Interview by Linda Rooks
FEBRUARY 5, 2014
I feel honored, privileged, and excited to interview Sharon Jaynes, author of her new book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe. Sharon Jaynes is the former vice president and co-host of Proverbs 31 Ministries and author of 16 top selling books. In past years, two of her books, Your Scars are Beautiful to God, plus I’m Not Good Enough…and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves, were Retailer’s Choice Finalists. Sharon travels worldwide as an international conference speaker. In fact, when she did this interview I was fortunate to catch her between her return trip from El Salvador and another trip she was to take a couple of days later.
But what a terrific topic! Particularly as we head toward Valentine’s Day., which is a happy day for some, but a hard day for others. I pray that in whatever situation you find yourself, you will be blessed by Sharon’s insights.
The Significance of Praying for Your Husband
Linda: What stirred you to write Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe
Sharon: The vast majority of the e-mails I receive through my ministry center around marriage problems. Some have marriages that have fallen apart or are seemingly falling apart. Some are just going through a rough patch. But regardless of where a woman’s man or her marriage falls on the continuum of terrific to tolerable to terrible, there is always room for improvement. Prayer can make a bad marriage good and a good marriage great.
Linda: When did you realize prayer would be an important part of your marriage?
Sharon: About 2 minutes after I said, “I do.” No, seriously. I remember sitting in front of the mirror on my wedding day thinking about how happy I was. Then I had the thought, “Doesn’t everyone feel like this on their wedding day? What could possibly go so wrong that so many end up in divorce? I decided right then and there I was going to do everything in my power to make my marriage a success. It didn’t take long to learn that “in my power” was a problem I had to become a woman of prayer who depended on God’s power.
Linda: Why do you think prayer is so important?
Sharon: A spiritual battle is going on all around us, and Paul urges us to be prepared, spiritually armed and physically alert. He emphasizes this again in his second letter to the Corinthians: “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:3–4).
While we don’t have authority over our husbands, we do have authority over the Enemy who seeks to harm him (Luke 10:19). Through prayer, the Enemy’s plans are intercepted; the principalities and authorities are defeated. Through prayer, the power and provision of God flow into the lives of His people.
God is not hoarding His blessings, waiting for us to say the right words to pry those blessings out of His stingy hand. He longs to lavish us with His goodness! (Ephesians 1:7–8) And yet He often waits for us to ask. I am not saying I understand it. Prayer is simply how He chose to engineer the flow of His power and activity from the spiritual realm into the physical realm. Prayer is the conduit through which God’s power is released and His will is brought to earth as it is in heaven.
It is not that God cannot act without the prayers of His people. He can do anything He pleases (Psalm 115:3). However, He has established prayer as the gate through which His blessings flow. James reminds us: “You do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
Linda: Why do you think so many tend to wait until things get so bad before we turn to prayer?
Sharon: The humanness in us wants to think that if we try hard enough, we can fix our marriage and our man. But that’s simply not true. How many times have I heard those words, “Well, I guess the only thing left to do is pray about it.” How many times have they slipped past my lips? But what if we looked at prayer from a different perspective…God’s perspective? What if we viewed prayer as our first course of action rather than a last resort?
Impacting Our Marriages
Linda: How has praying for your husband from head to toe impacted or changed your marriage?
Sharon: I don’t have a big bad story of how God took our terrible tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset as we left all danger and darkness behind. Even though we’ve had our share of both tumult and romance, our relationship is no fairy tale. Our marriage reads more like a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. Eleven thousand, six hundred, and eighty at the time of this writing.
The truth is, for most couples, life is just the daily one-foot-in-front-of-the-other journey. However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure just as surely as an earthshaking rumble of sudden disaster.
And while my marriage has not miraculously come back from the brink of disaster, I have held the hands of women who have experienced exactly that. Beth’s husband was addicted to pornography, but because of her intercession he sought help and found deliverance. Jona’s husband filed for divorce, but because of her intercession fell in love with her all over again. Patty’s husband was consumed with work and financial gain, but because of her intercession, he turned his heart back toward home. Miriam’s husband was bound by pain from past abuse, but because of her intercession, he experienced the freedom of healing and forgiveness. I have held their hands. I have heard their cries. I have joined in their prayers. I have witnessed their miracles.
Linda: How has the way you pray for your husband changed over your 33 years of marriage?
Sharon: In our early years of marriage, my prayers for Steve were more conflict oriented. I tended to pray for him when I felt he “needed” it. When a difficult situation arose, when work was hard, when finances were strained, when relationships were messy, when stress had us both tightly wound. And yes, I did see God’s hand respond to those prayers of intercession on my husband’s behalf. But as my understanding of prayer matured, so did my intercession for Steve. My desperate cries to God in difficulties grew into daily conversations with God in the ordinary. I prayed for God’s protection and provision for my man in the one-step-in-front-of-the-other dailyness of life.
Putting Flesh on Dry Bones
Linda: What if someone feels her marriage is too far gone to even pray? Sharon: Oh Linda, I LOVE that question. Our God is a God of miracles. A God of resurrection power. Someone may be reading this today and wondering if her marriage is too far gone. Too much pain to patch. Too much hurt to heal. Too many mistakes to mend. Too much resentment to remedy. Too much bitterness to make better. Too much brokenness to rebuild. Too much betrayal to forgive. Too much. Too much. Too much. But as Gabriel told Mary, ““Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:26–38).
I love the story in Ezekiel 37 when God told the prophet to prophesy to a valley of old dead bones. I am sure he felt silly as he began. And I am sure some women will feel silly when they are praying for a marriage that is like old dead bones. But what happened when Ezekiel obeyed God and spoke over those bones? God raised them up, put tendons and flesh on them, and breathed new life into each one. He raised up an army from those long dead dry bones. And if He can do that, then He can certainly take a dead marriage and breathe new life into it as well. I get excited just thinking about it!
Linda: How is the book set up?
Sharon: The book has 2 parts. Part one is a short teaching about the power and purpose of prayer and the landmarks of prayer. I am so directionally impaired, and do best with landmarks. Don’t tell me to go north or south. Tell me to turn right at Wal-Mart and left at the Firehouse and I’m good to go. So this book teaches us how to pray using landmarks. We start at the top or our man’s head and work our way down.
His head: What he thinks about
His eyes: What he looks at
His mouth: What he speaks
His ears: What he listens to
His neck: His decisions that turn his head
His shoulders: His burdens and worries
His back: His protection
His arms: His strength
His hands: His work
His ring finger: His marriage
His heart: What he loves
His side: His relationships
His sexual being: His purity and health
His legs: His stand
His knees: His relationship with God
His feet: His walk
The book includes 30 days of prayer. There is a scripture for each landmark, followed by a prayer that prays that particular Scripture over your man.
And here’s an extra bonus. I have a 30-Day Prayer Dare on line. Women can sign up at www.localhost/sjold and join women all around the world for this challenge. And if someone would like to watch a video, download a free chapter or learn more about the book, they can visit www.prayingforyourhusband.com or www.localhost/sjold.
I hope you enjoyed getting the “inside scoop” on why I wrote Praying for Your Husband. The truth is, you can use this pattern of prayer for any man in your life. So let’s pray!
Leave the name of a man (son, husband, boyfriend, friend) that needs prayer. Then pray for the name above your entry.