Wisdom for Wives

"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks …"

Praying “At” Your Husband?

on October 13, 2014
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If you have been married any length of time, you have probably heard a sermon, read a blog post, or purchased a book encouraging you to pray for your husband.  Five years ago, I met with a group of ladies every Saturday morning for a few months to pray for our husbands.  If you search the New King James version of the Bible, you will find over 300 uses of “pray,” “prayer,” “supplication,” or “intercession.”  Prayer is essential, and that includes praying for your husband.

But do you ever find yourself praying at your husband? What do I mean? Well, I imagine praying at your husband to be kind of like looking at God and saying, “You and me, God, we’re here.  We understand each other.  Can You help him get with the program?” Or maybe, “Fix him, Lord.”

Perhaps you would never utter such words in prayer. But I’m talking about a very wrong attitude you can have in your heart, even while doing a very good thing like praying for your husband. This attitude is also characterized by:

Being more concerned about what your husband does (or doesn’t do) for you, than about his spiritual, mental, and emotional welfare
Priding yourself on your “spiritual maturity,” while overlooking the areas of your own walk that require “fixing”

And how do I know so much about praying at your husband? I have to admit, I’ve had lots of practice.

For a picture of the right attitude, let’s look to Jesus.

~~ Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:3-7) ~~

But what if your heart is too hurt, too angry, too tired? What if all you can manage is attitude prayer? Should you just not pray at all? How can you shift to truly praying for your husband?  Again, God’s Word has the answers:

1. Confess.
Speak to God honestly, from your heart. There’s no point in lying to Him anyway. 🙂 Confess your anger, pride, and bitterness. And ask Him to reveal to you the issues that you don’t even know about.  Whatever is, lay it all before Him. He has good news for you.

~~ If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) ~~

I have also confessed my pride to my husband, but I wasn’t telling him anything he didn’t already know from my words and demeanor.  (Even when we think we’ve disguised those attitudes really well, sometimes they seep out anyway.)

2. Consider who your husband is in Christ.
A few years ago, my husband and I took a video course based on the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. During the third session, Thomas says, “Your wife isn’t just your wife, she is God’s daughter … If you want to revolutionize your marriage, think of God as your Father-in-law.”  When you go to God in prayer for (or at) your husband, you’re talking to God about His son, too!  (Why was this mind-altering to me? Isn’t it obvious??)  This doesn’t mean that you should sugar-coat or “spiritualize” your prayers.  Again, be straight with God.  He cares about your heart’s desires. But He cares about your husband’s just as much. You are—both of you—precious to Him. And if you both confess Jesus as Lord, then you are both His chosen people, royal priesthood, holy nation, and special possession (1 Peter 2:9). Meditating on that is bound to change the way you pray for him.  I encourage you to download this PDF and meditate on more things that God says about His precious son and daughter.

3. Keep praying!
I hope I haven’t given you a complex about praying at/for/about/around your husband!  We really don’t have to wait to “get right” before we can pray.  We are invited to boldly approach God’s throne, where will receive grace and mercy.  He can change our hearts, work miracles in our relationships, and give us indescribable peace.

~~ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7, underline added) ~~

Just remember when you pray, that it’s not you and God against your husband.  He loves both of you very much.

Thanks for stopping by,



20 responses to “Praying “At” Your Husband?

  1. jodyo70 says:

    Susan, this is a great word! Thank you.

  2. So true. We need to be completely honest about our needs during prayer but also know God has his own plans for them (our husbands). This is a great reminder. Thank you.

  3. sarahann1977 says:

    I’m so glad you stopped by http://faithalongtheway.com, which inspired me to come visit you! I love this post and if I am honest, I can relate all too well! I am SO guilty of this! Your practical guidelines will stick with me and I am sure I will feel God whisper in my ear the next time I pray at my love. It’s a blessing to connect and I’m a new follower!

  4. Thank you for this encouragement – I have been practising praying for rather than at my husband for a few weeks now and this came just at the right time as I was losing momentum – just what I needed today 🙂 Glad I found you on Woman to Woman

  5. Karen says:

    Your words are so encouraging! Thank you for sharing with much love and compassion – that makes a huge difference! My husband is in a season – even now – where he needs me praying “for” him and not “at” him. I love your thoughts on viewing our husbands as God’s children, just as we are.
    Thank you for sharing with us at Wake Up Wednesday!

  6. Great tips! I’ll admit I’m not very good at praying for my husband (or praying in general) but I’ve probably been guilty of this. Thanks for sharing ways to not fall into this trap!

  7. Living In Green Grass says:

    Thank you for this Susan. My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have gone through many different struggles but this year has been a huge one. It isn’t between us, but instead has been outside stress on my husband. While we have both always been inwardly spiritual, it has never been anything expressed between us. Our spiritual lives are private and rarely discussed. Through this year, he has started asking me to pray each morning as he walks out the door. I still pray silently in my head, but he says simply knowing I do gives him enormous support. Prayer has brought us so close together. Thanks for the reminder to continue to pray for him, not at him.

    Found you through Fellowship Fridays. Thanks for sharing there and bringing me here.

  8. Miranda says:

    Wow what a convicting post! I have to admit I have been guilty of praying “at” my husband many times. Thank you for the eye-opener!

  9. Great post Susan! Lots of truth in there! It is easy to fall into the “fix him” category rather than “fix us”! Thanks for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays at Strangers & Pilgrims on Earth 🙂

  10. TGAWrites says:

    Thanks for sharing this encouraging words and direction for us!!! Also, thanks for sharing it a Words of Comfort Link UP, blessings to you!

    Tayrina from TGAWrites

Speak the truth in love

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