Since February is L.O.V.E. month on the Redeemed Girl blog, we decided to sit down with our founder, Marian Jordan Ellis, and ask her a few questions about all things love, dating and marriage. The first post in this series is on praying for our husbands.
So…MJ, you’ve tweeted before how the Lord answered your prayers for your husband. Why don’t you share with us how you prayed?
During my long stint as a single woman, I had plenty of time to dream and pray about the type of man I hoped the Lord would provide. There were seasons that I prayed the same five specific requests over and over again. Then there was a season when I threw my hands up in the air and said, “God, don’t give me what I want, give me your best.” Honestly, God answered both prayers. I can look back on those five essentials and know the Lord honored my request. Sure, not as fast as I wanted, but in His time, He answered my prayer. But bigger than my vision for what I thought I needed in a mate, God answered my ultimate prayer of surrender: “Don’t give me what I want, give me your best.”
As much as Justin is everything I prayed for, he is hundreds of things I would never have even thought to ask for…he is better. The prayer of surrender to God’s will proved to be the better prayer. Jesus knew what we both needed and was gracious to give us His best.
Inquiring minds naturally would like to know… what were those five essentials that you prayed for your husband?
Glad you asked! This list arose from various life circumstances that led me to ask the Lord for very specific things.
- I prayed for a man who would love Jesus more than anything else in this world.
- I prayed for a man who would be a ministry partner.
- I prayed for someone who would love my family.
- I prayed for a man who would love me the way God created and wired me.
- This last one was a selfish non-essential (but I prayed it anyways), as
a 5’11” woman…I prayed for my husband to be taller than me!
Amen to #5!
So…I’ve heard various opinions from Christian leaders on whether or not single girls should pray for their husbands. Obviously you fall into the camp that believes we should pray. Can you share with our readers your perspective on prayer?
Absolutely! I’d love to share my thoughts on this subject.
First of all, I see in scripture that God wants us to bring our prayers and petitions to Him by faith believing that He can provide. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18) Prayer and faith go hand in hand. By faith, I bring the unmet desires and longings of my heart to the Lord… for He alone can answer. Prayer looks to God as our Provider. Therefore the result of the answered prayer is praise! And if you’ve ever seen my wedding photos, you’ll see a girl who is in full-blown Jesus worship for the way God answered and provided.
Second of all, the biggest reason I believe we should pray is due to spiritual warfare. Yep, I said spiritual warfare. During my single years, I noticed that there is a war against marriage. It’s pretty easy to recognize that our enemy (Satan) hates marriage because it is such a picture of Jesus and the church. But the war against marriage begins long before two people walk down the aisle.
It dawned on me one night as I looked around the room at dozens of beautiful single women in their 30’s and 40’s, that there is a problem: where are all the godly single men? How could we have godly Christian marriages if we don’t have godly Christian men for all of these amazing single Christian women? I believe that spiritual warfare includes all the various ways the enemy keeps men and women from marriage.
I’ll never forget driving down the interstate in Houston, Texas and the Lord prompting me to start a prayer group for single women. Simultaneously, the Lord was leading my friend Keri to start a similar group. Our prayer groups began with one purpose: to pray for the men of our generation and to fight in prayer for our future marriages. Not only was it great community, it also proved to be a time of deep intercession. Just as Jesus praised the persistent widow for her faithful prayers, I believe the Lord’s heart was moved by our faith. We got on our knees and interceded for men as we asked God to move mountains and answer the cry of our hearts.
Although my prayers weren’t answered overnight, I can honestly say I owe my marriage to that prayer group. While many of my friends are still waiting, it’s a joy to share that this weekend I had the honor of standing with Justin in my friend Keri’s wedding and witnessing how the Lord graciously answered her prayers.
Keri looks gorgeous in the photos. It’s always so encouraging to hear how the Lord answers and provides. I have a feeling some prayer groups will be beginning!
One of my favorite statements is, “You have not because you ask not.” (Matthew 7:7; James 4:3) I believe God wants us to bring our need to Him so that we can see Him answer it. In the act of prayer and dependence, our faith grows.
Marian, thanks so much for sharing such practical thoughts on prayer. What a huge blessing it is to watch you and Justin as y’all serve and glorify the Lord together.
Be on the lookout for our next post with Marian – surprise topic!