This is actually a book review for the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. This book was recommended to me by several people, especially those who saw me reading it. I’ll admit that because of the high expectation that I had of the book based on the high praises I received about it, I did not find the book to match up to my expectations. Overall, it had a lot of great ideas for how to pray for my husband, and it was formatted in a way that made it easy for me to plan my prayers. But it sort of seemed like the author had her own way of dealing with her husband, in terms of how she presented herself and what pleased her husband, that she portrayed as necessary for all women to have to do. All men are different, and while they might have similarities, they do not all have the same needs and there is no textbook answer of how to meet our husband’s needs.
Nevertheless, I did learn some good points that I believe will strengthen my marriage and help me to be more strategic in my prayers. One thing I learned is to “shut up and pray.” I’ve learned from experience that when my husband is struggling with something, he gets upset at me if I tell him what to do. He does not want me to belittle him; he wants me to trust him. When I can’t trust him, I pray, because I can trust God to intervene. Either God will change my husband’s mind, or He will soften my heart to the issue. It is better to pray for my husband and to let God be the one to tell him what to do. Instead of criticizing everything he does wrong, when I see him doing something I don’t like, I should let God speak. What he is doing may be totally wrong, or it might be exactly what God wants him to do, but I have to let God make that decision, not me.
The book is formatted with information about an area of life to pray for your husband, an example prayer, and finally key verses that can help guide your own personal prayers. The book contains thirty chapters of areas to pray for your husband, one for each day of the month. The first chapter, the longest chapter, is a prayer for his wife. That’s me. We often want to change our spouses, but it turns out that God is stirring in our hearts the desire to change. We might get frustrated that our husbands do things we don’t like, especially if they did not do those things when we were dating. But maybe the problem is not with our husbands. Maybe it’s our perception of what he is doing that is wrong. We should pray for ourselves first, to have an attitude that reflects Christ and a submissive heart that encourages our husband and does not tear him down. We should also be reading the Word of God and praying the Scriptures over our husbands. God’s Word can help guide and direct our prayers.
I believe that the point of the book is to develop a discipline of spending time in prayer with the Lord. When your first priority is your husband, you are not inclined to make time for God. But when your husband starts to do things that annoy you or worry you, that’s when God starts to grab your attention. That’s when you turn to Him again. And you can try as hard as you want to make your husband change, but only God can do that.
After reading this book, my plan is to see what my husband struggles with and pray for something new each day. If I have to confront my husband on something, I will bring it to the Lord first. It may involve simply praying about it. But, with the Lord’s guiding, it may also involve having a graceful conversation about the issue.
I pray for unity in your marriage, and for God to speak to your heart as you pray on behalf of your husband. Whether you want to change your husband’s habits, or you genuinely care about his salvation and his obedience to the Lord, God hears you and He is able to answer your prayer in such a perfect way.
Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash