I cannot let go of this topic. I realized this evening that my forays into that subject prior to the filler “Random” post (here and here) were not complete. I didn’t come to this realization on my own. Rather, like so many daily red pill awakenings, I was nudged into another aspect of the topic by a Family Life Moments with You called “With Friends like That”.
Dennis Rainey recounts a story his colleague Bob Lepine shared.
As Bob Lepine, my cohost on FamilyLife Today, was leaving for work one morning, he put his arm around his wife and prayed, “Lord, I ask that You would stretch Mary Ann today, that You would challenge her spiritually and cause her to grow in the image of Christ.”
And when he “amen”-ed his way to a close, Mary Ann looked back at him and said, “Would you mind just praying that I’d have a nice day and that the kids would behave?”
This is one that requires some explaining because the issue is just not obvious. Is there anything wrong with what Mrs. Lepine did? Nope. Is it fine to ask someone to pray specifically for you? Nope. Then whats the problem Empath?
The problem is not with the exchange. To their credit the article goes on to state that we must pray hard prayers over our spouses and loved ones even if those hard prayers are not FOR something the person is wanting or thinking they need.
The problem is revealed here:
Even though I can certainly sympathize with Mary Ann, I also recognize how important it is to pray for my wife to grow spiritually — even if it requires asking for a little “stretching” to occur. The key is to know her and to be tuned in to her truest, deepest needs.
Regardless the differences spherians have about the term Feminine Imperative, I’m going to invoke it here. Do you see how the bold part (my emphasis) plays into it?
On balance I like the tone Rainey takes in this article in that he presses ahead stating the as husbands we should be praying for the needs she needs instead of the needs she wants. This little get-out-the-door prayer is not where the rubber meets the road on this though.
The problem is, what about the constant insistence that husbands and wives pray together? Is the woman not evaluating those prayers and wondering why the man is not praying for the same things she is regarding herself? The woman is also thinking “bucko, YOU need to be praying for ____________ after that incident last week” Insert “patience” or some other character trait she wishes he had more of.
Its not just in sharing our day that we men find land mines. Its when we pray with our wives. Its when we need to pray for strength and resolve in the face of male temptation, to choose an easy example, that we may TRULY need to pour out our deepest thoughts. Whats the demon say then?
Even in everyday things, is the demon not going to want to ridicule the man’s prayers? Is the wife not sometimes going to give in to that and speak it? And when she does, would that not be an appropriate space for some serious spiritual warfare rebuking the Jezebel? Anyone care to g’head and try all this and report back the results? If so, maybe we can get some advice from Family Life on how to handle the problems that arise.
Or, like most men actually do, is it not safer to pray mundane things when praying together and save the real stuff for your alone quiet time? Is that the right thing to do?