April 2002

Prayers of Manipulation Lack Manifestation

By Germaine Copeland

Part One

The telephone rang and the caller asked if I would be interested in writing an article about praying for husbands. My mind immediately began walking through the journey that I have personally experienced. I thought about my infancy as a Christian and the prayers that I prayed, and the revelation knowledge that came from God as I grew in the Word. I also thought about the thousands of heart-felt letters received from women all over the world asking our ministry to pray for their husbands.

Many of the letters ask that we pray, not for God’s will or the relationship at stake. The writer’s desire is for the husband to change because if he changes then life will be wonderful, and we will be happy. This is the thinking of many women, and I was a member of this group several years ago. But thank God (and my husband) for His patience, grace and love.

Praying for those closest to us is the most difficult prayer assignment we have been given. This is because, although we may not admit it, we pray from our emotions and seek our will, not God’s. Praying for our spouse is the most difficult because we are tied to each other emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually and spiritually. These ties often cloud our minds and serve to bring confusion.

Our prayers become prayers of manipulation and therefore, lack manifestation. We can let go and let God when it comes to our personal salvation and journey but we want to “help” God with our spouses. Unfortunately, “helping” God simply hinders His plan and His perfect timing. As women we must learn to trust God with all aspects of our lives including our husband!

In my spiritual immaturity, I often chose to help God either through my prayers or by prodding and nagging my husband to “do the right thing.” My prayers for him proved to be selfish and self-serving. I diligently prayed that he would love me just as Christ loved the church according to Ephesians 5. I prayed diligently from 1 Corinthians 13 for him. My frustration knew no end because he was not changing!

God revealed to me that I was praying in order to get my emotional needs met – I was praying for something that I thought I needed, not advancing or supporting my husband in his spiritual development. James tells us that we ask and do not receive, because we ask amiss…(James 4:2).

As I grew in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, I moved to a place of submission, seeking God’s perfect will, and yielding to the Holy Spirit’s constant ministry of transformation. I prayed diligently from I Corinthians 13 for me instead of him, and was pleasantly surprised when changes began to take place in our home. The change began with me, not him. In seeking God’s will, not mine, the Word revealed my flaws without condemnation, and I repented for my critical and judgmental attitude toward my husband.

Each of us must walk out our unique spiritual journey and that includes husbands. Our role is one of support through intercession and our godly behavior. Much too often we play the Holy Spirit’s role, and attempt to convince and convict our husbands of sin, righteousness and of judgment (John 16:7-11).

Only with the help of the Holy Spirit can we become the women that God has intended—mature individuals. In our marriage relationship we learn to function so that each partner preserves his or her own personality while responding to the desires of each other. In his book, The Heart of Paul, Ben Campbell Johnson writes, “This unity of persons that preserves individuality is a mystery, but that is how it is when we are united to Christ.” It is our assignment to encourage our husbands to become all, and accomplish all that God has foreordained. My friend, you are valuable and precious, beloved and accepted by the Father, equipped to be all that He created you to be.

Germaine Copeland is the author of the best selling book series, Prayers That Avail Much. She has written scriptural prayers for the family. Read your Bible, pray and attend church where you can soak up the love and faith of God. You will receive emotional healing, experience spiritual growth and become more intimately acquainted with your Heavenly Father, and your relationships will grow stronger.

Continue to pray the Prayers of Commitment from Germaine’s Prayers That Avail Much Commemorative Edition and ask to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord.