Several years ago, the Lord taught me a lesson about praying for my husband that I’d like to pass along to you, along with a great tool to possibly help you pray for your spouse.
You see, I had a problem with my husband leaving his hangers for his clothes in the bathroom. I know in the big scheme of things this may seem like a small problem. I acknowledge that —I get it, but it’s one of those irritations (I’m sure you have yours), which was getting to me.
In the morning my husband Steve would clean up after himself in other ways, but he often neglected putting away his hangers.
I kept pointing it out to him because I did so many other things that I felt this was his responsibility. Sometimes he would remove them, other times he didn’t, for whatever reason (he’d say he “forgot” —but I suspected that maybe a passive-aggressive thing was going on here —maybe not, because like me, he can be forgetful too).
No matter how much I told my husband that it irritated me, it would eventually start happening again. He would remember for a period of time to remove the hangers but then the old pattern would re-emerge. I was pretty tired of it all.
One day, I was holding onto the hangers Steve had left behind and was frustratingly praying once again that the Lord would remind him to put them away next time. But after praying, the Lord revealed to me a different approach to the matter. He impressed upon me to instead appreciate the fact that it wasn’t a worse situation. I have friends who are widows who would trade places with me in a millisecond to have their husbands still with them —hangers left out, or not.
God also showed me to see it as an opportunity to pray for the man who wore the clothes from those hangers. Ouch! I knew immediately, I needed that wisdom. It was one of those growth times that I don’t like very well, but know I need them.
I realized then and there, that I could continue to get upset over something that really wasn’t as bad as other things my husband could be doing. After all, he DID get up every morning to go to work. And yes, he is faithful, respectful, isn’t abusive, is loving, and the list goes on and on. In the big scheme of things, this isn’t the most important thing to be continually be upset about —some things are best left alone so we can better put our energies into other (more important) matters.
The Lord impressed upon me to quit nit picking and instead use the situation as an opportunity to pray for this good man (even though he didn’t put away his hangers). I had a choice to make. I could continue to get upset, or I could use it as an opportunity to pray for my husband and grow in needed ways. I believe I made the right choice (as much as I didn’t want to)… I made the decision to pray. I have to say that it has changed my whole outlook.
From that day on, whenever I would see Steve’s hangers in the bathroom in the morning, I would hug them to my heart and pray for my husband who was wearing the clothes that had hung on them. A whole new attitude of appreciation would wash over me. It turned an irritation into a time to bless, confess, and grow closer to my Lord and to Steve.
And the funny thing is, when I quit nagging Steve and instead used it as an opportunity to pray for him, for some strange reason, he hardly ever leaves his hangers out any more. Go figure! (But you won’t hear me complain —I just find other times to pray for him.)
So, at this time, I thought I’d pass along something I just came across an article on the Internet, written by Mrs. James S.C. (which reminded me of the hanger incident). In this document she includes “paraphrased, condensed, scriptural prayers that present the husband’s body to God from head to toe.” This includes praying for his mind, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his heart, his arms, his hands, his legs, and his feet.
It’s a great list to put on to prayer cards, or pray through in whatever way you feel the Spirit moving.
I hope this inspires you in some way to help you pray for your spouse in a way you might not have thought otherwise. And if you’re a husband reading this, please look at the prayer points as ones you can use to pray for your wife. Just change the adjectives.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
This blog was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.