Sometimes I believe that "all I can do is pray," as if that is the last resort after I have tried everything else. It is a lie that I have trouble breaking. I come from a line of self-reliant go-getters that believe that "God helps those who help themselves." There is something in me that resists "just" praying. And so when I talk about prayer, this is an ongoing journey for me. As I learn to choose to pray first, not last, I am beginning to discover that the best thing I can do is pray! This is especially true in those areas that we really struggle with in our marriage. Whether it be our husband's untidy habits, annoying behaviors, or serious issues like anger, apathy towards the family, or addictions, our first line of defense needs to be prayer. Whether they are "big" or "little," all of these things can be brought to the Lord in prayer. I am discovering that as I do so, the Lord guides me in what I do need to do instead of just trying to solve things on my own.
The more that I talk to other mothers, the more I realize how much we all struggle in some way in our marriages. Some moms are fighting to keep their marriages from the brink of divorce. Some are fighting to stay faithful to their husbands. Some are fighting to control their own responses to irritations so that a wedge isn't driven still further into their relationship.
What are the things that drive you up the wall about your husband? What are the things that hurt you most deeply---the things he says or does, his behaviors, his attitudes? What "irreconcilable differences" cloud your perspective of your husband? With these things before you, let's bring them before the Lord. Today's prayer has space for you to tailor it to your personal circumstances. I encourage you to carve out some time to sit before Him and let Him guide you in His ways and paths for your particular circumstance.
You know the areas in which we struggle. You know the hurts, the pains, the frustrations that we face each day in our marriages. Whether we think they are big or small, we bring them before You today.
I want to be honest with You, Lord. You are the only one who can guide me through what I am feeling right now. [Take some time to share where you're at with the Lord. Don't be afraid.] Will You show me how to respond in the way that honors You and my husband the most, regardless of what I feel?
While I cannot control what my husband does, I know I can be responsible for my own actions, choices and responses. Will You show me... [pause and listen after each/any question and allow the Lord to speak if He so chooses]
- if I am part of the problem? If so, what am I doing or saying that might be contributing to this problem? Can You show me how I might change? Will You supply me the motivation to persevere with You as You change me?
- if this is an area I can choose to overlook in love? If so, please show me how to do so with a joyful spirit.
- if this is an area I need to bring up with my husband? If so, what is my main issue? Will you show me how to address this in a way that will keep communication lines open? Guide me in what to say so that I stay on target and keep from going off track. Please help me to have a humble heart that seeks to serve my husband, not tear him down.
- if this is something I need to seek additional help or counsel in? If so, please bring to mind an individual, organization or resource that may provide that help?
Even if You lead me to take action or change my own responses, ultimately, the heart of my husband and our marriage is in Your hands. Please help me to be diligent to consistently bring my cares and my marriage to You. Your hands are the safest hands to be in. Please protect my marriage from the attack of the evil one who seeks to destroy all that You have ordained. As I go through this difficult season, I pray that You will develop in me godly character, perseverance and a deeper understanding of what love really means. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name, Amen.