When my sister gave me “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian for my birthday I thanked her with a smile and told her this would be great for me and Travis. Inwardly I didn’t feel I needed it. Travis and I were fine. Like any couple we had issues but nothing so drastic I needed a self-help guide to fixing my husband…even with God’s help.
Despite doubting how me and my husband would benefit from such a book, I still opened it one afternoon when I had a suspiciously large amount of free time. I collapsed into the creaky, old gliding chair in our room and started reading. By the end of chapter one I was in tears.
I realized Travis didn’t need me to read this book for him; I needed to read it for myself.
Stormie talked about so much in that first chapter. Good stuff. For me 3 things she said hit close to home: I need to change if I expect him to change, we must accept each other for who we are, and love dwindles if you focus on the negative.
By the time I got to the prayer at the end of the chapter, I was broken. But not in a bad way. In a way that made it possible for me to build and grow. I realized I had a few flaws that could be fixed. From this point on, I began reading the rest of the book from a position of humility and eagerness. Not out of obligation to finish the book to avoid offending my sister.
The book is broken down into 31 “prayers”. Enough to read one chapter every day. And I did just that. I read one chapter a day. I wanted to finish the whole book that afternoon but forced myself to wait and focus on each topic.
With each day I found myself genuinely praying for my husband but learning and growing myself. I wasn’t praying to fix him, I was praying to fix me.
When I read the chapter on his fears I thought about my own fears and how they held me back. The chapter on his past forced me to face my own. And the chapter discussing his emotions made me realize that I was indeed ruled by mine.
The goal of this book isn’t to change your husband; the goal is to help you both grow so your marriage will be a strong, loving, supportive relationship.
I’ve reread this book a few times since that first month. When life starts to get difficult I pick it up again. The first time around I really focused on the content of each chapter. The second and third read through I focused on the content of my prayers and “power tools” (verses relevant to each topic) at the end of each chapter. It’s nearly impossible to resent a person or be angry with a spouse when you pray for them daily.
I saw so much personal growth in myself I even suggested my little sister read it now that she is a new bride as well. The same sister that gave me my copy added a copy to our little sisters engagement basket. It made the perfect engagement gift.
Have you given this book a read? Prayer can seem like such an empty religious act until you start praying for the right reason and from the right mindset. This book helped me change that, and in turn I changed for the best. So don’t give up. If you and your spouse are experiencing a difficult season, know that God can help. Prayer is the first step. And even if you are both doing great still give everything to Him, friends.