You’ve prayed for weeks, days, months, and now years for your spouse’s salvation. The prayers aren’t as frequent as before. Instead, a sense of hopelessness has slowly replaced the original fervency of your petitions. You’ve asked so many times, yet God seems to either not hear you or your spouse has an unusually thick skull. Nothing’s getting through. I can only say one thing.
Don’t stop now.
During my time in Europe, my small group leader did a wonderful thing. She planned a meeting with guests, who were once unequally yoked. Six women joined us that night and shared their journeys as unequally yoked spouses, and then the crème de la crème—how their spouses had come to Christ and who they were as of that day.
I remember one woman sharing how her young daughter wound up influencing her husband to make the all-important decision. Others spoke of life changing events playing a significant role. One woman spoke of the twelve years she waited, praying for her husband to accept Christ.
I remember thinking, “That won’t be me.” Yet here I am, in my eleventh year of this journey.
The one persistent aspect of all their testimonies was prayer. Keep praying, keep believing, then pray some more. Prayer is the key ingredient here, but how do we keep going when we see nothing change? How do we persevere when the enemy’s whispering things in our ear like:
“He’ll never change, so why bother?”
“You blew up at him yesterday. What kind of witness can you possibly have to offer?”
“It’s hopeless. There’s nothing you can do.”
I’ll admit, I haven’t always prayed consistently for my husband, but about six years ago, God revealed how my husband was my Jericho, and that I had to march around him in prayer. (There’s more to this that I’ll share later.)
Have I seen any change since then? No.
Have I witnessed a softening of my husband’s heart? No.
Have I quit praying? No.
Recently God nabbed my attention again and told me to step things up a bit. More prayer, more marching, daily, keep it going. Why? I know God’s big enough to just snap his fingers and make it happen. God knows my prayer before I even speak it. So why more, why now?
Because I’m not ready.
Feel free to read that line again. (It surprised me a bit when I typed it.) Go back to the time you started praying for your spouse. Spend a little time there and look at who you were then. Now come back to the present and answer this question:
Are you the same person now that you were then?
I’m betting you said no. (If not, then we really need to talk!) You may not see any changes in your spouse, or perhaps you see some miniscule movement in the right direction, but I’m guessing you’ve changed significantly. The road’s been rough, full of pot holes, but each time you bounced through one of those set-backs, you wound up stronger, more able to handle the next rut in the road.
Prayer is truly a journey. When we open our hearts and align our wills with God, we can’t help but be transformed. God’s just that way. Even when our prayers seem to ricochet like rubber balls, He’s there, helping us pitch the next throw.
The point is to keep pitching, keep praying. Don’t give up. Don’t let the enemy win. God wants us to have the best arm possible so that when that day comes—that amazing day when our spouses say yes to Jesus—we’ve got the muscle to help them walk their own journey of prayer.
And be forever changed.