Greg and April – May 28, 1994
For the first 14+ years in our marriage, I prayed for Greg a lot – which sounds very noble and godly, right? Unfortunately, my motives were so selfish. 🙁 I prayed primarily for God to make Greg be more loving, to make him pray with me, to make him be a godly leader (by my definition, of course), to make him pay more attention to me, to make him stop watching TV so much…
Of course –
- When he did pay attention to me, I was never satisfied and always wanted more than he gave me.
- When he did try to show love I found many ways to criticize him.
- I condemned him as a believer in Christ for not praying with me and even questioned his salvation and spiritual maturity.
- I argued and went against him when he tried to lead. I eventually followed 3 times when he insisted on things being done a certain way, but only after a LOT of my own arguing, pouting, sulking, telling him how wrong he was, criticizing him, berating him and trying to force him to do things my way.
- with the TV, he was safe. He wasn’t safe with me. I was critical, controlling, condescending, bossy, prideful, self-righteous, etc…
I loved Greg VERY, VERY much. I always loved him. But what I did was NOT loving or godly at all.
As I began this journey, I realized that almost every thought in my head was sinful, almost every word out of my mouth were sinful and even my prayers were full of sinful motives. ARGH!!!!!!!! No wonder God says that our acts of righteousness look like filthy, bloody, unclean menstrual rags to Him! (Isaiah 64:6)
I desperately needed a new way to pray.
GOD TAUGHT ME TO PRAY LIKE THIS:
- I listed out every single strength and good thing I could think of about Greg and kept adding to that list and kept it in the front of my prayer journal. I was only to think about the good things about Greg, the Philippians 4:8 things.
- I listed out every single sin in my heart and kept adding to that list and kept it in a prominent place in my prayer journal.
- I began to pray, “Change ME!!!!!! Bless him.”
- I stopped the specific prayers about what I wanted God to do in Greg’s life. Why? Well, some of the things I was praying for were “God’s will” – but my motives were wrong and I was trying to demand that God do what I wanted him to do for my own selfish reasons. So, I quit demanding things from God about Greg and just began to trust God to handle Greg without my help.
- I started to THANK God for Greg, for his strengths, for his leadership (even before he began to lead, as I had stepped down and was WAITING and WAITING and WAITING.)
- I sought to get rid of every sin in my life and repented from every sin God showed me.
- I tried to absorb all that I could from God’s Word and from godly resources and begged God to help me understand Him and to know Him and to get rid of my sinful, godless, worldly ideas and to rebuild from scratch on His Word alone.
- I prayed for God’s Spirit to fill me and empower me.
WHY SHOULD I PRAY FOR GOD TO BLESS HIM?
It can be tempting to think, “I’m not going to pray for God to bless him until he changes and becomes the husband I want him to be.”
That thought is not of God, my precious sisters!
If I love Jesus – my only motives are going to be:
- to love, please and obey Christ
- to bless and love others with the love of God
There really aren’t many other motives that are pleasing to God.
Jesus calls us to
- pray for those who mistreat us
- bless those who insult us
- pray for those who persecute us
- repay evil with good
- not take revenge but leave room for God’s wrath
HERE ARE SOME WAYS WE CAN PRAY FOR OUR HUSBANDS IF OUR MOTIVES ARE PURELY TO PLEASE CHRIST AND BLESS OUR HUSBANDS:
Sovereign and Mighty Lord,
- Draw him to yourself. Let him know you more and more.
- Let him have Your full presence and power in his life.
- Accomplish Your good purposes in his life for Your greatest glory.
- Use him in your kingdom.
- Heal the wounds of my husband’s childhood and past and use them for Your glory in his life.
- Heal the wounds I have inflicted on my husband. Show me how I can bless him and make things up to him where I have injured him.
- Let him be the man YOU desire him to be, not the man I desire him to be.
- Bless his career, let him be able to use all of his talents, intelligence, abilities, gifts and experience to make the world a better place.
- Give him Your vision, Your passion, Your dream for his life and Your desires.
- Let him be a man after Your own heart.
- Let him leave a godly legacy to bless all who come behind him.
- Let him be a man who is fully consecrated to You.
- Let him abide in You and be full of Your Spirit and Your power.
- Tear down every stronghold of the enemy in his life, not to accomplish my will, but to accomplish Your will.
- Give him a wife who does him good and not evil all the days of her life – and let that wife be ME!
- Give him a wife (me) who will genuinely respect and see the good in him and who will greatly bless him.
- Give him Your wisdom to lead our family. Thank You that You are sovereign over his life and decisions. I trust You.
- I trust him to Your hands. You are God, I am not.
- I trust You to be able to speak to Him, I will not try to take the place of the Holy Spirit.
- Give him BIG faith in you. Accomplish mighty things through him.
- Let him be the father You desire him to be. Help me to support his parenting and to make his job as a father a joy.
- Help me to support his authority in our home and to make being the God-given leader of our family a joy.
and some things we can pray for ourselves:
- Convict me of every single sin! I don’t want to sin! I hate sin because it grieves and hurts Your heart. I never want to bring You more pain! I want to be clean in Your sight. Cleanse me and make me holy as You are holy.
- I need You desperately every moment!
- I want to be completely full of Your Spirit, Your presence, Your power, Your purpose, Your identity and Your glory!
- Let my life count for You and for Your kingdom!
- I don’t need anything else. I only need You. I must have You, Jesus! If I have Your Spirit and Your Word and am abiding in You, I have EVERYTHING! You are the Greatest Treasure. You are all I want and all I need.
- I completely devote all that I am and all that I have to You. I hold nothing back. You are in charge. You are my LORD.
- I want to obey You and please You in everything.
- Give me the power to be faithful to You!
- Let me be able to hear “Well done, My good and faithful servant” from Your lips when I stand before You when this short life is over.
- Let me love my husband with Your love!
- Let me love what You love and hate what You hate.
- Let me deeply want what You want.
- Let me care about Your will much more than my will. I sacrifice all that I want in order to have all that You want.
- Flood my heart with thanksgiving and Your praises!
- Shine through me! Let the world see Your light brightly and clearly through my life.
- Show me where I am not obeying You. I want to repent humbly and seek Your ways and Your wisdom.
- You have all wisdom. I do not.
- I humble myself and get down on my face before You – in trembling and fear and reverence and awe.
- I worship you with all my heart! You are more than worthy of all that I have to give!
- I pour contempt on all my pride.
- I am but dust. You are glorious and exalted! Let me decrease and You greatly increase in my life!
- Let Your Spirit move in a mighty way in me. Draw me to Yourself.
- Open my heart and soul to absorb all that I can from Your Word and Your Spirit each day.
- Let me be one with You!
- Give me Your love for others.
- Let Your Spirit move among Your people. Send a Great Awakening in my life, my church, my country and around the world for Your glory!
- Use me to share Jesus by Your power!
- Send more workers into the great harvest to share the love and truth and the gospel of Christ with every person on this planet!
Greg and April on our 19th anniversary – May 28, 2013