If you knew YOU could do something to change the way your husband leads and cares for you for the better, would you do it? I want to give you something today ... insights from married men about what wives can do to encourage husbands to pray with them. Fellow marriage journey gals, these thoughts are golden. Refill your cup with some coffee or cocoa (hot 'bout this Southern snow storm?), and take time to savor and slowly absorb what these men are telling us. It could change our marriages. I'll wait while you get your mug ...
3 Ways Wives Can Encourage Husbands to Pray
1) Initiate ~ When it comes to initiating, some wives are reluctant and some are resentful, but the men had an interesting take on this.
It helps a husband if a wife initiates prayer with him, specifically asking if they can pray, offering to start, praying (on her own) about their prayer life together, and planting a seed in the day to pave the way. Note: This is NOT the same as nagging; nagging never works. I think the difference is in the heart behind a wife's initiative. The goal is encouragement, not forcing or controlling. Here are some of their own words:
"...share more with me, not only about what to pray for, but also how she'd like to pray together."
"Simply mention to her husband that a session of prayer would be a means of encouragement to her and could we plan to do that later or perhaps tomorrow?"
- They long to be appreciated for their LIFE, with wives understanding what makes it a challenge.
- They long to be appreciated for their LEVEL of spirituality, with wives accepting where they're at and letting God move them.
"To start out, ask for one simple thing. Let the prayer be very short and specific. Ask, 'Would you please pray for me that I make it through the meeting?' ... makes it easier for the husband to break into the habit or praying."
"As I listen to her sweet words lifting praise and thanks, it works to soften my heart from the callousing effect of a long corporate work day.... encouragement from her can work to embolden me spiritually and help to maintain a right and Godly perspective."
"Express appreciation for whatever level the man leads from or how he expresses himself in prayer ..."
3) Participate ~ Men made it clear they want their wives to have their own prayer lives, to set an example of prayer and share about it (look back at Be Humble first), and to share about their joy of receiving comfort and answers through praying. They are giving us permission to share about our own prayer life, but they want us to do it in a humble, non-preachy way.
"She could take a more active role in the praying itself."
"Have a consistent prayer life of her own, set the example, talk about how important prayer life is to her ...her requests and the answers she is receiving."
"Soften him up ... Turn the TV off ... No distractions. Ask at dinner time or during a drive. Plant the seed: 'Honey I've been thinking about our prayer life. I've been wondering what your opinion is about praying together ...'"
"She can pray for him. She can ask, although gently and encouragingly without nagging or treating him in a condescending way. This is touchy though, because the male ego is so fragile and may interpret her gentle heartfelt concern as judgmental."
"Let her present praying together as a HELP in her life and an important NEED, instead of something they should do (even though it is) and maybe this will make a difference in some of the men out there."
So there it is, girlfriends. Is your coffee cup empty? So much of communication is LISTENING. Even if we don't see something from the same perspective as our men, listening to their thoughts helps us understand them, and that helps us know how to meet their needs, express our own needs, and get closer to the miracle of two becoming one.
I'm praying for our marriages today. If you have a specific need, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I would love to add you to my Marriage Monday prayer book and lift you up this week. I'm going to be praying we'll do what encourages our husbands to be the men of prayer God wants them to be. We don't have to "make it happen;" God is working on that. We just need to understand how we might sabotage His work and pray He'll make us an asset to the hearts of our men.