Encouragement for Today
“Marriage’s First Line of Defense – Prayer”
Sharon Jaynes, Vice President of Proverbs 31 Ministries Radio, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member
James 5:15, “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” (NIV)
I am always stunned when I hear someone say, “Well, I guess the only thing left to do is pray.” My goodness, I’ve even been shocked to hear those words come out of my own mouth. Prayer should never be seen as a last resort, but as a first line of defense. No matter what condition your marriage is in today, prayer will make it better. God can make a bad marriage good, and a good marriage great. Have you noticed that it’s hard to stay mad at someone when you are praying for them? Somehow walking into the throne room of God with a pack of anger and resentment strapped on your back doesn’t feel comfortable. I’ve noticed that when I am angry at my husband but begin to pray for him, God begins to soften my heart. Sometimes it’s hard to pray for our husbands when we are mad at them. But God tells us to “pray for our enemies.” How much more should we pray for our God-given, lifelong mate! In a marriage, we must begin with prayer, not because it’s our last resort, but because it’s our only hope.
Of all the roles and responsibilities God has given us as wives, the position of a prayer warrior or intercessor is perhaps the greatest of all. “Intercessor” is derived from the Greek word enteuxis, which means to go before a king with a petition or plea on behalf of someone else. In essence, it means the same thing today. We go before the King of Kings with a petition or plea on our husband’s behalf. In fact, praying for your husband is synonymous with praying for yourself. When we are married, we are joined together as one flesh. Therefore, praying for your man is like praying for the other half of your very being.
In the Bible, God describes the marriage of a man and a woman as a visual example of the spiritual union between Jesus Christ and the church (all Christians). Believers are called “the bride” of Christ. (Revelation 19:7) We are walking, talking, earthly examples of the heavenly relationship between God’s Son and those who believe on His name. However, there is someone who wants to destroy that living example, and his name is Satan. He desires to destroy that God-ordained-and-designed institution of marriage. He began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and continues his destructive tactics even today. He has proclaimed an all-out assault on the family, and he begins at the top – with the husband and wife.
So many times we fail to see the real enemy in our marital struggles. Paul explains: “For our struggle is not against the flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” (Ephesians 6:2) When I am having a conflict with my husband, I need to stop, take a deep breath, and think, Who is the real enemy here? There is a spiritual battle raging all around us that we can’t even see, but it is a greater reality than what our five senses detect. It’s a battle not to be feared, but to be recognized and fought in the only place where it can be won – in prayer.
To pray against the enemy for the sake of our husbands and our marriages, the Word of God is a divine weapon that must be utilized to its full capacity. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us that we have “weapons” (plural), not just a weapon in the singular tense. When prayer and the Word of God are combined, we will have a dynamic prayer life that will demolish, destroy, and divert the devil’s attacks. Satan loves it when we are busy, but he hates it when we pray. He would much rather we get all worried about our problems and try to work them out on our own. But when we light the gunpowder of God’s Word with the fire of our prayers, we have a powerful tool. When we pray we begin to take every thought captive that doesn’t line up with the truth (2 Corinthians 10:5). In a sense, we are renewing our minds or changing the way we think (Romans 12:2). And changing the way we think or believe is the first step to changing the way we act.
Yes, there is an enemy who wants to destroy, but there is also a Redeemer who wants us to have an abundant, fulfilling, and lifelong marriage. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (John 10:10, AMP). No wonder His first miracle was at a party – a wedding celebration, at that!
I know there are many of you who are reading this are hurting in your hearts over the state of your marriage and wondering, How did my marriage drift so far from where I hoped it would be? How did my marriage get to this state of desperation, mediocracy, frigidity, mutual tolerance, and coexistence? Is it too late for me? Is it too late for us? Friend, the answer is no – it’s not too late. I have good news for you. God’s specialty is resurrection. He excels at bringing life from death. And so can He alone bring back the life in your marriage that you desire when you are seeking Him with all of your heart.
My Prayer for Today:
Gracious Heavenly Husband, thank you for the gift of my husband who was created to be an earthly representative of Your love for me. Grant me the perseverance to continually pray for his needs, the state of his heart, and his relationship with You so that our marriage can glorify You the way You intended. Give me the wisdom to recognize the real enemy in our problems and help me to remember that my husband is Your workmanship – not mine.
Nagging vs. Praying
The best remedy to cure ourselves from being a nagging wife is to become a praying wife. Jesus invites us to stop nagging our husbands and begin nagging God! Men tend to have continual aversion to their wife’s nagging…drip, drip, drip. My dictionary defines nagging as to scold or find fault with repeatedly, to cause annoyance by scolding or repetition. Interestingly, a nag is also an inferior or aged horse. Here is a list of scripture references to remind you that being a nag is not the way to your husband’s heart:
God is the artist on the canvas of your husband’s life. When we grab the brush away from God, we are interfering with His work of art. Too many times we strive to conform our husbands into our image of the perfect mate, sabotaging God’s efforts to conform him into His image of the perfect man – Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For 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. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)
Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, by Sharon Jaynes
Capture His Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst
The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian