A Wife’s 8 Steps to Focused Prayer

a woman in black sweater

In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God.

Luke 6:12

Jesus’ prayers were focused. Wives, are your prayers focused? There are steps we can take that can help us keep focused as we pray.

“I can’t pray out loud.” 

“Shelly, just talk to God.”

“I can’t pray those beautiful prayers that others pray.”

“Pray what’s in your heart.”

Shelly began our one-on-one Bible study with a sweet prayer. I know God cherished that prayer.

After the Bible study, I prayed and asked her if she wanted to pray. Another heartfelt prayer spilled forth.

If Jesus prayed to His Father – sometimes all night long – how much more do we need to pray?

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I do not know what to pray for. The words just do not come. 

Prayer’s Focus

You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
 at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  

Psalm 16:11

Brother Lawrence was a 17th-century Christian who worked in the kitchen of a Carmelite monastery in Paris. Whether he was cooking or washing pots and pans, Brother Lawrence was focused on God. He was in a constant state of conversation with God. The monks noticed that he had something different – something that they wanted.

Word spread about the difference in Brother Lawrence, and people from all over Europe came to sit in the kitchen and observe Brother Lawrence at work in the presence of God. 

Brother Lawrence said, “Our only business was to love and delight ourselves in God.”[1]

That is prayer. It is loving and delighting in God. It is talking with Him, listening to Him, and resting in Him. Prayer acknowledges who God is and His characteristics. It makes requests, praises God, and worships God. 

Prayer is being present with God. He is always near His sons and daughters. However, sometimes, God’s sons and daughters are not present with Him. 

Prayer’s Distractions

We are easily distracted. Distracted by our phones, social media pop-up notifications, the blaring television, children, “to-do” lists, and much more.

Women are multitaskers. We have to be … or do we? There is so much to do. We can talk on the phone, make dinner, and help the kids with homework all at the same time.

Distractions also pop up in our relationships with our husbands. We continue to multitask when we are with our husbands. 

Research has found that multitaskers are less productive than those who are focused on one task. Multitaskers lose up to 40 percent of their productivity.[2] 

If we continue to multitask in our relationships, could our relationships lose the closeness that we enjoyed when we were totally focused on each other? 

When Keith and I dated, we carved out time to concentrate on each other. After our dates, Keith drove home and called me. We spent another 30 minutes to an hour on the phone.

Honestly, I do not know how we found so much to talk about when we were dating.  All that talking and being truly present with each other sealed us as a couple. We knew each other’s thoughts, hopes, dreams, and disappointments. We had studied each other.

That close focus grew even closer when we moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. At that time, cell phones did not exist. The internet did not exist. We did not have a phone in the beginning. Delayed letters and cassette tapes (do you know what cassette tapes are?) were the only communications we had with our extended families. Keith and I had to depend upon each other. 

Have you noticed that happily married couples who have been married for decades complete each other’s sentences or thoughts? They know each other intimately.

True intimacy in marriage takes time with each other, time observing and studying each other. 

This is the kind of relationship God wants with us. The relationship begins with concentrated time with Him. It takes reading His Word with our hearts, talking to Him from our hearts, and listening to Him with our hearts. It takes serious study and turning our focus from ourselves to God. It takes prayer and being present with God.

Focused Prayer’s Transformation

Our close relationship with God transforms how we pray for our husbands. Often, our prayers for our husbands are prayers for ourselves. “Lord, please change him. Make him more loving.” As we grow in our relationship with God, we will see our husbands as God’s sons, and we will become empowered to see them as God sees them, men being refined by God and becoming holy men of God.

God transforms our prayers for our husbands as we get closer to God. God refines and shines.

Jesus prayed and fasted for 40 days in the wilderness before He began His ministry. He prayed all night before He chose His disciples. He prayed to thank God for food. He prayed before He raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus prayed before He faced the cross, He prayed privately, He prayed publicly, and He prayed on the cross. Jesus focused His prayers and glorified His Father in heaven.

Jesus’ focused prayers are continuing to be answered today. He continues to pray for you and me. 

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 

Hebrews 9:24

Jesus is our High Priest. When Satan accuses us before God, Jesus speaks on our behalf and points to His sacrifice on the cross, a sacrifice that paid the price for sin, death, and separation from God.

Powerful prayers are focused on the strength of our Father in heaven. When we pray according to the will of God, our hearts’ desires become God’s desires, and our prayers change.

Jesus is our example. The disciples studied Jesus and recognized how important prayer was in His relationship with God. They saw power in His prayers, and they asked Him to teach them to pray as John taught his disciples to pray.

And He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name. 
Your kingdom come. 
Give us each day our daily bread, 
and forgive us our sins, 
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. 
And lead us not into temptation.” 

Luke 11:2-4

Is this your prayer? If so, does it apply to your husband as well as to others?

What if we were to personalize this prayer and include our husband’s name within the prayer? We might pray:

Our Father, holy is Your name in our marriage.
Let Your kingdom come in this home, in our marriage, and in us.
Cause Your will to reign in (your husband’s name) and me. 
Give him what he needs today, for You are his Provider.
We are sinners, Father.
Forgive us of our sins,
Teach us how to forgive each other.
And keep us from evil.
For You are God Almighty, and You are our heavenly Father. 
Reign forever in our lives and in our marriage.
Thank You, in Jesus’ name we pray, amen

Focused prayer is powerful.

How are you keeping your prayers focused on God when you pray for your husband?

8 Steps to Focused Prayer

We may have written about our husbands in a journal when we were dating. We wrote about their attributes. We asked ourselves what they saw in us. We remembered the sweet things that they did for us. We delighted in their voices, their words, and their compliments. We rejoiced in how relaxed we felt in their presence.

We smiled at their gifts to us. We wondered at their love for us. We thanked them and told them how special they were to us.  Perhaps we wrote them love notes. Today, we can text them, email them, share photos online, and like their social posts.

Do we still think that much about our husbands and thank them? Do we think that much about God and thank Him?

Focused prayer requires intentionality. A few focused steps can help us.

  1. Meditate on God’s attributes. God is the Great I AM, the becoming One, becoming all that we need (Exodus 3:14). He is holy, righteous, good, loving, just, all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, eternal, and much more. He is near. He is our Redeemer. He is our Creator. He is Almighty God.
  2. Meditate on who we are. We are sinners who have stumbled in many ways. “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) Yet, if we confess our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can call ourselves daughters of the God Most High (John 1:12). 
  3. Meditate on His works. God works in our lives and in the lives of our husbands“Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever; to Him who alone does great wonders, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136: 3-4).
  4. Meditate on how God speaks. God spoke the world into existence. He spoke to the prophets. He gave us His Word through the Bible. He spoke through dreams, through other people, through creation, and through whispers. Listen to Him. “He who has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:9).
  5. Relax. Pray from your heart and do not worry about the beauty of your prayers. The Holy Spirit perfects our prayers. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
  6. Meditate on how God providesGod provides all that we need. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). 
  7. Meditate on how God loves you. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus into the world to pay the price for our sins. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  8. Praise and thank God. Praise Him and thank Him for all that He is and all that He does. “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3)

These steps help us refocus on God, and they can help us meditate on the goodness of our husbands. We can remember the good – who we are in relationship to our husbands, our husbands’ works, and their words.

We can relax in our prayers for our husbands. We can meditate on how they provide comfort for us, how they love us, and then praise and thank our husbands for all that they are and do.

Try it today. You may see your husband through different eyes. 

Father, You know the needs of Your sons and daughters. You created us for Your love and for the love in our marriages. Lord, help us to focus our prayers on Your goodness, kindness, love, and Your amazing attributes. May that focus lead us to pray for our husbands in ways that transform our relationships with them. May our focus be on blessing Your image bearers – our husbands. We love You, Lord, and we love our husbands. Bless our marriages, and bless our husbands. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.

[1] Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God. (Lightheart, PracticeGodsPresence.com, 2002), 13.

[2]Scott Mautz, “Psychology and Neuroscience Blow-Up the Myth of Effective Multitasking.” (Inc., May 11, 2017).https://www.inc.com/scott-mautz/psychology-and-neuroscience-blow-up-the-myth-of-effective-multitasking.html

How will you pray for your husband today?

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