A Surrendered Heart: How Selfish is Your Prayer?

Welcome to A Surrendered Heart: A Wife’s Journey to Love the Jesus Way. Click on the “Leave a Comment” button on each post to add your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the discussion. If you are a newsletter subscriber, please click through to this post on my website to add your comments to the discussion to be read by everyone. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! God be praised for the gift of marriage and for allowing us to grow in Him.

Read Lesson 1:  Why I Married This Guy
Read Lesson 2: So, What Does Your Husband Do?

Surrendered Heart Lesson 3

Straight up: It’s too easy to pray for God to change our husband to be what we want him to be instead of surrendering our  heart to seek God’s will in our marriage.

What do I mean by this? I mean that we wives often think we know what’s best. We may even be right every once in a while. The problem comes when we believe we’re right every time -when we think we have our husbands, our kids, our marriage, our schedules, our do’s and don’ts, our everything figured out. Then those are the requests that come through in our prayers. They are selfish, self-seeking, self-motivated. They are not a prayer whispered from a surrendered heart. (I know this. I’ve done this. I do this.)

This is what I’m learning: I don’t know what is best for myself and for my family much of the time. When I find myself in a state of “I’m not sure how to handle this,” I can begin to worry. When I begin to worry – well, do I even need to describe this? We all know the mind blowing chaos that occurs in the heart of a woman who is trying to find answers without the help of the Holy Spirit.

What if I recognized that letting God work out His plan in my husband will be absolutely for his good as well as mine? What if I surrendered my heart to the Spirit, recognizing my lack of power, my lack of wisdom, my lack of ability to make changes in the heart of my beloved?

Do you know the lightness one feels when one stops trying to figure things out and fix all the problems? Do you know the beauty of a woman who surrenders her heart to the One who truly has all power?

This changes everything. When we, as wives, stop trying to be God and accept that God alone is God? Incredible. My prayer focus shifts quickly when I find myself heading down a path of fretfulness – then let it go absolutely, surrendering my anxt to the Holy Spirit.

Today’s scripture focus is Luke 11:9-10. We’ve all heard it before, but consider this: if we ask, seek, knock, beg, plead, cry, and whine about anything that is not from a surrendered heart – we will continue to experience lack of peace.

If instead we confidently approach the Father in the name of Jesus, recognizing that He has the power to work all things for good in our lives and in the life of our husband –  we will be amazed at what we find, at what we receive, and at what might be behind that open door.

That’s because God knows best. He loves our surrendered heart so that He can finally reveal His goodness and wisdom to us. Then He hands us His perfect gift of peace – the frosting on top of the cake of blessing.

Luke 11910

Download Ask, Seek, Knock Printable Here.

As you fill out the following “My Prayer for Him” printable, be continually reminded that your prayer is to have a kingdom focus, not an earthly focus. Ask the Holy Spirit to keep you in check as you surrender your heart in prayer for your husband. Pray confidently, because as the above passage promises: everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door WILL BE OPENED. Learn to let the desires of your heart be in sync with God’s will for you and for your marriage.

My Prayer For Him

Download My Prayer for Him Printable Here.

Your open heart will bring you joy as you lay your concerns and desires down, allowing Jesus to take over in your marriage. Recognize that this is a continual process! We have to give ourselves up constantly, so don’t feel as though you failed when you find yourself in the midst of yet another struggle. God is there for each one, so as frequently as you must, simply take a deep breath and surrender.

Up For Discussion…Share With Us

  • Share your thoughts on this statement: “We all know the mind blowing chaos that occurs in the heart of a woman who is trying to find answers without the help of the Holy Spirit.” Been there, done that? Ugh, me tooooooo.
  • Describe what it looks like to surrender a struggle or concern to the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
  • What are some phrases you might try praying for your husband on a regular basis? What needs does he have that only the Father can meet?
  • When do you find that it is easiest to pray for your husband?

Comments

  1. mrs.p says

    For me as I getting older and my relationship with God is getting stronger. My prayers are less selfish. I have a sense of peace with situations may still bother me and but I know God is has everything in control. I pray whenever I feel led too. No matter where I am at. But every morning before my hubby leaves and even gets out of bed. My daughter hears the alarm and comes to our bed and snuggle with her dad and I smile and pray for them and thank God for my family and even the dog that sleeping by my feet.

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    Laura Reply:

    What a blessing that your husband’s day is smothered in prayer even before he begins it. :)

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  2. Shannon says

    Man, I think God is trying to tell me something. I’ve been struggling with this very thing. Not just in my marriage, but in life in general. Like most women, I’m very security driven and lately our life has not been very secure. We have been having a really rough time financially for the last few years. My husband is self-employed and things have been S-L-O-W. I’ve been praying for our situation to improve and for, maybe, my husband to decide that this self-employment thing is not working for us. I’ve been really angry with God for a while because of this. I’ve thrown many a “mental temper tantrum” about the whole situation. Well yesterday I had an epiphany. Maybe God wants me to quit praying to improve our situation and start praying for Him to improve ME. This is a really hard thing for me, because for the most-part, I think I’m a good person—-don’t think I need much improving, but God has shown me my selfish heart and how the things I’ve been praying for are to make my life easier. I’m just not into the patience thing or looking to see how God is working through our problems. So yesterday I finally confessed my selfish heart to him and asked him just to give me the strength, self-discipline, courage etc that I needed to see me through this rough time in our life—to build in me a surrendered heart. Of course all these traits are not going to be changed overnight (again, patience not being my strong point). I know I’m going to have to work very hard at surrendering my heart to his will.

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    Laura Reply:

    Beautiful! God is at work, absolutely!

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    Angela Reply:

    Shannon,
    I literally stumbled across this site, then this Surrendered Heart series, then to your post. I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to read your post and realize that someone else on this planet shares my exact struggle! You put into words exactly how I feel on a regular basis! I am so guilty of making the desire for a perfect and comfortable life, my idol. It is a daily batter for me. And, it makes me really understand why God put “take up your cross DAILY” into the bible. It is a daily surrender. More often than not, I fail at all of this. This particular series that Laura is doing resonates with my heart in such a profound way. “He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it”… I am surely a work in progress. Reminds me of a song that we used to sing in sunday school when I was little:

    “He’s still working on me
    To make me what I ought to be.

    It took Him just a week
    To make the moon and the stars,
    The sun and the earth
    And Jupiter and Mars.

    How loving and patient
    He must be,
    Because He’s still
    Working on me.”

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    Angela Reply:

    **daily battle, not batter…. LOL!

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    Shannon Reply:

    Everyday he’s working on me…..even when I sometimes wish he’d leave me alone. LOL! I’ve had to pray everday for the last few weeks. “Father help me to respond to this challenge the way you would have me. Give me the strength, courage and self-control to get through this time. Amen.” The days I forget to pray this are much harder emotionaly, than the days I do.

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  3. Karen S says

    Letting go and letting God is a lot harder than it sounds! I am learning to thank God for needs we’ve prayed for before we’ve physically received them.

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    Laura Reply:

    It is hard! And yet I’m learning that it gets easier as I recognize how much simpler it makes my life when I just let go.

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  4. Laura says

    A lady friend had made a list of things to pray for each day centered on scripture. There were verses about good character followed by script to pray for our husbands’ character. I have printed it out (it is 16 different days) with my husband’s name in it and blank backs so I can pray for specific things he tells me about. I also printed some verses and shorter prayers for my kids, 31 of these.

    Also, I’ve taken to praying for my family members while folding laundry. I pray for God to guard hearts as I fold shirts. I pray for my son’s asthma while folding his shirts. That has been a refreshing wya to pray for all my family.

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    Laura Reply:

    I love using physical items as reminders to pray for specific people. :)

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  5. Margaret says

    My husband’s illness has changed how and when I pray. As much as I want for him to be healed, I know that whatever happens will be God’s will. I am trusting him.

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    Laura Reply:

    Trusting Him…the only thing we really have control of us our choice to trust. God bless you as you love your husband through his illness.

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  6. Shaela Haney says

    God is the only one who can help in uncertain times. Depression, money issues, health, stress, etc. can all be prayed over your husband when he needs it at any time! I find that I pray for him right before bed when all my littles are in bed too. Me and God. That’s it.

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  7. Debbie says

    My struggle is similar to Shannon’s, although different circumstances. My husband is also self-employed and has been for the last 13 years, since before my youngest started kindergarten. My youngest is a now a senior in high school and my oldest is a senior in college, and one in between. Anyway, all these years he has been coming home so so late and always misses dinner. I have begged both him and God and I have pleaded and prayed and stormed around when he gets home and I have given him the silent treatment and I have also gone through really long phases where I just accepted it and greeted him with a smile and I always have a plate of dinner prepared for him but deep down I am still disappointed because it really ‘seems’ like he has a choice when he can call it quits for the day but he insists that I don’t understand. ( He did make it to almost all of the kids’ sports and activities so it’s not like he doesn’t care. ) But, recently the thought came to me, maybe God doesn’t want him home at a regular time because if He did then that would have happened long ago. I don’t know if that makes sense but there must be reasons I won’t understand until heaven I guess. I just feel sad that he missed so many hundreds of precious times around the dinner table and helping with homework and all of that. Sorry for the long post. :(

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  8. Kristy says

    Laura – Thank you. I so needed to hear this today. We just found out on Monday that my husband is being laid off at the end of the month. He is the major breadwinner in the family. (I work PT) I’ve cried buckets of tears the last few days wondering how we are going to make it through. I’ve been praying that God will show me a sign that everything will be OK. The reality is that my husband has been miserable in this job for years. Not to mention working long days and not getting home until just before the kids to go bed at night. I know everything happens for a reason, so I’m praying that God forced this step that he never would have made on his own. He is talking about not going back to work in an office, but freelancing instead. I’m scared at the thought of not having a steady income again and such an uncertain future. But, after reading this post, I’m feeling better. Great reminder that I need to stop worrying and let God lead us to where we are supposed to be.

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  9. AMANDA says

    Thank you, Laura , My husband was unfaithfull ,I am still struggeling with trust.
    I will seek,ask and knock for Lord to give me.

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