Praying for your husband is one of the most powerful ways to help them become the man that God has created them to be.
Best-selling author Barbara Rainey shares sage advice from her life experience and years of coaching and counseling young wives on the importance of prayer.
Barbara recognized her desire to start praying for her husband, Dennis, early on in their marriage.
“We were married maybe only six months when I started noticing some things about my husband that I hadn’t seen at first and I was surprised. I thought, ‘Ok what do I do about these things that I’m discovering? Maybe his mom just didn’t teach him to pick up his clothes, maybe he just needs me to help him.’
“I decided maybe what I should do is pray about the things that I’m seeing in him; maybe that is what a Christian wife is supposed to do.”
She started by making a prayer list; a list of things that had bothered her about her husband.
“It probably didn’t get much past ten items, but I thought that the right thing to do was to make this list and then to pray about it every single day.”
Her prayers were having the reverse effect.
“I began to realize that that’s all I thought about. I saw all those things that I thought were wrong more and more, and they grew bigger and bigger, and I like them less and less. I got to the place where I just really didn’t even like my husband so much anymore because all I was focusing on was what I thought was wrong.”
A change occurred within her own heart as a result.
“One day I thought, ‘this is not what I got married for, I don’t like thinking about him this way; I don’t like what this is doing to our relationship because it took the joy away.’”
Barbara proceeded to tear up the list and asked God to intervene in her husband’s life.
“I simply said to God, ‘Look, I can’t change him, it’s your job to change him and if you feel like these things need to be changed then that’s your business; it’s not my business. I’m not going to pray about what I think is wrong with him anymore. I’m instead going to pray that you would build character qualities in his life that I see in the Bible.’”
“I prayed that God would make him into a leader, I prayed that God would help him to turn away from temptation, I prayed that he would become like Joseph or like Daniel.”
Barbara reminds us that the focus in our prayer life needs to be about building them up to be a godly husband, instead of focusing on a list of negative qualities.
“It was a very important lesson to me in what I focus on as a wife. If I focus on the things that I don’t like or the things that I think need to be changed, then that’s all I’m going to think about and it’s a really destructive and detrimental to the relationship.”
More helpful advice can be found in Barbara’s book .
Highlight: Prayers from a godly wife
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