Powerful prayer starts with this

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!!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

What prayer for hubby can do

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“.”

Your prayers could change everything

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.

How to pray for your husband

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.

Helping him become spiritual leader

Many women lament the fact that their husbands won’t pray with them and their husbands aren’t really the spiritual leader….but, here’s something I’ve observed over the years that may shed some light on your predicament.  If you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your family, you have to stop being the leader yourself!  Sometimes women, including myself, can be so eager to bring spiritual disciplines into our family life that we leave no gap for the husband to fill.  Perhaps this is why God repeatedly instructs wives to be submissive!  Titus 2:5 tells women to be “self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands”. 

In other words, instead of you jumping in and praying for the kids when they get tucked into bed at night, you could ask your husband for his help with that.  If you would like the Bible to be read aloud after dinner, tell your husband you love the sound of his voice when he reads and ask him if he would read the Bible.  After he has read the Bible passage, ask him what he thinks God is saying…and then listen attentively to his answer.  When you’re not feeling well, you could tell him it would mean the world to you if he were to just lay a hand on your shoulder and say a simple prayer.  Even a one-sentence prayer is fine.  And when he does any of these things, be encouraging and thankful!  Build him up.

When a woman takes over any area of leadership, many men will simply back off.  So, if you want your husband to become the spiritual leader of your home, you need to allow there to be a bit of a void in that area. Then ask him for his help.  🙂

If husband isn’t following Christ

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 (15 years!) 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.

Prayers for the frustrated wife!

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.

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.

Praying for your marriage

I’m going to propose a radical shift in perspective.  Some of you might not be ready, but I’m hoping you are.  Here it is.  Instead of praying for God to change your husband so that you’re happier, pray that God’s will be done in your marriage and in your husband.  In other words, pray that God accomplishes what HE wants to do in your husband’s life.  Catch the vision of partnering with God in prayer for the things HE wants to do in your man! 

Where did I get this shift in perspective?   Right smack in the middle of the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-10  “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…”

What does this mean in your marriage?  It means that you stop focusing on getting God to change your husband so that he does things your way and makes you happy.  Instead, you ask God what HIS will is for your husband, and you start praying fervently for God to mold and shape and transform your husband into the mighty man of God that the Lord wants him to be! God doesn’t intend for your husband to be an unbeliever who is stuck in sinful patterns with no joy or peace!

Here are 3 things we know to be God’s will for your husband, so start praying these 3 things in addition to whatever else God reveals to you: 

  • That he would be saved. (1 Timothy 2:4  God desires all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth)
  • That he would turn from sinful patterns and surrender to God’s leadership.  (2 Peter 3:9  He does not want any to perish, but that all should reach repentance)
  • That he would find joy, peace and hope in his relationship with Christ.   (Romans 15:13   May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.)

An awesome benefit of praying this way is that God will slowly transform your husband in just the right ways that will be a blessing to you and the whole family!

** or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

How prayer changes your husband

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?

If facing marriage difficulties…

It’s so very easy to sink into self-pity, despair or flat-out depression when you become disappointed in your marriage.  It happens when your husband doesn’t have the same perspective as you, or when he doesn’t meet your expectations, or when he does something hurtful. 

However, you do have a choice in how you’re going to view this challenge in your marriage.  You can choose to feel sorry for yourself and become consumed with resentment and hopelessness….or you can choose to do much more productive things!  You can choose to make the most of your hardship by….

1. Praying without ceasing for God to intervene in the situation. (read Luke 18:1-8) 

2. Seeking guidance from God on what possible actions you should take.  Sometimes God may want you to extend grace, realizing that your husband will never be perfect, just as you will never be perfect. Other times, God may want you to courageously establish boundaries with your husband, especially if he is sinning against you.  Consult the Lord for guidance through His Word and through listening prayer. (read Psalm 32:8)

3. Asking God what He wants you to learn through this situation so that you grow in character and faith. (read Romans 5:3-5).  Is he trying to teach you patience?  Is he trying to teach you how to communicate your frustration in a more respectful way when your husband upsets you?  God is always trying to mature us!

4. Seeking God through Bible-reading and worship so that you can experience his comfort at a new and deeper level than you ever knew was possible!  (Psalm 34:18)