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Prayer for All of Us for 2016

 

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Only God knows what 2016 holds for each of us.

It appears that it will be a year of many new things for me and for my ministry. My book will officially release January 27th. Some of you who ordered on Amazon have already received it! I am also hopeful that in the coming weeks, I will have the chance to finally completely redo this site and make it better, more beautiful, and easier to use.

Of course, none of us know what will happen in 5 minutes much less what the entire year will bring. None of us know the future or have control over it. God is sovereign. He is outside of time and space. He knows the future. He knows the narrow path He desires each of us to take with Him. What comfort God’s sovereignty brings to our hearts in this time of great turmoil in our world!

Let’s begin the new year together as the Body of Christ by praying together, my dear sisters (and brothers) πŸ™‚

Lord,

You alone are God. There is no other. You are the Creator of all things. You are the Sustainer of life. You designed the galaxies and You designed the subatomic particles with incredible precision and wisdom. Your infinite wisdom and power are evident when we look to the stars at night and when we observe the changing of the seasons, the beauty of the sunset, the intricacy of the biology of every species of plant and animal. We see Your goodness and wisdom at work in the way the weather unfolds, in the rain, in the heat, and in the snow. We see Your infinite wisdom when we see the way the various animals migrate, the way the moon affects the tides, and in Your good plans for marriage, families, churches, and society. We see Your holiness and intelligence in the Bible and marvel at Your Words of Life to us.

You reign in splendor and majesty from Your throne room in the highest heavens. You are sovereign. You are good. You are just. You are holy. You are love. You are grace. You are Father. You are the Good Shepherd. You are the Wonderful Counselor. You are the Prince of Peace.

Help us to be still in the midst of all of the craziness going on around us in this world and help us just to soak in Your presence and know that You are God.

Align our hearts with Yours. Let us love what You love and hate what You hate. Help us to see with Your eyes and hear with Your ears. Let the things of this world become “strangely dim in the light of Your glory and grace.” Help us to take up our cross daily and follow you wherever You may lead us. Help us to shun worldliness, sin, temptation, evil, and all ungodliness. Help us to grow by leaps and bounds in our faith. Take us much deeper with You this year than any of us have ever been! Let us long for You far above anything or anyone else!

Let us be willing to grant You alone full control over our lives, our souls, our minds, and our hearts. Let us be willing to allow You to shine the holy Light of Your Word into the darkest recesses of our thoughts, motives, and fixed beliefs. Help us to be willing to tear out anything that is not of You in our lives on a daily basis and to intentionally replace those worldly, sinful things with Your thoughts, Your wisdom, and Your ways – even if it is very painful. We know it will be more than worth it to renounce human wisdom and understanding for God’s wisdom and understanding!

Help each of us to commit to carve out serious time for You on a daily basis to feast on Your Word and to seek You in prayer. Let our greatest desire be to know You more and to live in Your presence! Let us praise You, thank You, repent of any known sin, pray for our daily needs, and lift up the needs of others to You in our lives, in the world, and in the Body of Christ around the world. Cause us to rise up to become a godly, holy, Spirit-filled generation, Lord! Do not pass us by! We have seen the wonders You have done in generations past – the Great Awakenings and Revivals of long ago. We long to see You do even greater things in our midst and in our time!

We know You are creating intense revival in many parts of the world among the persecuted believers. We pray for Your protection for them and for Your Spirit to empower them to be faithful. We pray for the Gospel to be spread in mighty power. We pray that You might set our souls on fire for You, as well. Use us to shine for Christ in ways we can’t begin to fathom! Let each of us yield to You. Let’s see what happens when the Body of Christ is fully submitted to Jesus as Lord and when the people of God are devoted to prayer, to the reading of God’s Word, and to abiding in the Spirit of Christ.

We ask for Your healing for Your people – for marriages, families, and individuals. We ask for divorces to stop – for marriages to be mended and to become vibrant, whole, and God-honoring. We ask for the bonds of sin to be thrown away from Your men and women. We ask for healing for Your men and women from pornography addiction, adultery, worldliness, vanity, pride, greed, idolatry, selfishness, self-righteousness, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, gossip, addictions of every kind, idolatry, unbelief, worry, fear, and every sin that entangles and ensnares us. We look around at the Body of Christ in our culture, and it is weak, comatose, and dying. Cleanse us from our sin and worldliness, Lord! We have absorbed the world’s ways and wisdom. Help us to purge ourselves of all of that poison and help us to turn to You alone.

Let us be repulsed by the world, sin, and self. Let us understand that we are dead to sin, to our old self, and to this world (Romans 6). Let us live in the power You have given to us as children of God! Give us an insatiable hunger and thirst for Yourself and for Your Word. Let us truly grasp what we have in You and let us learn to live in Your promises in every day life. Let us live by faith (Hebrews 12). We have no good in us on our own. We are totally dependent on You to work in us to will and to act according to Your good pleasure. Flood us with Your Spirit. We invite You and entreat You to fill us! Open our eyes to anything that is a stumbling block that needs to go from our lives. Cause us to desire You alone! Make us faithful. Empower us to be obedient and holy in Your sight. Use us to bring millions into Your kingdom. Let Your Gospel reach every people group and nation. Show us what You desire us to do and equip and empower us to do those things.

But most of all, let us abide in Christ in 2016 every moment. Let us rest in You. Let us love You wholeheartedly! Let us seek You with all our hearts. Let us love You with all of our minds, hearts, souls, and strength. Let Your love pour through us into the lives of those around us. Make us wide open pipes through which Your Holy Spirit can blast into the world full strength.

We love You, Lord! We are fully Yours!

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

RELATED:

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Resting in Christ

Submission (to Christ) Means We Hold All Things Loosely

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I Am Responsible for Myself Spiritually

The Importance of Spiritual Pruning

73 thoughts on “Prayer for All of Us for 2016

    1. Thank you for praying with me, Andy Berry! πŸ™‚ I want to really focus on prayer this year – that God’s Spirit might rain down on us all in powerful, life-changing, Christ-exalting ways!

  1. Thank you April, for this lovely prayer and great example of how to pray. My prayers are far too hurried.

    Welcome back and Happy 2016. I’ve missed you!

    1. Becca,

      One thing I have learned – rushing never creates intimacy. Not with people and not with God. Intimacy takes time. Lots of time. It is so worth it! πŸ™‚

      Happy 2016 to you, my precious sister! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in your heart this year. I have been praying for you. It is wonderful to hear from you, my friend.

      Much love to you!

  2. April, this is a powerful, beautiful prayer. Thank you for sharing this with us today. And Happy New Year!

    I needed this, because I have really been feeling lately like I am veering off track. My marriage seems to be getting worse instead of better, and it is not my husband’s fault, it is my own. My emotions have been getting really out of control. I have been feeling depressed and bitter about the problems, especially my husband’s unrepentant addictions, and all his broken promises, and I made the mistake of letting my bitter feelings burst out forcefully rather than remaining calm and respectful.

    The holidays were so stressful, and my entire family was very sick with the stomach flu, and it really just turned me into a wreck. Also, our run-down house is so cold and drafty and I feel miserable that there is so much winter still to come. I need so badly to calm down and seek the Lord. This prayer was such a wonderful reminder to me of what is important. Thank you.

    1. Laura,

      Oh goodness, my heart aches for you!!!!! And for your children. And for your husband, too.

      Everyone having a stomach flu and all of the issues with the house and finances would make things extremely stressful on top of his addictions. πŸ™

      How is your time with God going? I am praying for His wisdom and resources and wisdom for you and for Him to reach your husband and heal him.

      1. Thank you. My time with God is not going well right now, which I know is partly why I am feeling so much anxiety and depression. It’s hard when you get into that funk to really pray – I feel tight and tense, I guess like I’m afraid to let my feelings out (even to God) or I’ll lose control.

        I *know* I need to seek God, it’s just hard sometimes. I keep doing the foolish thing (old habits die hard) of trying to get comfort and love from my husband. But he doesn’t respond, won’t hug me, pretty much just ignores me. He always gets really annoyed with me when I have times of depression. You discussed with me before how people who were abused as children don’t normally know how to have empathy or compassion for others. And I understand this, but somehow I can’t make my feelings line up with what I know to be true – I keep feeling that “Maybe if I tell him how I feel again, this time he will understand.”

        I am going to go read your post “Resting in Christ.” Sounds like what I need right now.

        1. Laura,

          Your walk with God IS your source of power, strength, love, identity, security, acceptance, peace, joy, and blessing. You need that more than anything else at this moment – as we all do.

          Would you like to talk about your feelings here? You are welcome to if you want to – no pressure! The main thing is to share them with God. I always do best if I journal – but other people may have other ways that are also effective to help them process their thoughts, fears, worries, and issues with God.

          Your husband can’t meet your deepest needs, my precious sister. Even if he were completely sober and healed and growing in Christ, he couldn’t meet your deepest needs. He would do better, of course, but no man can meet the deepest needs of your soul. Only Jesus can do that. I still do not depend on Greg to meet those needs in me – if I tried to – I would destroy my marriage. I know now that only God can fill me with real purpose, joy, contentment, fulfillment, peace, belonging, security, love, etc… because He is the only true source of all of these things.

          Your husband is DEEPLY wounded emotionally and spiritually. He is kind of in a spiritual coma, maybe even spiritually dead. I don’t know – they can look the same sometimes. Not only is he extremely wounded from his childhood, he is actively addicted to a number of mind-altering substances. So you are not even dealing with the real him right now. You are dealing with the drugs and alcohol. An addict can’t think about other people’s needs. Their only goal is to get the next fix. They can’t make healthy choices for themselves, much less their spouse or children. That is why it isn’t always possible to biblically submit to an addicted husband. It isn’t necessarily safe to do so. He can’t put God first right now. He can’t put you above the addictions. It is all about his idols of addiction right now. He is ensnared and in severe bondage to the enemy and to these addictions and his past wounds.

          If your husband were physically laying in a bed in the ICU, you would not expect him to get up and do the dishes and help put the kids to bed. That would be crazy. Your husband is spiritually dead or unconscious right now – the enemy is sucking the life out of him in every way. He can’t do the things you want him to do.

          That is why I am praying for God’s wisdom about options for you. You can’t open his eyes. You can’t make him want to go to rehab. We can pray for God to wake him up. But you can’t wake him up. Your job is to seek to honor Christ with your responses and to grow in Christ yourself and to do the best job you can taking care of your children in the midst of this mess. You may even need to protect yourself and your children if your husband is unable to make wise choices right now because he is not in his right mind.

          Every time you think that explaining to him again is going to help him understand so he will get up and do what you want him to do – picture him unconscious with a barely beating heart in an ICU bed and realize that telling him what you need is not going to be very productive at this point. He needs to be healthy himself before he can begin to hear and understand your needs.

          And even if he is completely healed and healthy – he can’t meet those deepest needs. I have a post about that here – “I Feel So Alone Spiritually.”

          Much love to you, my precious sister!

          1. You are ever the voice of reason and wisdom, April! Thank you for being such a blessing to me.

            I’m going to try to remember the image of him lying in a bed in ICU when I am tempted to start expecting him to understand my needs. I need to remember that he is wounded, and is simply not capable of giving me the type of caring and support I desire from him.

            I’m working right now on self-care. I have suffered times of depression before and I know there are ways I can help myself feel better, without my husband’s help.

            And I’m going to renew my efforts to spend a good amount of time with God every day. And yes, I do write my feelings in a secret journal, which helps a bit. The main thing I can do now is pray. I feel really scared sometimes, because my husband’s addiction to marijuana is so strong and powerful…it really is a massive idol in his life. I can hardly describe how important it is to him. I feel in my heart that he never will stop unless I separate from him. But that prospect is terrifying. I have no money at all, and we live on a farm so the animals need care, I can’t just leave them – we’re going to have lambs born here in the spring! My kids are involved in activities around here. The only place I could go stay is my parents, which is a significant drive away. I don’t see how it would work. So I am just going to keep praying for wisdom, because right now when I look at this situation all I see is a mess.

            Thanks again so much for your ministry, April. I have been so blessed by the advice you’ve given me personally, as well as by your blog in general.

          2. Laura,

            You are most welcome. I know you are in a TOUGH, TOUGH position. One where you will probably need some outside support in person to help you navigate things wisely. Most of all, I believe you need the Spirit, mind, and wisdom of Christ to empower you to hear His voice and to have the ability to obey whatever God is calling you to do each moment.

            Addictions are very powerful idols. πŸ™ Idols and addictions destroy us, our families, our fellowship with God, and everything in our lives. That is what sin does. It is progressive and it eventually leads to death (on every level) if it is not stopped.

            I wonder if he would consider leaving if he will not get help for his addictions? Is that a possibility?

            Praying for you, my precious sister! And for your husband and children.

          3. Laura, my heart goes out to you dear sister. I know some of what you are going through. It can be very difficult to deal with this on your own and especially when we distance ourselves from Christ. I know as I have recently began falling into anxiety and depression and letting things build up. I have also been unable to leave due to no money and a serious injury. Eventually my husband had to leave so we could have peace and I could recover without the stress and tension. You have children who need their mum to be okay. Please reach out for some support for yourself and if you believe God is leading you to have some separation between yourself and your husband then make sure you have a plan on place with trusted outside support, family or friends. I know how emotionally damaging and overwhelming it can be. Yes there is much love and support here on April’s blog whenever you need to talk things out. You will be innmy prayers. Much love. x

          4. M, thank you for your kind words. You are very sweet, and I appreciate your prayers greatly.

            I’m sorry to hear that you can relate to what I am going through – I wouldn’t wish this sort of heartache on anyone – but I’m glad to hear that you are getting an opportunity to rest and recover right now. May God bless you and your family in 2016, M.

  3. Amen! Thank you April, a beautiful prayer.
    In many areas of my life I too often feel helpless, and yet here is the perfect weapon freely available to us! Prayer! And the word of God. So that’s TWO weapons God has given all of us!!
    I often think that I do NOT want God saying to me in heaven “why didn’t you pray more?”
    I am also so guilty of giving up on praying if nothing appears to be happening or changing… I need to remember God is faithful and He is unchanging. My feelings and moods do not affect Him or His will, or His work in my life. I have been reading “Lies Women Believe” that you recommended, and it is really helping me to combat those lies I’ve believed and stand on what I know about God and His Truth.
    Much love to you April, and Happy New Year to everyone on here πŸ™‚

    1. Sunshine,
      I am so excited about what God is showing you and all that you are learning. Love this!!! Thanks so much for sharing. How I pray God might raise all of us up to be fervent prayer warriors filled with great faith in Him!

  4. Beautiful prayer – and so appropriate for the times we live in. So many horrible things happening and so many things attempting to consume the time and devotion we should be giving to our Lord. I’m looking forward to checking into your book!!!

    1. Megan,
      So true! This is a time when prayer is much needed!

      Thank you for praying with me. πŸ™‚

      I pray God might use the book to richly bless your walk with Christ.

      Much love!

  5. April,

    I missed you, too! Hope your holiday season was bright with love, family, and plenty of personal time. Thank you for this point-on prayer. Your site is an oasis in the middle of a crazy, ungodly world, and we appreciate you so much! Love always, Elizabeth

  6. You are a prayer Warrior for sure April! Missed your posts but so glad you had time off with family.
    I know others have mentioned it before, so forgive me if you already answered this but-have you seen War Room yet? I finally rented it over the holiday and it is a must-see for anyone who believes in the power of prayer to save marriages. It will give you a new venue to pull examples from for this blog as well.
    I thank God people supported it in the theaters so Hollywood will make more movies like it!

    1. blessed,
      I LOVED LOVED LOVED War Room! Praise God for inspiring the Kendrick brothers to make that movie! I never thought to pray for such a tool. I would encourage wives to see it. πŸ™‚

  7. “Use us to shine for Christ in ways we can’t begin to fathom! Let each of us yield to You. Let’s see what happens when the Body of Christ is fully submitted to Jesus as Lord and when the people of God are devoted to prayer, to the reading of God’s Word, and to abiding in the Spirit of Christ.”

    This is so beautiful, April!

  8. April I thoroughly enjoyed praying through this prayer. So beautiful and powerful. I love prewritten prayers and wonder if you know of any good books of prayers? (Actual prayers, not “how to” books). Also, your hair is just beautiful in this picture! πŸ™‚

    1. Anon,

      I know that The Unveiled Wife has a book of prayers. And Stormie O’Martain has books of prayers. Those are for wives to pray for their husbands. I’m sure there are many others – maybe someone else knows some titles to share?

      Thank you! Had some new layers cut last week. πŸ™‚ I love it!

      1. Oh, yes. I do have Power of a Praying Wife! Maybe I’ll check out The Unveiled Wife, too. I really like old-timey stuff like the Puritans. I did a search and found one called The Valley of Vision that I might like to check out. Thanks, April!

      2. Yes, Stormie Omartian’s books are great! The Power of a Praying Wife one was so wonderful, it’s something I’ve suggested to wives before, and gave my copy away to a wife who needed it!

        She also has other ones that are great like praying for your children or even adult children! I’m not sure if there are any other books like that, but I do personally know that hers a great.

  9. Amen and Amen! Thank you April for the beautiful prayer. I felt a weight being lifted from my shoulder!
    “Hellp us to be still in the midst of all of the craziness going on around us in this world and help us just to soak in Your presence and know that You are God”. Amen again!

    1. Betty,

      Praising God and focusing on His sovereignty helps us remember that He carries the heavy weight and our job is to rest and allow Him to fight for us. So glad this was a blessing. πŸ™‚ thanks for praying with me!

  10. Hello Peaceful Wife,

    I actually enjoy watching your videos because they make me hopeful about marriage and also because you have a real talent for the camera and are very well spoken. I just joined a new church and I’m certainly ready for my next relationship and hope to find a wonderful wife such as yourself. I’m not passive however, I’m very much the dominant one in relationships, so I hope that this might come naturally to my marriage. I do have a serious question, because I’m assuming that even though your marriage is in an amazing place that you still have some, we’ll say immature moments where you have trouble following his lead and refuse to budge (maybe not). My question is…is there a disciplinary component to this at all? I’ve never seen you discuss this, so I would assume not, but what are your thoughts on that issue?
    Thank you and God Bless. Amen!

    1. Eric,

      I’m glad that the videos have been a blessing. It was many years into our marriage before God opened my eyes to understand all of these things. I was actually a rather disrespectful and controlling, prideful, self-righteous wife for over 14 years earlier in our marriage until God caused the scales to fall off of my eyes.

      Your leadership might come more naturally – but there are very few women for whom biblical submission comes naturally. A strong, godly leader would certainly be helpful, though. A man who is a godly leader would be able to gently, firmly explain things and teach things, perhaps. If women saw biblical marriage modeled and it was taught well as they grew up, and they were consciously warding off the worldly ideas of the culture – they may be more ready. But women tend to either seek to have control or they tend to shrink and become too passive. There is “a pendulum effect” for men and women – it is only by the power of God’s Spirit that we can be in the center, if left to the power of our flesh, we tend to veer too far one way or the other into sinful and destructive ways of relating.

      When a strong man marries, he tends to either marry a strong woman or a woman who tends to be more passive. If he marries a strong woman, there will tend to be more butting heads and arguments. If he marries a more passive woman, there is a whole other set of issues that comes up where she may shut down and feel intimidated and afraid to share her thoughts, feelings, and ideas. That ends up being really destructive, too – it tends to cause major health issues for the woman who bottles up everything and who tends to lose her identity in the marriage.

      Greg and I don’t endorse or practice CDD or BDSM.

      Some husbands do give consequences, like if a wife is being extremely irresponsible with money, he may say, “I don’t want you to have a credit card anymore.” But it is important, in my view, that a husband not try to override his wife’s free will. Sometimes more dominant husbands tend to be controlling. Each person should have the freedom to speak his/her mind respectfully and to share any concerns, ideas, feelings, wisdom, etc… Both husband and wife are of equal value in the relationship.

      In my view, a wife is responsible to honor her husband’s leadership and she is accountable to God for that. If she refuses to honor his leadership, there is a way for believers to confront each other – here is a post about that from a wife’s perspective, but it would be similar for a husband. Here is a post about “When My Spouse Is Wrong.”

      Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem has a lot to say about a husband’s leadership about the roles for husbands and wives according to Scripture that I believe is very solid. Also, David Platt has a Secret Church series on Youtube about Biblical Manhood and Womanhood that is very good. John Piper has a number of posts about this topic on http://www.desiringgod.org.

      I believe a wife should not need to be disciplined, particularly in a father/child way. I think that is a distortion of God’s design. I talk more about that in this post about CDD and BDSM.

      May God richly bless your walk with Christ!

        1. Thank you for your time and effort in replying to me! I will keep this in my back pocket and do my best to read and watch all of the posts and videos you referred me to when I’m close to taking that big step.

          Your comment about free will makes a lot of sense to me. Consequences (as you mentioned), not necessarily discipline, is more in line with what I was thinking…but after your reply, the idea of my wife not feeling empowered in our relationship sounds awful to me, and I would not want to jeopardize that.

          Thanks again and God Bless,
          Eric

          1. Eric

            The biggest thing, in my view, for a man (or woman) who wants to choose a godly spouse is to choose someone who realizes that Jesus is THE most important treasure in the universe. If a wife cannot submit to Christ as Lord, who is perfect, if she wants control and doesn’t trust Him – she isn’t going to be able to trust a human husband, either. Ultimately, a wife’s ability to honor, respect, and biblically submit to her husband is all about her relationship with Christ and her reverence and submission to Him. Then God gives her the power to demonstrate godly femininity and to represent the church’s response to Christ.

            And ultimately, a husband’s ability to love his wife selflessly, humbly, sacrificially and with servant-leadership is all about his ability to submit fully to Christ as Lord. Then God gives him the power to love and lead as Jesus does.

            When both people are living for Christ – WOW! Is it ever beautiful and powerful!?!? πŸ™‚

            Both husband and wife will have much to learn “on the job.” Marriage is a sanctification process for men and women.

            What helps wives is to see that their husband is trustworthy, open, transparent, looking out for her, responsible, humble, willing to explain his thinking, loving, etc… It is much easier to follow a man who is obviously looking out for a wife’s best interest and who seeks to please God above all else.

            May God be greatly honored in your life, my dear brother!

  11. Hi, I just found your blog today and I’ve been pouring through a lot of the posts from a few years ago. While reading, I found the respect dare you worked through and wrote about and I started mine today! My husband and I read ” Love&Respect ” last year…or the year before… and while it resonated with both of us, I have to say that I have not implemented any of it’s teachings in how I approach my husband or my marriage. I wouldn’t say we have a bad marriage. Many times it is wonderful! However, I still always come back to a place of discontent, feeling emotionally needy, and that he is distant from me. After reading many many posts on your blog today…I know now what I have to do. It starts with me. Regardless of the outcome, I still need to change my actions, attitude, and words towards ny husband to be respectful of him and of Christ who has blessed me beyond all measure. I know this is a long comment, I just wanted to say thank you for still being here! I’ll be reading along back in 2013 with the respect dare…as well as any new content too of course! Thank you for the work you do and the time and love you have put into this blog.

    1. risswood,

      This comment makes me smile with joy. Thank you so much for sharing. You “get it”!!!! WOOHOO! You are most welcome – I can’t keep the treasures of Christ to myself. I want all of my sisters (and brothers) to get to experience Him fully and to yield to His Lordship and watch Him transform their lives for His glory!

      I’m right here if you wan to talk about areas if you are getting stuck.

      Much love!

  12. Humbled Husband, I have been following your comments and I wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you. I am in a very similar situation with my husband, that you are in with your wife. My husband is a very angry and mean person and will not allow any kind of real love or intimacy between us whatsoever. He is a professional when it comes to pushing me away and making me feel unloved and unwanted. If I ever try to complain, he tells me to move out, since I “obviously hate him” (although I’ve patiently endured his abusive treatment and tried my best to be a loving, respectful wife for nearly 20 years now!).

    Today is a particularly bad day. He’s giving me the full-blown silent treatment, and I don’t even know why, since he refuses to speak to me. It’s so difficult and lonely being married to a hostile spouse who cannot give or receive love.

    Anyway, I said a prayer for you today. You are not alone, and don’t give up hope!

  13. HH,

    You know what? ALL of us have warped views of God that need to be corrected. We are dependent on God to open our eyes. I’m glad you realize what you used to believe and how I praise God that He empowered you to come to Him and to see! Marriage is a powerful tool to open our eyes to our sin and how impossible it is for us to obey God in our own power. Yep.

    You can certainly repent for your legalistic control and share what God has shown you about His mercy, grace, and freedom. God can use your words to reach your wife – and most of all – His Spirit can reach her.

    She doesn’t really know God, sadly. She tried legalism. That is NOT the Gospel. That is not Jesus. As she continues to see your love over time, she will eventually see that it is real and that God really has changed you.

    You repented to God, correct? And I assume you repented to your wife as well?

    Oh, my brother! It brings tears to my eyes to see what you are saying. That you believe His comfort and support doesn’t apply to you! THAT IS A LIE! Reject it! Embrace God’s Word and that it absolutely applies to you just as much as it applies to me or to Billy Graham or any other believer.

    Our God forgives and when He forgives us upon our repentance, He no longer holds our sin against us. I don’t believe God is using your wife to punish you. I believe that Satan wants to keep your wife from faith in God and wants to paralyze your faith and destroy your marriage. Yes, I believe this is an attack of Satan to keep you from enjoying God’s grace and to keep you from embracing God’s Word for yourself.

    Moses was under the Law. You are under Grace. Was there anyone who came to Christ that He received and then refused to allow into heaven?

    Please re-read Saul’s conversion story. Do you believe that God totally forgave Saul when he became Paul? He killed and persecuted Christians and declared them all to be blasphemers. Was Paul forgiven and accepted by Christ?

    With the love of Christ,
    April

    1. HH,

      What an incredible story of the mercy, love, forgiveness, and redeeming power of Christ! WOOHOO!!!!!

      Goodness – 7 years and she still refuses to forgive. πŸ™ That breaks my heart. But I think that if she could forgive you – she would. I think if she could understand how to receive love from God, she would. And if she can receive God’s love, then she could never look at you in this old way anymore. I believe she is spiritually unconscious or even dead. She can’t wake herself up. But God can wake her up.

      The confusion and her seeing your peace that she doesn’t have – I believe – are signs of God’s Spirit wrestling with her.

      People have free will. God is sovereign and people have free will – at the same time. It is mind boggling. But – just because I repent to God and He transforms me does not guarantee me that my husband will forgive me and repent to God and change, too.

      When God opened my eyes – my husband was VERY unplugged and withdrawn from me and our children. He didn’t want to be near me, didn’t want to touch me, wouldn’t talk to me, didn’t want to listen to me… I began to change. Throwing all of my soul into begging God to change me. But Greg did not change and did not change. I asked God why Greg wasn’t changing and I was trying so hard to allow God to change me. God whispered, “Who are you doing this for? Why do you want to be a godly wife? Is it because you want to make Greg change so he gives you the love you want from him? Or is it simply for me?” It was 3.5 years before Greg felt safe with me again. God eventually began to change him, too. But I had no guarantee of that. And he hasn’t changed in all the ways I wanted him to. What he does is between him and God primarily. God helped me to see that my job was to do what God called me to do whether or not Greg ever changed.

      I talk with a lot of wives who feel this same way, “I have changed, so why hasn’t God made my husband love me again?” As if it is a business transaction, “If I do this for you, God, You owe me that.”

      Your wife forgiving you has nothing to do with God’s love for you. I hope that makes sense. God forgives you. We will pray together for God’s Spirit to work in your wife’s heart to soften her heart to Him. But whether your wife forgives you tonight or whether she goes to her grave holding onto her bitterness and unforgiveness and unbelief – you are responsible for you. Yes, you are responsible for the example you set and your leadership. But you have repented from your sin. You are seeking to allow God to be in control, from what I understand. You desire to live in submission to Christ as Lord. This may be a time of testing of your faith. It may be an attack from the enemy. It may also be that God’s timing has not arrived yet. This may be a time for you to grow in your walk with Christ as you wait.

      My prayer is that you will continue to cling to Christ and to pray for your wife who is ensnared by the enemy and being held captive as a slave to sin. It is NOT too late for her. She can’t change herself but God can change her. πŸ™‚ It is possible that your wife’s decisions are about her, not about you.

      Your wife does not have God’s Spirit controlling her heart. People who have the flesh in control of their lives curse and threaten people at times. (Are you safe?)

      Have you turned from your sin and to Christ and are you seeking to abide in Him and walk in obedience to Him by the power of His Spirit not your own effort?

      You were saved totally by the power of the Spirit of God and the gift of Christ Jesus – not through anything you have done, but just by faith in what Jesus did for you. You are sanctified and kept by what Jesus did for you and by what He continues to do for you and the power of the Holy Spirit. No one can snatch you out of God’s hands.

      Believers can and will face persecution – sometimes from the government or outsiders, but sometimes from their own family members. What if this is simply spiritual warfare and what if it is not punishment against you? What if it is just Satan trying to keep your wife from receiving the grace and gift of Christ?

      Are you willing to receive that you are a full son of God in Christ – a co-heir with Christ – and that all of the promises of God apply to you just as much as they apply to everyone else?

      MATTHEW 10:
      β€œBrother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

      24 β€œThe student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!

      32β€œWhoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

      34 β€œDo not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

      β€œβ€˜a man against his father,
      a daughter against her mother,
      a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-lawβ€”
      36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
      37 β€œAnyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

  14. HH,

    Scripture says we are either slaves to sin and Satan or to God and righteousness. Those are the only choices. If your wife does not trust or believe God or submit to Him, she is submitting to self and to the enemy. As we harbor sin and we are walking in the flesh, we have the red carpet rolled out in our lives for Satan to stroll in and make himself at home and use us to do his bidding. We give him permission to use our mouths, our actions, and everything in our lives.

    Scripture warns us not to hold on to anger over night or it gives the enemy a foothold. But if we hold on to bitterness, pride, unbelief, and lots of sin for years, he can just take over everything. We have invited him in. Satan had me captive for many years in our marriage though I was a believer. I had cherished sin in my life – sin I didn’t even see. I was blind to it. But I allowed the enemy to have control in my life and allowed him to use my voice to speak accusations and discouragement to my husband. Check out the post, “My Demon” to see how easily a wife can allow the enemy to speak through her to her husband.

    How amazing the way God used you to minister to your friend.

    Let’s pray that God might speak to your wife and wake her up, that He might convict her of her sin and draw her to Himself. Let’s pray that God will empower her to resist the enemy and submit fully to Christ! This is intense spiritual warfare, my brother. Let’s pray that God might somehow break her contact with this ungodly influence and that He might bring truth into her life and set her free from sin and lies into His marvelous light, love, and freedom!

    I pray for God to empower you with His Spirit and His love for your wife each day for as long as it takes. I pray God might empower you to reject any warped, ungodly thinking about God, yourself, and His Word. I pray He will give you eyes to see what is really going on and that He might give you His power to honor and obey Him every step of the way.

    In Him,
    April

    1. HH,

      Have you ever done a study about suffering in the Christian life? Do you believe that if we are walking in obedience to God, that we should not have trials or that we should have answers to prayer in a specific time frame and in a specific way?

      Do you take your wife’s anger and her words personally as if they are about you rather than the fruit of her own spiritual condition?

      Why do you feel afraid? Because of her intense negative emotions and hateful words? Do you absorb her words as truth in your life?

      But my brother, God IS FOR you and not against you! Have you read Romans 8? πŸ™‚

      God was angry at Israel because of generations of idolatry and unrepentant sin. You have repented. You have received all of Christ’s death as payment for your sin. You have received Christ’s perfect life in place of yours in God’s eyes. You are now dead to sin and alive to God through Christ. You are more than a conqueror through Him who loved you.

      I do not know of anyone who fully trusted God in Scripture and who regretted it or whom God failed.

      1. HH,

        If your wife is held captive by the enemy and has embraced lies and can’t receive God’s love or anyone’s love – what if her rejection of you is not personal? What if she is incapable of receiving love at this point and it is not about you?

        Is your God sovereign?

        Where is this spirit of fear coming from, my brother? Is it from God? Who is fueling these fears?

        What would happen if you did ask her to spend more time with you or you asked her to help you more with things around the house in a kind, loving, respectful way?

        How did Jesus forgive those who crucified Him? He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If they knew what they were doing, they would NEVER have killed Jesus. If your wife knew what she was doing and had the power to receive your love and to receive God’s love and to love you with the power of God’s Spirit – she would NEVER do what she is doing. This isn’t about you. It is about what is in her heart and the lies that have her held captive – from what I can tell from your description.

        The way a person treats others is about what is in their heart. A good man brings good things from his heart. A bad man brings bad things up from his heart. Someone filled with the Spirit will treat others with the fruit of the Spirit. Someone filled with the flesh cannot do that. All they can do is fleshly, worldly, sinful things.

        How are you so sure that this is God’s anger? Yes, many times we do suffer as believers. But is it because God is angry with us? Or is it for His glory? Christ suffered – but God was not angry with Him. He suffered so that He could take all of God’s wrath upon Himself that we deserved and earned. Jesus took 100% of your punishment. God does discipline His children in the age of Grace – but not as punishment, but as a time of preparation to make us mature and complete. That is why we can count trials as joy. I don’t believe that Paul’s suffering was because God was angry with him. I believe it was to accomplish God’s purposes in him and to use him to reach millions for the kingdom in ways he never could have reached them without the suffering. The suffering deepened his faith and maturity. Even Jesus suffered – and He was perfect, but God used suffering in His life, too. For our benefit.

        I can see so much that God has done and is doing in you – but there seem to be a few places where I think it could be possible that you may be harboring lies about God’s character and His intentions toward you that may be why you are feeling trapped in fear.

        Nothing can separate us from God’s love. Right! If you are separate and struggling – my belief is that there are some mindsets that need to go, some strongholds that need to be torn down and replaced with the truth of God’s Word. God IS strong enough for you! Absolutely He is! But this thinking about Him being angry with you – I don’t believe that is right. I think it is causing you to stumble and I think it is from the enemy to paralyze you in your faith.

        Yes, I pray God will expose any wrong thinking and renew your mind with the power of His Word and His Spirit and that He might cleanse you of this spirit of fear because what He gives you is a Spirit of power, of love, and of a sound mind, my brother. He does not give a spirit of fear.

        God does discipline us out of love. He does not punish Christians out of anger. Unbelievers receive punishment and judgment because they are not God’s children. Believers receive discipline for their good to help us grow and to edify the church and to bring about more of the kingdom of God on earth.

        I believe you will be stuck in this place until you are able to see the lies you have embraced and until you tear them out and replace them with God’s truth and you reject the idea that God is angry at you now and you receive all of what Christ has done for you and all of His Word for you. Please don’t listen to the lie that God’s Word all applies to others not to you. This is sabotaging your faith, it seems to me.

        Be set free from these lies into the glorious truth of God’s love for you! I know that if you come from a legalistic background, you are probably used to thinking in terms of having to earn God’s favor and earn His love and salvation. That is not the gospel! Jesus earned salvation for you. He earned God’s favor for you. God loves you because Jesus is in you. You can do nothing to earn God’s love – He simply loves you because that is who He is. Yes, seek to please Christ above all things – but you cannot do this in your own power one iota. I can’t either. It is ALL Jesus. Every drop of it. All of the good in us is of Him. All of the power to obey is from Him.

        I would encourage you to watch as many David Platt, Francis Chan, and John Piper sermons as you can about the love of God and the truth about God’s character and even about His wrath and discipleship and suffering. I believe they will greatly bless you. Or listen to Systematic Theology podcasts by Wayne Grudem about the character of God and about suffering in the life of a believer and God’s wrath.

        In Him,

        April πŸ™‚

    1. HH,

      What I long to see is that husbands and wives care about their spouse’s feelings, concerns, and needs. But I don’t want to see any of us absorb toxic messages that are actually from the enemy and not from God. I would love us to prayerfully consider any criticism and only receive what is true in God’s sight.

  15. Hi April. We have had significant and new developments in the past two days.

    I do not feel free to comment on them at present but I can see strong spiritual warfare happening at the moment from the enemy and the Lord. I believe we are on the verge of something big.

    I am certain that your prayers are a part of these developments.

    Please if able remember me in your prayer again and that the Lord’s name would be glorified.

    In Christ, Humbled Husband

    1. HH,

      I will pray for you both and for your children right now – that the enemy will be defeated, that Jesus will be glorified, that the prison doors will burst open and the shackles fall off and both of you will walk in God’s amazing freedom, Light, love, and truth!

      1. Sing with me!

        Yesterday I turned a massive corner in my spiritual walk with a realisation from 1st John 4:10 “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

        Why is that significant you ask? Because I saw this verse in a new light, I saw it in the light of sanctification! When I turned to Christ in 09 and was saved I knew that I was unconditionally forgiven and clean and I determined to walk and love my wife with a whole heart. But I have been held hostage by Satan with the conviction that God was still somehow angry at me for my sin’s before my salvation and that He was angry that I had not represented Him in a way that drew my wife to Him. I felt responsible for my wife’s spiritual walk. I felt that even though I was forgiven for the sin I committed before my salvation, if I did not love Him enough then I would still be turning my wife from Him.

        But look at this wonderful truth! Concentrate on the bold sections of this verse “This is love, NOT THAT WE LOVED GOD, but that He loved US and sent His Son as an atoning Sacrifice for our sins.” It’s not about how much we love God, it’s about how much He loves us! We are the branch, living and drawing in His goodness. Fruit comes simply by remaining in the love He gives.

        Do I love God enough? NO!! And I never will! But praise Him that it’s not my love for Him that cleanses me, it’s His love for me! Was God angry at me for my selfishness and sin? YES!! But he displayed that anger by pouring it out on Jesus Christ, MY atoning sacrifice!! My security and identity are totally contained in Jesus Christ and God’s favour and love are TOWARDS me.

        My sanctification happens the same way that my salvation happened, repentance from self and faith towards God. It is an act of self and unbelief to think moan over our failure to not love God enough or not be perfect enough, as if we’re ever going to love God enough!!! That’s foolish pride to think so! But the acknowledgement that we will never love God enough and never be perfect enough in our Christian walk and simply acknowledging that before God and accepting His purification through Christ is an act of faith!

        Brothers and sisters, grasp this truth!

        I have major obstacles to overcome in my marriage but already there is a fundamental shift in the dynamics and patterns. I am no longer a hostage to Satan or my wife. I am a liberated and loved Son of God, and so are you if you want to be!

        1. HH, my computer has been down for 24 hours, but I had to try to respond quickly – I praise God for what He is doing in your heart! The truth of God sets us free!!! Woohoo!!!!! I am so thankful you are receiving God’s love, forgiveness, grace, and truth!!! Thank you so much for sharing! May all of us embrace this life-giving, healing truth of God!!!!

          1. Humbled Husband,

            WOOHOOO!!!!!!! How I praise God for delivering you and setting you free from these lies that God was holding sin against you from before you repented!!!! πŸ™‚ What joy it brings to my heart to hear all that God is showing you! This is AWESOME!! God is SO GOOD. He is able to heal us all. His truth does set us free. πŸ™‚

            Let me know how I may pray for you and your wife. I am thrilled about this major breakthrough and seeing that stronghold come down in your life and marriage!!!!

            I long for everyone to get to grasp this truth God has shown you!

  16. Dear April! It is a good place to be and the strength is from God not me πŸ™‚ And I have much need of strength. We all do!

    Thank you for your prayer offer! We all have much need of prayer too! For me please pray that I may rejoice in faith daily and not let the rejection bring me down. For my wife that she would see the lies in the media that she is flooding herself with! She believes that true freedom is found in being able to do whatever she wants (lawlessness) and is saturating herself with hours of films and books about “strong women”. Women who supposedly “found” themselves by rejecting everything that is good and embracing everything that is bad. The enemy has a very, very strong hold on her heart I am afraid.

    1. HH,

      I will certainly pray that you might abide in Christ and be Spirit-filled to overflowing, living the abundant life God has provided for you in Christ and not allowing anyone to steal the gifts that are yours in Christ Jesus. I pray for God to bring truth to your wife’s heart and mind and to open her eyes to Himself and His design for marriage, femininity, and masculinity. I pray God will set her free from every snare that she might live in His glorious light!

  17. Hi, I’ve been following you for over two years now (on and off), but I’ve read nothing you’ve written about mixed marriages; whether between believers or non-believers or even between literally mixed ethnic and cultural marriages. I would appreciate if you refer me to any written articles on this topic if you have any.

    1. God’s Whisper,

      I have some posts on my site for single women http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com about mixed marriages between believers and unbelievers and between mixed cultures. Of course, Scripture forbids a believer from marrying an unbeliever. So I address that and talk about how to prayerfully identify a real believer in Christ vs. someone who only claims Christ but is not living for Him. And I talk about that Scripture does not forbid believers from marrying people from other cultures – but that there can be extra challenges with such a situation so I try to help them think through things to be sure they are prepared for the challenges they may face.

      On this site, I have many posts for wives whose husbands are unbelievers. You can search the category section on the right column. I have posts on expectations on this blog that would encompass being married to someone from another culture. You may search my home page for “expectations” to find those posts. You may also search “extended family” for some posts that may be helpful.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you Peacefulwife for your insight. I am married already, and so I’m not seeking council on who to marry. Although a marriage of this kind is not advised, Paul in Corinthian 7:12-16 is not against it if the marriage has already been built. By the way, most people are familiar with this verse more than they are with the verses that are against this type of marriage. And I know many new marriages that were built on this verse. So, I would appreciate it if you could write more about the downside of marrying an unbeliever based on verses such as 2 Corinthians 6:14, Deuteronomy 7:3-4, etc. All the best.

        1. God’s Whisperer,

          I guess I am a bit confused. You are already married to an unbeliever, I presume. But you want to read about the downsides of being unequally yoked? It seems to me like a wife in that position would probably already see the downsides. It seems like it would be depressing and discouraging to read about the negatives of the situation if you are already in it. Or maybe I am missing what it is you want to better understand?

          I wonder if it might be more encouraging and inspiring to read about how you can become more and more the wife God calls you to be even in this situation and how God might desire to use you to bless and minister to your husband and maybe reach him for Christ?

          Much love!

          1. Sorry, I think there’s a misunderstanding. That’s exactly what I had in mind to begin with. I thought I could find some extra tips on how to live with my husband who is a non believer. Then, in my next comment, and replying to what you mentioned about the scripture being against this type of marriage, I suggested you write about the down side of marrying an unbeliever, for single people who aren’t married yet (not for me).
            So, I completely agree with what you’ve just said. God bless you

          2. God’s Whisper,

            Okay! That makes more sense. Thank you for clarifying. πŸ™‚

            You may want to search my categories section on the right column of my home page. It has a few categories with topics for wives whose husbands are unbelievers. I have quite a few posts on this.

            You may also want to search:
            – my secret idol
            – unbeliever

            Much love to you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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