Praying for marriage, days 22-33

Friends, I have to admit I’m a bit distracted today. It’s been a busy, challenging week, and to be honest, praying for marriage hasn’t been a top priority. I’ve learned that if I don’t make time for it and if I’m not intentional about it, I won’t do it or I’ll end up praying in a hurry late at night before I rush to bed. I’ve learned I’m lazy with my prayer life and that oftentimes (i.e., most of the time…), prayer is an afterthought in my day.

I have one baby sleeping and one playing at my feet. The temperature outside is close to 70. I have a piano lesson to look forward to later today, and yet my thoughts wander to a friend I love dearly who is hurting. In all honesty, my thoughts are not actually wandering to her, they are constantly with her. Constantly. I have been feeling numb regarding her situation, but the numbness is starting to wear off, and the pain jabs at my heart in inconvenient intervals, like the pangs of childbirth reminding you of a greater pain to come.

And yet, I can’t ignore God’s tender love for me in the moment. He has been reminding me lately that his plan is always good, even when we don’t understand it. That his timing is perfect and unpredictable—sometimes it feels unfair, but other times he surprises us and we are gifted with the delight of time. That while waiting feels passive, God uses it to actively woo us and pursue our hearts. And that my love—although deep—pales in comparison to his.

Today, prayer isn’t an afterthought. It’s how I have managed to function. It’s how I have kept myself from storming my friend’s door and wrapping her in my arms and trying to stuff her in my pocket where I can keep her safe from harm and close to my heart. Prayer. The admission that we are not in control. The willingness to surrender our hearts and hurts. Our stepping out of isolation into the embrace of a Sovereign God. An active release of our confusion and lostness.

It is in and through prayer that God meets us where we are—even if that place is a dark, cramped, messy, cold corner where we are curled in a ball of tears and anger and despair. God is not standing across the room waiting for us to get our shit together. He is not tapping his foot, looking at his watch, wondering when we will be able to pull ourselves together; no, he is crouching next to us, lifting our heads, wiping our tears, holding us as we weep. I can almost hear his heartbeat as he holds my head against his chest. The warmth of his love reminds me all is not lost. His breath on my soul blows life back into my being. His very presence offers hope. I will grab on to that hope and trust him, even if it’s just a mustard seed of trust.

This next section of praying for marriage will focus on praying for ourselves. A friend mentioned that she has felt selfish praying just for her own husband these last three weeks. I encourage you to pray these prayers not just for you and your husband, but for other wives and husbands you know and love. Your sisters, friends, friends’ friends. And again, these are just suggestions. If you are praying for marriage with us, don’t feel like you have to pray my prayers—this is my heart, and while I know my heart’s aches are valid, I’m sure I’m missing a lot of prayer-worthy things. I’ve also dated the days because I keep getting lost.

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Day 22 (March 7)

Today I confess my selfishness, my self-absorption. I confess that if I am honest, most of the time I am in this marriage for my own gain. I am overly concerned with my own convenience and happiness. I expect my husband to read my mind and love me perfectly. I don’t want to be bothered with an imperfect husband, and I want to be recognized for every little thing I do. I want to lead and boss and nag. I want my husband to be the husband I would be if I were a man. Yuck. I seek forgiveness and a humble, repentant heart.

 

Day 23 (March 8)

Today I pray for my lack of trust in God’s love for me. When I don’t trust that he loves me like he says he does in Scripture, I begin to try to manage my life, manage my sin, and perform the best I can instead of having faith in God’s redemptive work for me. And that means I am so self-focused that I struggle to see beyond my own self. I become paranoid and afraid that my husband doesn’t love me, and I fail to love him well. I pray that God will convince me of his love and that I will trust him.

 

Day 24 (March 9)

Today I pray for my understanding of marriage and wifehood. I pray that I will use Scripture as my textbook for godly marriage and that I will seek to be conformed to its description of a godly person. I pray that God grants me humility and that I will seek other women to have input in my life as a wife and that I will be open to that input and grateful for the influence of others. I pray that I will finally be convinced that marriage is not all about me.

 

Day 25 (March 10)

Today I pray that I will put my husband’s needs before my own. That I will remember and realize that God will provide for me and it’s okay to sacrifice. That God will give me the desire and strength to sacrifice for my husband and that it will become a joy. I pray that my own wants will fade and that more than anything, I will want to serve and love my husband well.

 

Day 26 (March 11)

Today I pray that I will not be a critical wife. That instead of looking for my husband’s imperfections, I will look for his strengths. I pray that I will affirm him in ways that make sense to his heart and that I will actively seek ways to honor him. I pray that I will remember why I fell in love with him and that I will be grateful for his love and how he loves our family.

 

Day 27 (March 12)

I pray that I will be a safe place for my husband. That he can come to me with his hopes, dreams, failures, temptations, concerns, questions, thoughts—his whole heart—without fear of criticism, condemnation, judgment, or belittlement. That he would be confident in approaching me because I am his biggest cheerleader and his safest place. And I pray that when he does come to me with difficult stuff, I will keep a godly perspective, remembering that his issues are not all about me, and that I can encourage him in the truth of the gospel.

 

Day 28 (March 13)

I pray that I will always point my husband toward Christ. That in good times and bad, I will never demand that my husband make me his priority over Christ, that I will never be a distraction away from Christ but only to Christ. I pray that my husband will understand God’s love for him better because of my love for him.

 

Day 29 (March 14)

I pray that I will always honor my husband in public. That my actions and words will always build him up and reflect my adoration of him and that I never embarrass or humiliate him.

 

Day 30 (March 15)

I pray that I will be a student of my husband, always striving to know him well, offering grace for him to change, never bringing up hurts and sins of the past. I pray that I will be effective in pursuing him, that I will be quick to apologize, that I will allow him room to explore and grow. I pray that I will be a supporter of his dreams and ambitions. I pray that I will speak truth to him always in a gentle, loving manner, and that I can be effective in communicating my love for him.

 

Day 31 (March 16)

I pray I will love my husband well physically. :)

 

Day 32 (March 17)

I pray that I will know how to pray for my husband and that I will do so. I pray that I will seek other women’s input in how to be a godly wife and that I will be willing to seek help when I need it. I also pray that I will always speak respectfully of my husband when asking for advice, and that I would never speak disparagingly about him.

 

Day 33 (March 18)

I pray that I will never have unrealistic or unfair or hurtful expectations of my husband. I pray that I will always set him up for success and looks for ways to be his champion and encourage him to succeed in our marriage.