The Journey of Prayer

PrayingYou’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.

Twelve years.

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.

8 Comments

  1. I completly understand what it is that you are saying the article. And I have been doing all that you suggest. However, today I am overwhelmed with hurt and ask myself why would I want someone back who has cause so much hurt to me. To the contrary, in the beginning I was feeling a strong desire to pray for his homecoming. Now I’m wondering why. What do I do?

  2. Dineen, As I read your article, my heart ached for you and memories of my mother’s relationship with my father came to mind. They were married 16 years before my father rededicated his life and started attending church. I was 15, but I remember very clearly. By then, I was praying with her. Please don’t give up and be encouraged, my friend. While we can’t change the hearts of men, God can, and when your husband’s ready and willing, God will change his heart.

  3. Boy, Dineen. You are so right. And I so needed this encouragement. God bless you.

  4. Thank you, Brenda! Thanks for stopping by.

    Elizabeth, LOVE that phrase, “pre-Christian.” Just perfect!

    Thank you, Phyllis. Your encouragement is priceless. Can’t wait for the day I can sound the trumpet!

    As always Lynn, my dear friend, you spurr me on with your love and grace.

  5. Dineen,

    This is one of the best articles on mismatched marriage I have ever read. Would you consider posting it at SUM??

  6. I believe with you for your husband’s salvation. “Likewise ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may with out the word be won by the conversation of the wives.” 1 Peter 3:1

    Keep praying, Phyllis

  7. Great post! I have several friends who are married to pre-Christians. I have watched them over the years and the spouses who have come to know the Lord were unconditionally loved by their Christian wives.

    May God give you the desire of your heart–and bring your husband into an intimate fellowship with Jesus!

    By His Grace,

    Elizabeth

  8. Hi Dineen,

    Awesome, awesome, writing and what and encourager you are. Yes, never give up my friend. None of us should no matter the need. Today I agree with you for your husband and join you on your journey. May our Father send many spiritual Aarons your way.

    Bless you my friend
    Brenda, Journals of the Heart

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