Well, our 31 days of praying for your husband challenge over at Women on the Fringe is complete! I hope those of you who joined us have been blessed by this experience. The challenge was inspired by a prayer journey Jessa and I decided to do together, and we felt called to share the challenge with all our followers because it had been such a transformative practice for us both. These are my thoughts and reflections on taking the challenge myself. If you did not join us, don’t worry! You can still do your own challenge, as our prompts will remain up for you to use any time.
In December, my friend Jessa and I decided to take one of those “pray for your husband for 30 days” challenges. I had always wanted to do one but never got around to actually completing one. One reason for this is I had never actually really developed a regular prayer routine, I just prayed when I needed something and tried to be more deliberate at night when I fell asleep, but I’d often get distracted. I’d write down prayer requests and try to make a point to pray, but just never developed the regular habit of it.
Recently, I have been praying more regularly, so taking on one of these prayer challenges seemed like something I could handle now that I was in the habit of daily prayer. How and when I pray each day is something I’ll explain in further detail in a later post, as it’s also part of my daily Bible study as well. But let me just say this: regular prayer is a game-changer. There is a reason we are constantly instructed in Scripture to pray. It’s what plugs you and hooks you up to the Father, and it should be like the air we breathe! Now I notice that if I miss a day, I feel so disconnected to the Lord and start slipping into negative and worldly ways of thinking.
So I wanted to make sure I was including my other half in this revolutionary change. But what happened when I began praying for him daily surprised me. I am not sure what I was expecting, but I imagine I thought the point was for his spiritual growth, rather than mine. But, lo and behold, it actually ended up contributing to my growth far more! This is what I learned:
He doesn’t need as much prayer as I do
Now, of course, everyone needs prayer, my husband as much as anyone else. But what surprised me about a lot of the prayer prompts was that many were for areas that I need far more work on than my husband! I often found myself asking God for forgiveness but could He please help me in this area as well? Topics such as financial responsibility, sober-mindedness, dedication to career, being responsible, etc., are all areas I wouldn’t even think to pray for my husband in as far as him needing improvement, but rather…
I developed a deeper gratitude for him
Through this prayer challenge, I found myself thanking God for my husband more than I did for praying he’d grow or that God would work on his heart. Many of the prompts were issues we’ve never dealt with as a couple, and it made me realize that while as his wife I see all his flaws, magnified, as I’m sure he does mine, that he was really a very solid and mature husband, father, and Christian. He has always led us very well spiritually, supported my desires not to vaccinate, to homeschool, to teach our children about God, and to involve our family in solid, Biblical fellowship. I am very grateful for my husband, and while I certainly pray for him daily to grow in the Word and the knowledge of God, I have plenty to praise God for as well. Isn’t that what solid prayer really is, after all?
How I pray for my husband now
Now that the prayer challenge is over, I definitely noticed myself automatically praying for my husband, prayer prompt or not. But I did experience a short period of time where I wasn’t sure what to pray for him, as I’d gotten used to the prompts. Since he and I are one flesh and I consider praying for him just as important as praying for myself and our children, I have developed a basic formula I use to keep him daily in prayer:
1. Ask him: seems simple enough, but I ask him what he needs prayer for! While us ladies tend to think of being closer to God, developing patience, gaining godly wisdom, etc., I was surprised at how simple my husband’s requests were and realized the practical prayers are just as important as the spiritual ones! He normally needs prayers for finding a job (which he did recently, praise God!), healing for aches and pains, getting back to a workout routine, etc.
2. Thank God for him: I normally start out every prayer for him automatically thanking the Lord for him now, for whatever strikes me that day or just for putting us together in general.
3. Intercede for him: obviously, I then pray for him, in areas that I would like to see him grow and also the areas he has asked for prayer in. Since I see him every day, it’s easy to remember to pray for his sore shoulder if he’s just told me it’s acting up again, for example.
4. Pray for our marriage and children: whether in general or with specific requests, I pray for us as a couple and us as parents. I’ve been surprised to begin to see us more of a unit over time, as I pray in the “us” instead of “me” or “him”.
This is what’s been working for me right now, and it might evolve and change over time, of course. Be sure to stay tuned for what my daily prayer routine looks like in general, and please share how you have been blessed by praying for your husband, either as part of a challenge or in your daily life.