10 years ago, my life had fallen apart. Brent and I had been separated for 6 months, which meant no more full-time ministry, losing friendships, and selling our beautiful home. The loss was great, the heartache was intense, the grief nearly unbearable.
Then God placed the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian in my hands. Not a book I was too excited about reading at the moment, let me tell you. I was weary, hurting, and beginning to lose hope. But I decided to obey.
Starting October 1, 2004, I began reading, a chapter a day, each chapter with a prayer at the end. The first prayer was for my husband’s wife. Ahem. I thought this was a “change all the things I think are wrong with him right now” book. Nope. It started with me. Prayers that God would change MY heart, MY attitude, MY commitment. And it worked.
That month of prayers changed my life, and eventually, with a lot of hard work and forgiveness on both our ends, our marriage. On October 1, we were barely speaking. By October 31 we were bringing Caleb to a church harvest carnival together and agreeing to go to counseling. By November we were in counseling, and by August of 2005, after 17 months of separation, we were reunited as husband and wife. This last August, we celebrated 19 years of marriage.
I still read the prayers in that book almost every day. One a day for 10 years. After that first month, I added in Stormie's book, The Power of a Praying Parent, and have read a prayer a day in that book faithfully for ten years as well. The prayers in the book are not a replacement for an intimate conversation with God, but rather a guide for how to pray for my husband and my kids, and I have seen God work in amazing ways through them!
Every time I cycle through the prayers again, I can see how they were answered specifically that last month, that last year, over the last DECADE! They are constant reminders of me humbling myself and entrusting my life and our family to the Lord, and of how He is So. Very. Faithful. Every prayer in those books has been answered in a tangible way. Every one. Prayers for friends, teachers, relationships, health, career, fears, family, relationships with God.
Prayer, my friends, works. When we sit down at the feet of Jesus submitting to His will, asking for His help, He answers, and it is beautiful. Sometimes it is as simple as a little temper tantrum problem with a toddler, and sometimes it is a miracle in a marriage. God cares about it all, and will work in it all when we ask Him. Have a marriage that needs saving? It starts with you, God, prayer, and trust that He will do what He promises!