Pray for Your Husband
- Tuesday, October 02, 2001
First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that the power of a praying wife is not a means of gaining control over your husband, so don't get your hopes up! In fact, it is quite the opposite. It's laying down all claim to power in and of yourself, and relying on God's power to transform you, your husband, your circumstances, and your marriage. This power is not given to wield like a weapon in order to beat back an unruly beast. It's a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a wife who longs to do right more than be right, and to give life more than get even. It's a way to invite God's power into your husband's life for his greatest blessing, which is ultimately yours, too.
When my husband, Michael, and I were first married and differences arose between us, praying was definitely not my first thought. In fact, it was closer to a last resort. I tried other methods first such as arguing, pleading, ignoring, avoiding, confronting, debating, and of course the ever-popular silent treatment, all with far less than satisfying results. It took some time to realize that by praying first, these unpleasant methods of operation could be avoided.
By the time you read this book, Michael and I will have been married over a quarter of a century. This is nothing less than miraculous. It's certainly not a testimony to our greatness, but to God's faithfulness to answer prayer. I confess that even after all these years, I am still learning about this and it doesn't come easy. While I may not have as much practice doing it right as I have had doing it wrong, I can say without reservation that prayer works.
Unfortunately, I didn't learn how to really pray for my husband until I started praying for my children. As I saw profound answers to prayer for them, I decided to try being just as detailed and fervent in praying for him. But I found that praying for children is far easier. From the first moment we lay eyes on them, we want the best for their lives - unconditionally, wholeheartedly, without question. But with a husband, it's often not that simple - especially for someone who's been married awhile. A husband can hurt your feelings, be inconsiderate, uncaring, abusive, irritating, or negligent. He can say or do things that pierce your heart like a sliver. And every time you start to pray for him, you find the sliver festering. It's obvious you can't give yourself to praying the way God wants you to until you are rid of it.
Praying for your husband is not the same as praying for a child (even though it may seem similar), because you are not your husband's mother. We have authority over our children that is given to us by the Lord. We don't have authority over our husbands. However, we have been given authority "over all the power of the enemy" (Luke 10:19) and can do great damage to the enemy's plans when we pray. Many difficult things that happen in a marriage relationship are actually part of the enemy's plan set up for its demise. But we can say, "I will not allow anything to destroy my marriage."
"I will not stand by and watch my husband be wearied, beaten down, or destroyed."
"I will not sit idle while an invisible wall goes up between us."
"I will not allow confusion, miscommunication, wrong attitudes, and bad choices to erode what we are trying to build together."
"I will not tolerate hurt and unforgiveness leading us to divorce."
We can take a stand against any negative influences in our marriage relationship and know that God has given us authority in His name to back it up.
You have the means to establish a hedge of protection around your marriage because Jesus said, "Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 18:18). You have authority in the name of Jesus to stop evil and permit good. You can submit to God in prayer whatever
controls your husband -- alcoholism, workaholism, laziness, depression, infirmity, abusiveness, anxiety, fear, or failure -- and pray for him to be released from it.
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