Getting a Jet-lagged almost-3-year-old to bed is not fun. Going to bed alone is even less fun. I have been convicted of my countenance lately. I must be confident in my Lord, at peace with my situation, and give others hope when they view my walk. My heart feels like crawling in a hole. I’m tired a lot.
Occasionally I have to review the facts of my life:
- God is definitely speaking to me.
- I have complete faith that he can move this mountain.
- I will be obedient and I will not quit.
- My circumstances look bleak, but God is in control.
- I serve the God of Psalm 18.
In Charlyne Cares this morning, Kim, from Nebraska, shared thoughts on soil preparation and our spouse’s hearts. I live in a world surrounded and informed by farming. I found her metaphor not only apt but also emotionally powerful for me.
A hard heart can be a tough heart, but nothing is impossible for God. When you pray for your loved one, the Lord hears and goes to work, breaking up that compacted ground so that the seed of truth can be sown there. Our prayers are like that tiller, turning the soil of the compacted heart, letting the light of God shine through once again.
I’m facing a circumstance where I’m praying for a heart that is as hard as diamond, compacted over years of denying forgiveness and of my foolish selfishness, laziness, and distraction. What can I do to get beyond that hard heart? As Kim says, “We can pray – and pray again”. Today, I put together a shorter scripture prayer to pray in the morning, when I get a chance during the day, and while I’m driving. I am praying without ceasing as much as it is in my power to do so.
Lord, today, in Jesus name, I pray for my spouse and for every prodigal who is away from you. Awesome God, open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in You (Acts26:18). Help my spouse to come to ___ senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken ___ captive to do his will (2 timothy 2:22-26). Remove from my spouse ___ heart of stone and give ___ a heart of flesh (Ez 36:26) and fill ___ with Godly sorrow that brings repentance, leads to salvation and leaves no regret (2 Corinthians 7:10). Send her a personal Damascus road experience soon, God. I believe that nothing is too hard for you you. Forgive me of my sins and lead me to repentance so that I will be ready. Then, go and bring my spouse home quickly, Lord.
In Jesus name,
This prayer is already writing itself on my heart and I am inserting it in my quiet moments. It is becoming increasingly difficult to stay the course and keep my chin up with my eyes focused on God without praying constantly. Jesus give me peace. Jesus give me strength. I have taken great solace in Stephanie’s testimony, which sounds so much like it could have been written by my wife in the future. I am reading it again and again. I am crying out for insight and understanding. I am praying and praying and praying. Did I mention that I am praying? I wish my prayers felt like the prayers of a “prayer warrior”, but often they’re a jumbled mess. That’s okay because the “Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). I do try to:
- Ask for his will so I may obey.
- Ask forgiveness daily for what I’m doing that could put a rift in our relationship. Sometimes I know. Sometimes he shows.
- Pray scriptures for the softening of my wife’s heart and the freeing of her mind.
- Pray scriptures of spiritual protection around myself, my children, my fellow standers, and my wife.
- Pray for God’s people to cross my spouse’s path and deliver wisdom.
- Pray for her Damascus road experience.
- Pray for more faith and help with my unbelief.
Sometimes I don’t know what to pray, and I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over. Then I open my note app of choice and look at the prayers I’ve copied and pasted from various sources. Here are some great sources for prayers when you are running dry:
- Charlyne Cares Devotional (search the archives for what you’re dealing with)
- Faith and Marriage Ministries: Prayers for standing husbands.
- Faith and Marriage Ministries: Prayers for standing wives.
If you’re praying for me, I appreciate it. Pray for my faith and strength. Pray that I may not be downcast before others. Pray that I will let my light shine brightly and trust God to bring my wife home to him and to me.