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.
A wife’s words are so impactful! A few days ago, I wrote a devotional about the power of pausing during a heated conversation with our men so that we refrain from responding with words that are harsh or mean….something we’ll likely regret later. Well, there’s also another reason to pause. As women, we need to pause before we offer casual bits of advice or “wisdom” to our husbands.
I don’t think we realize how our guys are greatly influenced by us! We might think they aren’t really paying that much attention to a casual suggestion we toss out, but often they are. In fact, many husbands in the Bible were greatly influenced by something their wives said, and the wives rarely had good advice! I think especially of Sarah telling Abraham to sleep with her servant in order for him to have a son, since she was getting impatient waiting for God to fulfill his promise to give her children! Read the story in Genesis 16:1-4 and you will find out Sarah’s decision didn’t turn out so well!
So, let’s think twice before we offer a morsel of our brilliant counsel during a conversation with our men. I remember so clearly a time I did that several years ago with my husband and he immediately acted upon it. I hadn’t really even thought it through, let alone prayed about it. It wasn’t actually a good suggestion that I tossed out at him carelessly! Thankfully, there was no harm done, but it got me to thinking about the need to really pause and pray about any suggestions or counsel I decide to pass on to my husband. How about you?
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 refusing to enable a continuing pattern of sin. 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. I have even seen the Lord change a husband’s heart! Yes, God can change a person’s heart. Read Ezekiel 36:26.
Each weekday, I offer a devotional intended to help wives. Yet, I have a funny feeling that some of you might be questioning why I’m always urging wives to change their behavior, look for ways to bless their husbands, and be more selfless in their marriage. I can almost hear you asking, “What about him? Am I the only one who’s supposed to work on this marriage?”
Well, here’s a news flash for all of us. We can’t change our husbands! Only God can change a man’s heart. We can establish boundaries. We can encourage our men and offer wise counsel to them. We can pray for God to transform them, but at the end of the day, we can’t control them. We can only control us! However, by changing the way we interact with our men, we can dramatically and positively impact them. It’s the amazing power of one person to make a difference!
So, let’s all commit to working on ourselves. Let’s look for ways to encourage our men, help our men, respect our men, and serve our men. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of sin against you or your kids, pray every single day for God to break him free! Commit to respectfully and lovingly setting boundaries on that behavior. As you continue doing this week after week and month after month, I bet you’ll see a change in your husband and an improvement in your relationship.
Don’t give up. Don’t be pessimistic. Press on. Meditate on this wonderful promise found in Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Many of us come into marriage with broken sexuality. You may have been sexually abused as a child. You may have slept with some prior boyfriends. Your husband may have been sexually molested as a child or slept around before making a commitment to you. All of that stuff from the past can cause us to be somewhat broken or scarred when it comes to our sexuality.
However, God is in the business of redeeming and restoring! If you or your husband are haunted by the memories of former lovers or pornographic images, confess that to each other, and, prior to making love, pray together for Jesus to heal you. Jesus can and will heal your broken sexuality. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
If you or your husband are sexually scarred due to past sexual abuse, pray together before making love and ask Jesus to heal you sexually. Ask him to restore your innocence. Ask him to allow you to totally delight in physical intimacy with your spouse. Jesus is the great healer. Claim Isaiah 53:5 “by his wounds, we are healed“
And one additional benefit of praying together before making love is that it is one of the most intimate things you can do! Beautiful spiritual and emotional intimacy occurs when you open your heart before your spouse and pray for God to enter into broken places.
If you were to regularly pray 3 specific Bible verses on behalf of your husband, I believe you would see your man and your marriage and your whole family reap amazing benefits! Here are the 3 Bible verses: Ephesians 3:17-19, Proverbs 3:5-6, and James 4:7. These verses ask God to reveal his love to your husband at a deep level, ask God to cause your husband to have a deep trust in God, and ask God to prompt your husband to submit himself to God. When those 3 things happen, your man is completely transformed!
Here’s what this looks like:
Ephesians 3:17-19 “I pray that Jesus would come and dwell in ___________’s heart by faith, and that _____________, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and that ___________ would know this love that surpasses knowledge, that _________ would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “I pray that you would work in _____________’s heart so that he would trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not on his own understanding. In all his ways, I pray that ____________ would acknowledge you Lord, so that you make his path straight.”
James 4:7-8 “I pray that you convict ______________ of the need to fully submit himself to you, God, and I pray that you would show _____________ how to resist the devil, so that the devil flees from _______________.
Does your husband have a destructive addiction? Do you have a serious problem with self-control yourself? Are you and your husband arguing so much that you’re not sure your marriage will survive? There are some practical things you can do about all the above scenarios, but more than likely, what you really need is a miracle. You need God to supernaturally intervene to change hearts, expose schemes of the enemy, and fill both of you with the Holy Spirit so that you are radically changed. The good news is He can do all that!
Your part in all this is to pray…earnestly, without ceasing, and with total faith in the power of Jesus Christ to perform a miracle! It really is critical for you to trust in the power of God to do the impossible! In fact, when Jesus walked this earth, he was unable to do miracles of healing in towns where there was too much unbelief! (Mark 6:5-6)
I have seen God perform modern-day miracles, and I know he can do a miracle in your marriage, your finances, your health, etc. I have seen him change the heart of a husband who was dead set on divorcing his wife, and now they are still married 5 years later and better than they were before! I have seen God miraculously provide financial provision at the last minute, and in a totally unusual way! I have seen God heal a man who doctors said would be brain dead, but he is functioning totally normally years later.
Here are 2 verses that may encourage you to pray with great faith. Matthew 21:22 says “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” And in Matthew 9:29, as Jesus is about to heal some blind men, He says, “According to your faith, will it be done to you.”
Do you ever feel like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Do your prayers seem ineffective? Well, could it be that you’ve fallen into a very common pattern of simply using your prayers to tell God what to do, when to do it, and how to do everything?! Hah! I know I’ve fallen into that pattern more times than I care to admit.
The truth is that God doesn’t need us to explain to Him what to do. If we’re being honest, we can acknowledge that we don’t always know the best thing to do. But Jesus does know! So maybe we should ask Him!
Here’s a mind-blowing fact. Jesus is actually praying (interceding) to the Father for YOU right now! Romans 8:34 says “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”
Another huge truth from the Bible is that our heavenly Father answer the prayers of people who are praying in line with His will. 1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
Put these two truths together and it becomes clear that the key to powerful prayer is to ask Jesus how He is praying for us or the challenge we’re worried about, and then to pray in alignment with Him. When we start prayer that way, we know we are praying according to God’s will, and God answers those prayers!
If you’re wondering how to know what Jesus is praying, simply ask Him to tell you and then await a gentle nudge of your spirit….a quiet whisper to your heart….a word downloaded into your mind. Jesus says this in John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice…. So ask Him how he’s praying, await his direction, and then join him in that prayer. How powerful!!
Do you have a continuing issue with your husband? Does he lack a certain desirable character quality? Prayer can make all the difference!
I have seen persistent prayer accomplish what I could not do on my own. I don’t have any ability to change anyone’s heart, including a husband’s heart. I can set boundaries on certain behavior, but I can’t change a person’s heart. Only God can do that, and praise the Lord, he DOES do that! In Ezekiel 36, God says “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…” Awesome!
If you’re wondering where to start in terms of praying for a change in your husband’s heart, I would suggest inserting your husband’s name in 2 specific Bible verses as you pray. I prayed these 2 verses for years on behalf of my husband, and I witnessed God slowly molding and shaping my husband’s heart. Here are the verses, with your husband’s name inserted.
Psalm 51:10 “Create in _____________ a clean heart and renew a right spirit within _____________.”
Psalm 103:8 “Mold ____________ to be like you, “compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love“.”
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.