I Don’t Even Like Him—How Can I Pray for Him?
Have you ever been so mad at your husband that the last thing you wanted to do was pray for him? So have I. It’s hard to pray for someone when you’re angry or he’s hurt you. But that’s exactly what God wants us to do. If He asks us to pray for our enemies, how much more should we be praying for the person with whom we have become one and are supposed to love? But how do we get past the unforgiveness and critical attitude?
The first thing to do is be completely honest with God. In order to break down the walls in our hearts and smash the barriers that stop communication, we have to be totally up front with the Lord about our feelings. We don’t have to “pretty it up” for Him. He already knows the truth. He just wants to see if we’re willing to admit it and confess it as disobedience to His ways. If so, He then has a heart with which He can work.
If you’re angry at your husband, tell God. Don’t let it become a cancer that grows with each passing day. Don’t say, “I’m going to live my life and let him live his.” There’s a price to pay when we act entirely independently of one another. “Neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11).
“Lord, nothing in me wants to pray for this man. I confess my anger, hurt, unforgiveness, disappointment, resentment, and hardness of heart toward him. Forgive me and create in me a clean heart and right spirit before You. Give me a new, positive, joyful, loving, forgiving attitude toward him. Where he has erred, reveal it to him and convict his heart about it. Lead him through the paths of repentance and deliverance. Help me not to hold myself apart from him emotionally, mentally, or physically because of unforgiveness. Where either of us needs to ask forgiveness of the other, help us to do so.
If there is something I’m not seeing that’s adding to this problem, reveal it to me and help me to understand it. Remove any wedge of confusion that has created misunderstanding or miscommunication. Where there is behavior that needs to change in either of us, I pray You would enable that change to happen. As much as I want to hang on to my anger toward him because I feel it’s justified, I want to do what You want. I release all those feelings to You. Give me a renewed sense of love for him and words to heal this situation.”
If you feel you’re able, try this little experiment and see what happens. Pray for your husband every day for a month using each one of the 30 areas of prayer I’ve included in this book. Pray a chapter a day. Ask God to pour out His blessings on him and fill you both with His love. See if your heart doesn’t soften toward him. Notice if his attitude toward you doesn’t change as well. Observe whether your relationship isn’t running more smoothly.
If you have trouble making that kind of prayer commitment, think of it from the Lord’s perspective. Seeing your husband through God’s eyes—not just as your husband, but as God’s child, a son whom the Lord loves —can be a great revelation. If someone called and asked you to pray for his or her son, you would do it, wouldn’t you? Well, God is asking.
There is a time for everything, it says in the Bible and it’s never more true than in marriage, especially when it comes to the words we say. There is a time to speak and a time not to speak, and happy is the man whose wife can discern between the two.
Anyone who has been married for any length of time realizes that there are things that are better left unsaid. A wife has the ability to hurt her husband more deeply than anyone else can, and he can do the same to her. No matter how much apology, the words can not be erased. They can only be forgiven and that’s not always easy. Sometimes anything we say will only hinder the flow of what God wants to do, so it’s best to, well, shut up and pray.
This is an excerpt from, The Power of a Praying® Wife, written by Stormie Omartian, published by Harvest House. This is one of my (Cindy’s) favorite books! As Stormie said it so well: “I can think of no better way to truly love your husband than by lifting him up in prayer on a consistent basis. It is a priceless gift that helps him experience God’s blessings and grace.” With real-life illustrations, Stormie includes sample prayers and “power tools” —verses that inspire and encourage —to help wives rest assured in God’s promises of restoration, renewal, and growth in marriage.
— TO HELP YOUR FURTHER —
The following is are two links to articles to read, which may inspire you to pray for your husband in a different ways than you might have otherwise thought: