Thirty-One Prayers for My Wife, by Aaron and Jennifer Smith
This was a nice, easy devotional book that walked me through some very specific prayers and Biblical passages every morning. There are thirty-one prayers, intended to be read daily over the course of a month, and each prayer is supplemented with a Bible verse and a few pages for a journal entry. Some of the prayers also come with a challenge regarding praying with or loving your wife. I regret that I did not do any of the challenges. While doing this daily devotional, my morning routine went something like:
Read the Bible verse
Read the prayer
Write down the Bible verse
Journal and reflect on the prayer, specifically how it relates to my wife and I
I enjoyed this book, because it showed me the things that my wife is likely to struggle with and how to pray for her in these areas. Some of the topics included honesty, integrity, openness, love, submission, leadership, sexual desire, sexual intimacy, pride, gossip, anxiety, and negativity. One of the prayers that specifically stood out to me was, “give us an insatiable desire for one another.” It refers to my insatiable “sexual” desire for my wife, and her insatiable sexual desire for me. I think that Grace and I have talked a lot about divorce and the prevalence of divorce in our society - it is a terrifying topic to contemplate. Every time that I read about divorce, and the heartache that it causes, I am encouraged to do everything that I can in order to avoid such a terrible event. I think that when a husband has an insatiable desire for his wife, then he is all-consumed by her, and he is not tempted to pursue sexual satisfaction or worldly riches outside of his marriage; he is completely satisfied by everything that his wife and marriage are providing for him. Similarly for a wife - when she is all-consumed with an insatiable desire for her husband, she is not tempted to seek love or fulfillment outside of the marriage. Thus, divorce does not come. An “insatiable desire for one another” does not happen automatically; it is something that a couple must work at every day. So, I think that this prayer is a good reminder that my wife and I should have an insatiable desire for one another. It encourages me to act in a way that cultivates this insatiable desire, and if the insatiable desire is not there, then I know that I need to look at other aspects of our marriage that may be building walls between us.
If I could redo the thirty-one days that I spent reading this book, I think that I would. First, I would communicate daily with my wife regarding that day’s prayer. I didn’t tell my wife what I was praying for, and I should have. Secondly, I would set aside time to actively pray with my wife. Many of the challenges in the book related to praying with her, and I did not complete any of the challenges. I made excuses and let my selfishness get in the way. Not once did I make an effort to pray out loud with her; I should have, and I regret not making any effort. However, I am encouraged to do a better job of actively praying with her in the future.
After I finished the thirty-one devotions in this book, I gave the book to my wife so that she could read what I journaled about every day (hopefully I didn’t say anything dumb lol). Hopefully, she will be encouraged by my prayers for her and for our marriage. It’s not a full substitute for actively praying with her, but I think that giving her the journal is a nice gesture. I have full confidence that God heard my prayers and that He will respond.