The power of one in marriage

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.”

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

3 key things to pray for husband

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 _______________.

Start praying big, bold prayers!

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.”

** or view this as a 3 minute VIDEO BELOW

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“.”

The power of pausing during prayer

When we face a challenge, a dilemma, or even a crisis…we tend to search high and low for the easy answer.   We cry out to God, asking him to give us the magic pill that will make it all go away!  We call our mom or our girlfriends, and we whine and complain about the problem, hoping they will have the magical, painless answer to our situation.  Well, here’s the thing.  The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple.  Seek God’s counsel and then actually pause to listen. 

Proverbs 18:13 says “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame.”  Yet, that is exactly what many of us do.  We complain to God.  We pray that he would magically fix our situation in the way that WE say is best, and yet, we don’t actually consult the Bible to see what guidance he has for us.  We pray that God would tell us what to do about the problem, yet we don’t actually pause to listen for the Holy Spirit’s quiet whisper of guidance.

The answer is simple.  Dive into God’s Word.  It will guide you.  Psalm 119:105 says. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”   Ask God to give you direction through a quiet whisper to your spirit from the Holy Spirit, who is our counselor.  John 14:26 says (in the Amplified Bible), “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf, He will teach you all things.”

Do you need a spiritual partner?

I was reminded recently of how valuable it is for Christian women to gather with other godly women.  A wife recently told me that, beyond learning valuable insights from God’s Word during Bible studies, what has really helped her is the encouragement, support and accountability from other godly women. 

It’s true.  Sometimes, we need that kick in the pants from another woman when we have wandered off track.  Sometimes, it’s that empathy and warm hug from another woman when we are going through a challenging situation.  Sometimes, what matters most is knowing friends in your women’s group will be praying for you during the week.

God’s Word tells us in Hebrews 10:24-25… “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another…” Our adversary wants us to isolate because then we’re more vulnerable!  Without encouraging voices in our ear, all we hear are the enemies whispers of discouragement and hopelessness.  So, the question is:  Are you acting as a lone ranger or are you carving out time in your schedule to meet regularly with other godly women?  We need each other.  We are stronger together

When desperate for God’s help

Are you in the middle of a really difficult challenge in your marriage or in some area of your life?  Are you consumed with worry or outright fear about the future?  It’s at those times in our lives that we need to press into prayer in a more earnest way.  Throughout the Old Testament and New Testament, we see that when God’s people were extremely troubled or worried or bewildered, they sought God with every fiber of their being by…fasting. 

What is a fast?  It’s a time where you go without some types of food or all food for a specific period of time in which you seek God with your whole heart.  Sometimes, people give up something other than food, such as media.   I remember a time when I fasted from all food for 3 days as I earnestly sought God’s counsel regarding a relationship.  At the very end of that fast, God gave me a vision that made my path very clear.  Praise God!

In Ezra 8, we read that the Israelites fasted and implored God for a safe journey through enemy territory and Ezra says, “God listened to our entreaty“.  Is it time for you to enter a time of earnest prayer and fasting of some type?  Please consult your doctor if you have health issues that could be adversely affected by fasting from food, but otherwise, fasting may be just what you need for a breakthrough in prayer!

Handling attacks from the enemy!

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?