Those of you who know me I’m sure are shocked to see me use the S-word on my blog. For those of you who don’t know me well, marriage is an awkward topic for me to discuss for a few reasons:
1. I’m not married and
2. I’ve never wanted to get married. Over the last few years I’ve grown to not abhor the idea, it no longer makes me want to puke and then die.
October 2015 was the first time I felt the Lord say to me “pray for your husband”. I remember exactly where I was: I had taken a few days off of work to spend time with friends. It was a beautiful, rainy day and we were relaxing, watching a movie together, thankful to have no agenda or deadlines. When I heard the Lord saying that, I immediately dismissed it, thinking it was ridiculous. But the urging wouldn’t leave me, so I began to silently pray. I was almost brought to tears by the presence of the Lord in that moment as he tore down some of my barriers as I prayed for this unknown man.
Since then, there have been other moments, once every few months, where I hear the Lord whisper to me “pray for your husband” and each time I am obeying more quickly. Today was one of those days. I was journalling this morning, thinking about God, when I began to pray for this mystery man, but today was a little different. Today, I feel like this needed to be shared with more than just me and God, but with all of you.
Each time I begin praying for my husband (wow, that’s an odd thing to say), I always end up praying for myself. I’m not talking about selfish prayers that will elevate me or make me look good, but those hard prayers, asking the Lord to make me into who he’s called me to be. I feel like prayer is sometimes viewed as a “fix-all” for other people, meaning we pray against the flaws we see in others without first examining our own short-comings in the light of God’s loving presence. If you’re single and praying for Mr. Tall-Dark-and-Handsome, you’ve missed the point. If you’re praying for a millionaire to come your way so you can be rich too, you have some growing to do. Pray and intercede on your spouse’s behalf, because who knows what battle they’re currently fighting.
So, when I’m praying for God to draw this mystery man closer to Himself, I have to pray the same thing for me. When I ask for the Lord to give him clear direction, open ears and an open heart to follow God more fully, I have to ask that for myself. More than that, when praying for this man that God has for me, I have to repent for often scoffing at God’s plan and the idea of marriage, and ask Him to heal those broken places in my heart so I won’t bring them into my future. I have to repent for rejecting this man before I’ve even met him.
Prayer isn’t a tool to be used to correct someone else, but to correct yourself.
Over the years, I’ve been learning that there’s very little I actually control, just myself. It’s a sobering moment when you realize just how small you are and how much you need to rely upon God daily. Prayer is a beautiful opportunity to restate your complete and total dependance upon Him. In those moments with the Lord, instead of using my time to point fingers or blame or try and correct someone else, I want Him to correct me. Each time I’m ready to pray an accusatory prayer, it’s an opportunity to ask for God’s perspective on the situation.
Whether you’re married or not, looking or not, happy or not, pray for your spouse. And when you do, pray for yourself. I’m not talking about selfish prayers, but selfless prayers, like David prayed in Psalm 139:23 – 24:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
This is my current prayer. There’s a long list of other things that I want to pray for myself but, for now, this is as far as I get. Before I can begin praying for my dreams and goals and businesses and books, I have to fix my eyes on Jesus and trust him to root out those things in me that simply cannot come with me into my future.
I’m excited to see the Lord move as I commit to consistently pray selfless prayers, asking for and relying wholly upon his guidance and direction. I truly believe people’s worlds can be changed if we as Christians begin to pray in this way and respond accordingly to the Lord’s leading. I’m ready to, with the Lord’s guidance, do some work on myself, what about you?