Prayer Changes Things—sample chapter from “For His Eyes Only”

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“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b—NIV)

I learned an important lesson about prayer during my early twenties. A friend asked for a ride to church. How could I say “no”? Who refuses to give someone a ride to church? I felt obliged to agree. The problem was (well, this is kind of embarrassing now) I found her somewhat irritating. My irritation grew stronger because I felt obligated. I have no idea why she irritated me. I can only attribute it to the immaturity of my emotions and Christian life at the time. I mean, who gets irritated about taking a friend to worship? I decided I would pray for her. “God answers prayer,” I reasoned. “Surely He will answer my prayer and respond to my sacrificial gesture by making her less irritating.” (I know, you can probably hear the immaturity in that line of reasoning. What can I say? I was young.) So, I began to pray for her…and she never changed! Something did happen though; something I didn’t foresee. When I began to pray, I became less irritated. I began to enjoy her companionship.

One day she said, “You know, you have gotten a lot nicer lately.”

“Really?” I replied.

“Yes. You were a little mean and rude. Now you are much nicer.”

God drove those words into my heart like a stake. Sheepishly, I apologized. Graciously, she accepted my apology and we continued on our way to worship.

No, we did not fall in love and get married. We did remain friends until she moved to another state and we lost touch. Now, we follow one another on Facebook. I remember her as someone who taught me a very important lesson about prayer. She taught me that prayer changes things. Most importantly, prayer changes the person praying! As I prayed for my friend, God graciously changed me. He softened my heart. He opened my eyes. He clarified my thoughts. He led me to accept my friend, acknowledge her strengths, and recognize her beauty.

As you begin this journey praying for your wife and your role as a husband, remember God does answer prayers.  More specifically, He will answer your prayers. He will initiate changes in response to your honest and sincere prayers. But, the biggest change will most likely occur in your heart and your life. So, as you begin this journey of prayer, I offer you a word of caution: do not think of prayer as another tool to change your wife into the person you want her to become. Instead, think of prayer as…

  • Your opportunity to humbly approach and commune with God. He longs to spend time with you. Prayer is an opportunity to intimacy with Him, a time to deepen your understanding of His love. Further, we tend to become like those with whom we associate. This is an added incentive to spend time with God. Commune with God and you become more like God.

          • A time to open your heart to God’s gentle healing. We each encounter insults and disappointments. Those disappointments and harsh experiences can leave us bruised and scarred. Our Father will heal those injuries as we spend time with Him. And, when God heals, He heals miraculously and abundantly.



          • A time to invite spiritual surgery. For whatever reason, bitterness, resentment, anger, arrogance, insecurity, and defensiveness may have taken root in your life. These roots will interfere with—and even sabotage—your marriage if they are not removed. In prayer, we open our hearts to God’s holy scalpel, allowing Him to carefully remove those roots and freeing us to love in the way He loves us.



  • A time to allow Him to change you. God does change things when we pray and He begins with you!

Click here to learn more about my newest book, For His Eyes Only.

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