I remember first reading these books by Stormie Omartian several years ago and was not a particular fan of the Praying Wife; in fact, I had the audacity to buy it at a time I thought I needed to fix my husband; and what better way to do that than to yield my prayer as a mighty sword to chisel him into the man I thought He should be. I saw Ms. Omartian’s book on the shelf and thought, “Well, there is someone who agrees with me and actually wrote about it! Yes!” Boy was I beyond wrong! The very first sentence in her book says, “First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that the power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband, so don’t get your hopes up!”
Huh? Surely, she’s not with me here...then she says, “In fact, it is quite the opposite. It’s laying down all clam to power in and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances and your marriage.”
That’s all great, except there was nothing wrong with me - he needed to be fixed and then everything would be okay. I tucked her thoughtful little book away behind the other books on my shelf and proceeded to assign myself the role of Holy Spirit in the life of my husband.
How incredibly patient, long-suffering and kind God is. Since then, God has gently and lovingly led me to the end of myself and revealed to me, one layer at a time, my own sin of pride, anger, unforgivenness, bitterness... do I really need to keep going?
A couple of years later, I went back to Mrs. Omartian's book and spent the next two years alternating through each book. It took me awhile to figure out there are 30 chapters in each book - Oh! Perhaps that means I should pray a prayer each day of the month. I did, and how incredible it was as God began to break down the walls surrounding my heart. What I didn't know was that those two years would carry me through the darkest times of my life as I hit the depths of depression and was emotionally torn to shreds over the heartache in my marriage. When I reached no ability to read God’s Word, nor to pray, the seeds I had planted for two years straight were there, harvesting what I could not do on my own. Thank you JESUS!
One of the greatest lessons I've come to understand since God has brought peace and healing to my mind, as well as completely restored my marriage, is something He whispered to my heart as I picked up the Power of a Praying Wife yesterday to embark on a new month of covering my king from head to toe in prayer. I tweeted this lesson: When I have a deep need from my king, I am learning to ask God, THE KING, for it, not my husband. The results are far greater and more permanent.
Here’s why - God is the ONLY one capable of meeting your deepest need. There is no man on earth capable, nor responsible, for your joy. It is unreasonable and unfair to put that burden on our men. Second, one of three things is going to happen when you truly seek God with all your heart for your deepest desire:
1) God is going to show you that He alone is the only One who can fulfill your need and will do so in His own time. Some needs we can’t handle when we want them.
2) God is going to show you that your need is not really what you thought it was, and He will create in you a heart after Him alone.
3) God will get to work internally in your husband’s heart and create a change that only He can accomplish permanently and it will fulfill your need to full.
This is what we really want. I can ask Preston to do a certain thing to meet my need, and he will more than likely do his best to change his external habits and behavior; for a short time. Habits are hard to break. Or, I can go to God for what I am longing for and over time, my Lord will fulfill my heart’s desire in His way, and not only will it be beyond anything I could ever ask or imagine - it will last a lifetime.
Which do you prefer?