Last month I shared an article called No One Is Born a Prayer Warrior. This month I have some encouraging news about one man’s journey in learning to pray for his wife. This is one of the FASTEST turn-arounds I’ve ever had the privilege of watching because what I am about to share happened within less than 3 weeks.
Although Jehovah’s Witnesses had a heavy influence on this man’s wife after 2 years of studying with them, it wasn’t until he contacted us at the end of January that the power of prayer proved to be a heavier influence. When he found out about her Bible study, he began to do his own research on the Watchtower organization. He understood that barraging his wife all at once with the information he found would only drive the wedge deeper, so he sought support and prayer from others in our Worldwide Ex-JW Support Meetup group with his first post on February 6, 2017, one week after contacting our ministry.
“I recently found out my wife of 15 years has become a student of JW. Turns out she has been secretly attending bible study for over 2 years. It only came to light for me because she started going to meeting on Sunday and had to explain why she was dressed up. I have read much on both sides of this and I fear for the health of my marriage as she gets drawn further into this cult. I ask for you to pray our Lord will show her she is on the wrong path and help her find her way back to him. I ask for you to pray for me to find the strength and patience to help her and the fortitude to keep my marriage together and not give up.”
Several in that group prayed for him. A few days later he shared,
“The last couple of weeks I have started praying while she is gone. Mondays I have been praying several times. By Tuesday afternoon I feel much better like things will work out eventually. Thursday starts the downward cycle again as I know she has study Thursday. I am going to try praying more throughout the week to see if it will help level out my feelings. I would rather not be sick and angry every Sunday as I know it will not help anything. I realize I cannot force her out of JW. I just need to learn to deal with this opportunity the Lord has provided me. After all, her actions have brought me closer to him. Maybe that is his plan for me all along knowing he will get her back eventually. Everyone says the Lord works in mysterious ways.”
Later he shared this,
“I have never before turned to prayer on a regular basis. I now have several moments when I do everyday. I never understood the power of prayer and dismissed it as a waste of time. I can feel it now. It is coming easier and I feel more peaceful in general. Being a very fact and science type it is difficult for me to explain but I have decided to accept it and see where it leads me. Thank you for helping me open my mind to this new found spirituality. I am hoping to have a conversation with her on Sunday evening about JW. I will let you know if it happens. I have discovered something else interesting to me. I have started spontaneously praying for others.”
This is not the first time I’ve noticed how God can deepen the prayer life of someone concerned for a loved one. This man was discovering that even if there were no answer to his supplications for his wife, the Lord was doing a work in him!
So he continued to pray and then on Feb 11 he shared how God laid Proverbs 19:2 on his heart. In The New World Translation it is rendered this way, “A person without knowledge is not good, And the one who acts rashly is sinning.” He said it seemed to speak to the situation with his wife rushing into the Watchtower organization without fully understanding it. I replied back telling him how much I liked that approach because it is merely encouraging her to obey Jehovah’s word to make an informed decision. If it is “the truth” it will survive scrutiny. But if she refuses to even look, she is sinning before the very God she claims to worship. I thanked God for the wisdom and the word He gave and prayed for courage to carry it the next step and speak it out to his wife. I also had opportunity to include others in that prayer on Sunday night, February 12. Once a month Christy Darlington of Witnesses for Jesus, Inc hosts a conference call for members of her team to pray together. That night we prayed for this situation including that this word from Proverbs 19:2 would go forth and not come back without result. The next day I got a personal message from him stating that he had asked his wife to read Proverbs 19:2 and also if she’d be willing to watch a testimony of a former JW. She agreed and together that night they watched the testimony I shared in 2011 at the Witnesses Now For Jesus conference of how I entered the Watchtower as an adult believing it was “the truth” and then later come out. He said if anything he hoped it planted a few seeds of doubt in her mind. Three times throughout the day he asked her why she took an interest in the JWs. Twice she evaded the question but finally said, “I want to find the truth.” He asked how she could find the truth from an organization that does not allow a person to fact check on their own.
This brings us up to Tuesday, February 14 the day of our monthly on line prayer meeting. That morning I listed several names and situations within that thread so others could agree in prayer with me. One member looked it over and wrote this,
“I want to especially pray for this man and his wife that she come to know the Lord. I know his pain! I know where is coming from! I know the agony and hopelessness because I’ve been there. I almost lost my marriage because the Watchtower serpent almost ruined it. I pray, precious Lord, for him and his wife. I pray you save their marriage! I pray nothing, not wicked spirit, not sinful man come between them anymore. I pray she see the light and that I command all evil oppressing his marriage to leave now in the name of Jesus! For you, Lord hold marriage with such sanctity. I pray you stop all things from coming between and that you loose her from the hold of the Watchtower. Open her eyes and her heart, Lord. Amen!”
That received several “Amens!” from others gathered to agree in prayer. Later that evening, he sent this via personal messenger,
“Wow, my opening up to her really must have hit home. I told her I would be willing to try visiting any Christian church or bible study. I mentioned a couple of local churches that I would be willing to go to with her if she wanted me to. I got a text from her at work today telling me the Episcopal church had services at 8 and 10:30. I said yes I know I have looked. She then asked if we could go to the 10:30 service this Sunday! When I got home tonight we had another talk about everything and she told me she was through with JW! She hasn’t told her mentor yet so we will see how she feels about it once she gets the guilt laid on her. I know there will still be much brainwashing to overcome but I feel hopeful. Even if this does not work out at least she is open to explore other possibilities. Thank you for all of your prayers.”
Needless to say, I was thrilled and burst out with a Hallelujah, thank ya JeeeeeeeeeesssuUS!!! and a praise for the breakthrough. I thanked God for moving this husband in prayer and giving him wisdom from the word. I thanked God for softening her heart and not only putting a line between her and the Watchtower but also giving to them both the HOPE of reconciliation in their marriage and their worship of the only wise king deserving of our praise: JESUS!
Early on Sunday morning, February 19, he posted on our Meetup discussion group thanking everyone for praying.
“Your prayers along with my own gave me the strength to talk to her about JW and tell her how I felt. We have had several discussions this last week and she did not have her weekly bible study because of them. Today we are going to a real Christian church together for the first time in many years. I am hopeful this will be the start of a new chapter in our lives. The chapter where we bring the Lord Jesus Christ back into our lives for good.”
He reported back that they attended church that day and she liked everything about it. They even stayed for coffee fellowship until they started putting tables away and she is already talking about going to more than just the Sunday service! Wow. Don’t stop praying. God is good.
Keep yourself in God’s love,