I love my husband A LOT. As a matter of fact, I would say anyone that knew me when we first became friends would tell you that I loved him long before either of us realized it. I remember even in our friendship how easy it was to pray for him. I prayed for his spiritual walk. I prayed for his family. I prayed for his daily stresses and for his future. There might have even been a point when I transitioned to praying for our future, but shhh don’t tell him. We were still “just friends” when that started.
Early in our relationship, it was easy to pray for him. I prayed for wisdom and guidance as he chose a career. I prayed for him to be a strong leader that set healthy boundaries in his life. I prayed for him to be a great father and for strength to fight the personal battles he faced daily. I prayed for good mentors, healthy friendships, peace, and grace for himself when he failed.
Into our first year of marriage, it was still easy to pray for him. I prayed for discernment as he made big decisions. I prayed for comfort as he worked through grief. I prayed for truth and transparency with me in our relationship. As we learned we were pregnant, I prayed for a relationship with his daughter that would be honoring to Christ. I prayed for gentleness in parenting. I prayed for him to work through anything from his childhood that might affect him as a parent, as a father.
I don’t know exactly when, but I do know at some point it got a lot harder to pray for my husband. When I really sit and think about it, I can identify a few reasons that I stopped praying for him. They may not be valid, but they are reality. These things stood in the way of me being intentional in my prayer life. These things made it easy to forget or simply to just choose not to do it.
First, our schedules seemed to get really insane. We had a newborn at home. We were both working full time while being full time students. He was on a night shift, I was on a retail shift. It seemed as though we rarely saw one another. I was busy. He was busy. I was tired. He was tired. You know how it goes.
Second, sometimes I just didn’t know what to pray for. It seemed as though our conversations where we would sit and share our burdens became fewer and further between. Due to the fact that we had so little time together, it was easy to stop asking hard questions. It was easy to spend the little bit of time that we had together discussing the “necessary” parts of marriage; bills, childcare, our budget, weekend plans, etc. We stopped being intentional asking how we could pray for one another.
Third, to be completely honest, we both made some really stupid choices where we hurt one another. For me, I was bitter and angry. He had hurt me. He had disappointed me. I had a hardened heart that stood in the way of me pursuing the type of prayer life I should have had at all. Let alone for him, the one who caused that deeply rooted pain.
Well, this past week some things happened in our marriage that made me take a step back. It made me sit and think about where things possibly went wrong and what needs to be done to make it better. It was in this time that I found myself drawing close to the Lord and praying consistently for my husband. It was in that time it clicked and I went “duh, I can’t remember the last time I prayed like this for Josh”.
Rightfully so, that thought bothered me. I continued to think on this for a few days to determine a way to make prayer for him a priority. A priority when I’m busy, when I don’t know what to pray for, and even when I am angry and my heart is hard. I also considered the reality that I need him to pray for me and that we need to be praying for our daughter. After some thought, I broke out an old, unused white board and came up with some specifics. The original idea is still on that old ragged whiteboard hanging on the wall in our room. However, part of me thought to myself “How neat would it be to put it on paper so that as the weeks pass Josh and I can go back and see how some of those prayers have been answered?”
With that being said, here is the final product. What I love about it is that it can be changed to suit our needs during whatever season of life we are going through. I love that it’s basic. Yes, I could have spent more time making it “pretty” by adding color, flowers, and creative elements. But, I didn’t because basic is what works for us. I have to admit, I shared it with my husband (the old white board version) and he was actually excited to have found a way to bridge this gap in communication. I didn’t say anything to him, but I even saw him whip out his cell phone and snap a photo of the stuff I filled out. This means he doesn’t only like it, but he’s willing to use it. This means we’re back on track to a healthier prayer life for one another. That excites me.
If you find yourself or your marriage sitting in the silence like we did, find something. Do what works for you. Make it a priority to be in prayer for one another because without that, life comes along and sweeps us further and further apart.
Join us in being more intentional to bridge the gap in your own marriage. Find the PDF Version of our prayer chart Here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByLLaBXJlnz7MGg5U0RIR21NeFU/view?usp=sharing