocabulary as we pray! This reminds me of something Jesus said in Luke 20:47. He had harsh words for people who “for show make lengthy prayers”. So, let’s be super humble and pray concise, simple, heart-felt prayers. You may find that your man is more eager to pray with you in the future.
Many Christians are familiar with the verses in Matthew 22:37-38 where Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
Well, I’ve been asked lately about how to develop this actual love for God. You see, it’s very difficult to truly love someone you’ve never experienced. You and I must experience the Lord’s power and love for ourselves in order to truly fall in love with Him. Otherwise, we have head knowledge from the Bible, but no heart knowledge!
Looking back at my own journey with Christ, I realized that I’ve grown to truly love Him as I earnestly sought His help through prayer and then saw Him answer those prayers in loving and powerful ways. I experienced God!
So I urge you to begin seeking the Lord with your whole heart. Come to Him with your deepest needs, but make sure you’ve done your best to obey Him first. After all, God says in James 5:16 that the “prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. So, in other words, God powerfully responds to the person who truly seeks to obey His commands and follow His promptings. After you’ve done all you can do to obey the Lord, pray earnestly for His help. When He shows up, take notice! God just connected with you and allowed you to experience His love, power and help! Now, you have heart knowledge of the Lord!
Does your husband wrestle with a destructive addiction? Is your husband carrying way too much stress from his job? Does your husband seem depressed? Is your man uninterested in pursuing God? It’s easy for you to sink into despair, but instead, I challenge you to pray for him continually, and with total faith in our powerful God!
I’m not saying that prayer is the only thing you should do, but it is one of the most powerful things you can do for your man. Yet, often we tend to do more whining to our girlfriends than praying for our men. We often spend too much time drowning in a pool of self-pity instead of saturating our days with earnest prayer.
Seek godly counsel from a pastor or wise female mentor to gain insights into whether you need to take specific action with your husband. Those actions may include establishing boundaries and imposing consequences. Perhaps you will be directed to see a counselor yourself. Maybe your pastor will schedule a talk with your husband to see if he can help. However, your main job as your husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) is to pray for him. Pray for him throughout the day. God says in James 5:16 that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective“. So get on your knees and get busy praying.
I have seen God do some pretty amazing things in response to earnest, continual prayer. He can even change your husband’s heart! (Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart)