Kathy Petersen’s Blog

The Power of a Praying Wife

Posted in books, Christianity by Kathy on January 13, 2008

It’s kind of funny how things just “happen.” (Nope, there’s no such thing as “luck.”) My mom was cleaning out her house, and really purging, and had some books she was getting rid of, so I took some. One of them happened to be The Power of a Praying Wife. I’m a Christian; I pray; I pray for my husband, my children, my church, my nation. But I often don’t feel like it does any good, and a lot of times, I don’t really feel like I’m praying–like my prayers aren’t reaching above the ceiling. Consequently, I often don’t pray when I know I should; or when I do, I feel like it’s a duty, rather than a privilege. So I knew I needed help in this area, and decided to read this book as I could (which is typically while nursing my 19-month-old).

I started it last night, and only read the introductory chapter (I was extremely tired, otherwise I probably would have read through the whole thing), and it was absolutely riveting. At first, I expected it to be one of these ho-hum books written by one of these perfect people that have had a picturesque life–unreal, you know? But it soon became obvious that this author has lived the struggles of life–she openly admits that she contemplated divorce at one time because her marriage was so unfulfilling; and the only thing that kept her from it was that she was convinced that divorce is not allowed for Christians. She so desired for her husband to change in some particular areas, but it wasn’t until she “had a conversation with God” in which He showed her that she just needed to “shut up and pray” that she was able to have peace–and God did bring change in her husband’s life later. It was convicting to me, because I realized that by not praying for my husband, I was depriving him of some of the power that God had designed for him. No, God is not bound by our prayers, or lack thereof; but He does tell us to pray, and tells us that He will answer prayers. I get the feeling that there are storehouses up in heaven full to bursting with resources that God is waiting to shower down on us, if we’ll just ask Him. But they are full because we’re not asking. Sometimes, I confess that I think that that makes God sound mean or stingy–“you mean, we have to say ‘pretty-please’ before He gives us what we know we want or need?!” Yet, if we got everything handed to us on a silver platter, we’d be one of these spoiled “trust-fund brats” like Paris Hilton who wouldn’t know, much less care, about Who gave us the things we got; and we wouldn’t consider them to be blessings–we’d take them as our just desserts–like God owes us something just because we exist.

This book is exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I’ve been frustrated for the past several weeks especially (although I’ve recognized some parts of this for my entire 5-year marriage) at how my husband handles some things. I see areas in which he needs to change–areas, in fact, that I perceive as keeping him from the blessings that God is waiting to bestow. I think that “if he’ll just do this or do that” then he will get what it is he’s actually wanting. But it seems that when I’ve mentioned some things, he just gets hurt, angry, and/or discouraged. So I’ve been wanting a way to tell him so that he will hear it. I think that what I am saying is Biblical–I can point to Bible verses (usually Proverbs) that clearly say the same things I’m thinking….but he’s not listening.

So, now you’re probably thinking that this book is how to manipulate your husband into doing what you want. Nope–although she does have several stories of how husbands (including her own) have changed of their own accord after their wives prayed–usually months of prayers. The book covers 30 different areas of your husband’s life, and specific ways you can help him by praying (or hinder him by not praying). This isn’t about getting your way. It’s about getting out of the way so that God can move to change your husband–if it’s His desire so to do. Several times while reading the book, I was moved to tears, because of the depth of longing I have for my husband to excel in these ways. These tears weren’t mostly because my husband isn’t “there” yet; they were mostly tears of shame, because, while I have desired these things for him, and wanted to tell him how to get them, I never thought about praying that God would move in his life so that he also would desire these things, and that he would know or learn how to get them.

I read through this book today–devoured it. Simple yet profound. The words cut to my heart many times. It won’t be easy; I’m sure there will be times that the answer to prayer will be painful–and that scares me! But I know it will be worth it, and I know that God will keep us and bear us through that. It’s a book I plan on reading often.


7 Responses

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  1. Longing for Holiday said, on January 13, 2008 at 1:41 am

    I think I will write a book entitled the Power of a God Who Answers Anyway for those of us not-so-good-prayers!

  2. womantowomancbe said, on January 13, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Yes, God is gracious even to us! šŸ™‚

  3. hljourney said, on June 6, 2009 at 3:26 am

    WOW… read through the whole book in one day! That’s wonderful, and I can definitely understand why you couldn’t put it down! I’m currently reading through again (2nd time) with a group of women on Facebook! I can so identify with you when you said, “It was convicting to me, because I realized that by not praying for my husband, I was depriving him of some of the power that God had designed for him.” This book is truly an eye opener – one to read more then once. Thanks for sharing!

  4. […] group has been started based on Stormie O’Martian’s book The Power of a Praying Wife. I’ve read this book before, but have let slide the things written in it. So, this is good to have a group effort, an […]

  5. MIchelle said, on April 22, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Is this book relevant for divorced women who are standing for their marriages even though their husbands have since re-married?

    • Kathy said, on April 22, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      I don’t know that it is ever wrong to pray for someone, but it’s not exactly relevant for a divorced woman.

    • rachael santarsiero said, on January 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      Michelle, I think that since God doesn’t like divorce, that it would be wonderful for you to pray for your “husband” following the guidelines in this book. In addition, I have a package at home that my mother in law gave me when I had a friend struggling with her marriage. It was a ministry that a couple formed after they had been through the ringer in their marriage – they had divorced, but the man (I think it was the man) even though he consented to the divorce he spoke consistently, saying that she was his wife, even at divorce proceedings. He was adamant about it. Very interesting. If you’d like a copy I can try to get one to you. It’s a little outdated. My email address is rachaelsantarsiero@yahoo.com

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