I am not sure if it's a recent trend or if I just happened to stumble on the posts altogether, but I'm noticing a lot of “pray for your husband" and “why you should pray for your family" type of thinkpieces and listicles. I am all for it…ish. I'm all for anything aimed at bringing a marriage together and making it stronger versus making you feel better about letting it go astray.
Praying for your husband and family's health and well-being, a more peaceful household, or a more productive, understanding, affectionate, driven, loving household is great! (Praying for your husband or child to change his evil ways…not so much.)
Now, I don't follow any organized religion but I do "pray". Prayer to me is not about getting on your knees with clasped hands, bowing your head and asking some deity up above to help you out with something.
In my opinion prayer is any mental or emotional attempt to shift energy.
So when that creepy guy at Costco is staring at you and you're avoiding eye contact, saying "go away" repeatedly in your head and hoping he doesn't come up to you and start a conversation…that's prayer. When you're hoping, wishing, lamenting, cursing someone out, belittling yourself in your head -- any and all of that is prayer to me because all of that is energy in motion. I'm a firm believer that thoughts are things, and any thought, especially when imbued with emotion, are powerful and equates to “prayer".
In terms of praying for your husband or family, I saw a few pieces on it and really liked the sentiment but was left with an "OK, but then what?" feeling after reading it. Prayer is great. It's useful and empowering and starts to get energy in motion. But let me tell you what's even more powerful: action.
There's a big difference in praying for something and waiting versus praying for something and then doing.
You can pray every night for two months for “a hot sexy body that I love" and wait for something to happen, or… you can eat clean and work out every day for two months. Prayer may help. You may have an emotional and mental shift in how you view your body and begin to see yourself as beautiful the way you are (because you so are), or maybe you'll randomly win a “mommy makeover" package from a local plastic surgeon. Either of those things are totally possible. But you know what's probable? Getting closer to "a hot sexy body you love" after two months of steady exercise and healthy eating. Feel me?
Prayer, intention, meditation, thoughts, hopes wishes… it's not enough. It's an excellent start, though.
So, however prayer looks like to you: a bowed head, zen meditation, or a bonfire on the full moon with amulets and crystals in a star formation and an animal sacrifice -- here are a few ways to add energy through action to the “prayer" you're doing for your husband and/or family.
Build them up with words, daily. Out loud.
Speaking good stuff over your family is the natural progression from private prayer. Your spoken words are so powerful and can build up and empower, or break down and depress just as easily. With our children, John and I praise and empower them constantly. After finding out John's love language is Words of Affirmation, I have been pouring into him with positivity and it shows. It makes me feel good seeing my children (and husband) beam with pride after I've verbally loved on 'em.
Pamper them and PAMPER YOURSELF!
I encourage you to substitute the word "pamper" with whatever quality it is you're hoping to make manifest in your family's lives. Spoil, encourage, praise, treat, respect, and acknowledge are just a few examples. There's a saying that you teach people how to treat you. There's also another saying that children *COUGH* and husbands *COUGH* do as they see and not as you say. For these reasons, it's important to not only treat them in the way you want to be treated, but also treat yourself the same way.
I wanted more compliments from my husband. I not only started complimenting him more, but I also started complimenting myself, out loud…in earshot. Hearing me say "damn I look good in this outfit" and "my hair looks so cute today" has sparked something in him to let me know he notices these things as well. The children have caught on and do the same. (Although we're working with Rohan to stop telling his sister she's "one handsome man.")
Work on an affirming project together.
I'm a big fan of the family project. This can be anything from a family date night, at-home movie and popcorn night, a monthly family meeting/check-in, or an actual hands-on project activity. Many couples and families get together to do projects: vision boards, bucket lists, art projects, planting a family herb garden, or making a family mission statement. You can also try out creating a family motto, secret handshake or dance move! The point is to shift the energy between the couple or the family. If you're sitting around praying for your husband to stop smoking and drinking, you may not have great results. But if you convince him into join you for a walk for charity, salsa lessons, or a daily bike ride, he may realize that his not-so-healthy habits are holding him back, and may slow down or even stop.
Encourage them to pray and take actions for themselves.
If you're praying for your husband or family member to make some sort of change in personality, habit or action (e.g. addiction), let me just tell you right now, you need to release that burden. It's not yours to carry, nor does your prayer do anything to impact it directly. What you can do is encourage them to do that energy work as well as make positive moves for themselves. I'm good for suggesting books and websites (once the door has been opened or I've been asked for my input). Once it's out there, let it be. Constantly bringing it up and asking (read: nagging) will not have the desired effect.
How ever you pray and to whom doesn't matter. As long as you follow those energetic efforts with action, you're sure to see an effect.
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