February 19, 2009 
Scripture as a Guide for Prayer 
Sharon Jaynes

In Celebration of Valentine’s Day, Sharon’s February devotions will focus on marriage.

Today’s Truth 
“And now I will show you the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b NIV).

Friend To Friend 
Most of us married women would agree that we long to be the woman of our husband’s dreams. But I have a question. Why?  Is it so we can get what we want in the long run?  Is it so that when he sees how irresistible we are he’ll magically become the man of our dreams meeting our every need?

Those are good questions – tough questions. But becoming the woman of his dreams won’t happen until we decide we would rather win his heart than win the battle, do right than be right, give more than get more, wrap our arms around him instead of wrap him around our little finger.  Becoming the woman of his dreams involves sacrifice.  It involves respecting him as a man and a leader, adoring him as the one who makes your heart skip a beat, initiating intimate friendship through creating commonalities,  safeguarding your marriage by putting him second only to God,  encouraging him in his pursuits and dreams, and sexually fulfilling him.  Many times this means denying ourselves and putting our man’s needs above our own. 

Did you realize we can even pray for our husbands with wrong motives?  James said, “When you ask you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3).  Ouch!  Does that mean I can’t pray that Steve will change his mind about that new den sofa I want?  Hmmm.  The goal for praying for our husband is not to get them to do what we want but for them to do what God wants.

Hollywood tells us that we will be happy when we “find the right person.”  However, I have discovered that a successful marriage occurs when we become the right person.  “For years I prayed that God would change my husband,” Denise told me. “Our marriage went from bad to worse and we ended separated and headed for divorce.  Then I began to read about what it meant to be a godly wife.  In the world’s eyes, I was doing a pretty good job.  In God’s eyes, I was missing the mark.  So I began to pray – this time for my own heart.  God gave me the answer to my prayer to change my husband…He changed me.”

How do we begin to pray like the woman of our man’s dreams?  A good place to start is by looking at the Bible’s definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13.  I love to use Scripture as a guide for prayer, so I’m going to pattern today’s prayer after this wonderful chapter on love. As a matter-of-fact, the verse that introduces this chapter says it well, “And now I will show you the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b).

Let’s Pray 
If I teach Bible study classes, volunteer for the church women’s ministry, and sing in the choir, but do not love my husband, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have a college degree, high paying job, and successful career, but do not love my husband, I am emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  If I have faith that can move mountains, am quick to pray for those in need, and even have half the Bible memorized, but do not love my husband, I am disobedient and do not please God.  If I keep a spotless house, maintain a well manicured lawn, and prepare nutritionally balanced meals, but do not love my husband, it is all for naught.  Hired hands can do as much.

Lord, help me to be patient.  Help me to be kind. I pray that I will not envy others who have seemingly happier marriages and husbands that are more helpful around the house, thoughtful, or romantic.  I pray that I will never try to lift myself up by putting my husband down.  Lord, I pray that I will not be a proud woman who refuses to listen to her husband, who always has to have the last word, who always thinks her way is best.  I pray that I will not be rude to my husband with curt comments, disregard his needs, and be ungrateful for all he does and is, but treat him with the respect and honor that the king of a castle deserves.

I pray that I will not be self seeking, always thinking about what is best for me, but thinking of what would be best for my husband.  I pray that I will not be angered easily, not hold a grudge, not keep a record of wrongs, not plan ways to retaliate, and not use my tongue as a weapon to cause pain.  I pray that I will not rejoice and say “I told you so” when things don’t work out the way my husband hoped.

Lord, above all, I pray that my husband will see me as his chief cheerleader who desires to rejoice with him in his victories, both big and small.  He will see me as one who longs to protect our marriage and our love. Help me to create a warm and loving environment in which he feels safe, wanted, and revered.  I pray that you will give me endurance when things get tough. Help the word divorce to never enter my mind or cross my lips as an option.  Lord, I know that love never fails and that You never fail.  Fill me with your Holy Spirit to give me the endurance to stand up under trials and love my husband as You would have me love him – till death do us part.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn 
Today’s application step is very simple.  Open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and pray those words over yourself as you love your husband.

If you are not married, open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 13 and pray those words over the significant people in your life.

More From The Girlfriends 
Do you want to become the woman of your husband’s dreams? Would you like a little “wow” back in your relationship with the man you married?  Then let seven simple secrets from Sharon’s book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, transform your marriage.  With Biblical wisdom and responses from hundreds of men she surveyed, you’ll get a glimpse into your husband’s deepest longings. Also included is an extensive index for praying Scripture for your husband from head to toe and a Bible Study Guide. 

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