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Magnolia Plantation - April 2013

A Call to Prayer – For Our Husbands

 

Magnolia Plantation - April 2013
Magnolia Plantation – April 2013

 

Ladies,

I spent the first 14+ years of our marriage praying for Greg (sometimes for 4 hours/day) in ways that were actually full of sinful motives – unbeknownst to me. πŸ™ I thought I was so spiritual, but wow, was my heart ever deceiving me – big time.

Yikes.

Unsurprisingly, I didn’t see God answer my prayers during that time, even though some of the things I was praying for were things that were God’s will. So, I want to approach this subject with caution and sober minds and hearts. Prayer is wonderful. We are promised by God that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

The key is – I must be a righteous person before my prayers will be powerful or effective. I have no righteousness on my own. The only way I can appear righteous before the one Holy God of the universe is to be clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, fully trusting in all that He did for me on the cross and in His resurrection. My motives and my heart must be pure for me to pray with power and effectiveness. I can leave the timing and how each prayer is answered up to God.

That means:

1. I must belong to Christ. He must be my Savior and also my LORD. He must be my Master, and I must be fully submitted to Him, ready and willing to obey anything He asks me to do. I must hold nothing back from God.

2. I must not cherish any sin in my heart or God will not hear me – i.e.: pride, selfishness, self-righteousness, resentment, fear, unbelief, vengeance, bitternessΒ (against people or God), anger, hatred, idolatry (putting something above Christ in my heart and desiring the thing I am praying for more than I desire Christ – self, my will, happiness, my husband, my marriage, feeling loved, romance, children, etc).Β My motives must be purely to

A. Love, obey, and honor God

B. Love and bless my husband without seeking anything for myself (no ulterior motives, manipulation, or strings attached). This is God’s agape love that is described in I Corinthians 13:4-8 with which all believers are commanded to love all other people.

(These motives ensure that I am obeying the two Greatest Commandments Christ gave us in Matthew 22:38-39.)

4. I must be walking in joyful obedienceΒ (by God’s power working in me, not my own strength)Β to what God has shown me to do already according to His Word.

5. I must be Spirit-filled.

6. I must be humble before God and before my husband.

7. I must have proper reverence for God and respect for my husband.

  • For more about hindrances to prayer, please check out this post.
  • For a prayer to pray for yourself before you pray for your husband, please read this post.
  • To learn about how to show respect for our husbands’ God-given authority over us when we pray (based on I Corinthians 11:3-16), please read this post.

———————–

PRAYING FOR OUR HUSBANDS (and our brothers in Christ around the world – we will pray for our sisters in a future post):

Lord,

These precious men that You have given to us are Your dearly beloved sons if they are believers in Christ. If they are not yet believers in Christ, they are still deeply loved by You – men for whom Christ died – to make a way for them to have a relationship with God. You loved these men first. You loved them and knew them before You created the world. You love them more than we could ever begin to wrap our little minds and hearts around. They are so very valuable to You. Empower us to treat your sons (and future sons) well, to see them with Your eyes, and to love them with Your unspeakable, indescribable, immeasurable love.

We come before You with deep reverence for You as the wise Creator of men and women and with deep reverence for You as their Heavenly Father. Help us to see our own lives through a Father’s eyes. How are we treating Your dear sons? Help us to prayerfully, carefully evaluate our own hearts in the light of Your Word, yielding the darkest corners of our souls to Your Spirit’s blazing Light of Truth. Is there any sinful motive we have hidden from ourselves? Are we cherishing some secret bitterness, resentment, selfishness, pride, exalted thoughts of ourselves, or are we setting something else other than Christ on the throne of our lives? Are we holding something back or clinging to unbelief? Are we making something more important than Jesus in our hearts?

Open our eyes and convict us of every sin that we might humbly, brokenly repent with mourning and godly sorrow. Restore us to a right relationship with You, that we might walk daily in the power of Your Spirit and in obedience to Your Word so that we might be able to come before Your throne boldly to ask for mercy and grace in our time of need. There is no good in us on our own. The only good in us comes from You. We are totally dependent on Your Spirit’s power to work good in our hearts and to regenerate our spirits. Thank You for giving us new spirits, new hearts, and new minds in Christ! We pray that You might continue to make us more and more like Christ. Let us love what You love and hate what You hate.

We praise You that You only have good motives toward us, our husbands, our families, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. You alone are GOOD (Luke 18:19). You are not tempted to sin. You are not tempted by evil. You never tempt anyone to sin (James 1:13-15). We praise You that You are LOVE. You love us and You love our husbands and brothers with pure agape love that never fails (I Corinthians 13:4-8). You give nothing but GOOD gifts (James 1:17). Your definition of “good” may differ from ours. But Your definition of “good” is the best definition in the long run.

We lift up our dear husbands (and our brothers in Christ) to Your throne room in the highest heavens. We lay aside every selfish, prideful, self-righteous, vengeful, resentful, bitter, jealous, sinful thought. Cleanse our hearts! Purify and refine our motives that we might pray with great power, fervency, and BIG faith for our husbands and brothers in Christ. We long only for Your will for these men. We long only for Your glory in their lives and for You to bless them and set them apart for Your purposes.

  • Draw these men to Yourself by the power of Your Spirit.
  • We pray for a Great Awakening among our brothers in Christ and our husbands!!
  • Let us close ranks around these men and pray fervently for them as they face spiritual warfare and temptation daily.
  • Give them hearts that love You more than anything in the universe.
  • Let them be godly, Spirit-filled, holy, faithful, obedient men to You by Your definition, not ours.
  • Bless them with great faith in Christ!
  • Let them display God’s amazing design for masculinity – demonstrating Christ to everyone around them.
  • Let them grieve over their sins, filled with godly sorrow, and let them truly repent from all sin and turn fully to Christ.
  • Use us to bless, encourage, inspire, honor, respect, and do good to our husbands and brothers in Christ every day of our lives.
  • Let us extend the same grace, mercy, and forgiveness to our men that You have extended to us.
  • Let us walk by the power of Your Spirit instead of by our sinful flesh so that we might give up our sinful power to tear down, destroy, harm, and wound our husbands and our brothers – and that we might have gentle, peaceful spirits, full of faith in You, doing what is right in Your estimation, and beautiful in Your sight.
  • Let these men seek only to please, honor, love, and obey You.
  • Give them hearts and minds that are sensitive to Your voice and quick to obey You.
  • Accomplish Your greatest glory in their lives by Your power, not ours, and in Your timing, not ours!
  • Let them all hate sin as much as You do!
  • Let them walk daily in the victory over sin that Christ Jesus has provided for them.
  • Let them become the men You call them to be and accomplish Your purposes.
  • We trust Your Spirit to work in them and we leave room for You to speak to them and convict them of sin. We are not the Holy Spirit. Β Let us allow Him to do the opening blind eyes, convicting and bringing people to repentance. The position of “accuser” is also filled. Let us not ever join in to help the enemy!
  • Help us understand that our husbands are not the enemy. Our real enemy is not flesh and blood but the powers, principalities and forces of evil in this dark world. Let us stay fully submitted to You as LORD and then let us resist the devil so that he will flee from our marriages.
  • Give our men Your wisdom to lead, guide, protect, teach, provide for, and nurture our families according to Your will, not ours.
  • Let us be supportive, understanding, loyal, faithful, godly, Spirit-filled, prayerful, and willing to support their burden in the calling You have given to our men. Let us set aside our own will and seek Your will and seek to support Your mission in our husbands’ lives and in Your kingdom!
  • Give them Your wisdom as fathers and let them provide a godly, healthy, powerful example (by Your Spirit filling them) of who God is and what a real father is to their children and to others.
  • Let them be men of fervent, powerful, effectual prayer.
  • Let them deeply hunger for Your presence, Your Spirit, Your Word, and Your will.
  • Raise up this generation of men in the body of Christ, including our husbands, to become a godly generation, holy, set apart, and pleasing in Your sight. Use them to train the next generation in holiness, godliness, and Your ways.

 

RELATED

What I Admire about Godly MenΒ – Part 1

What I Admire about Godly Men – Part 2

 

 

20 thoughts on “A Call to Prayer – For Our Husbands

  1. April,

    April I thought I would share a bit of my journey as I have in the past which sounds not unlike your own way back. After thirty years of marriage my wife said enough and I have now been separated for nearly five months. During this agonising time I have gone through very serious repentance, significant deliverance, returning to God in a very significant way and recently deliverance of generational sin which really was at the core of my own idolatry and very self centered way of “loving” my wife. This separation has been so ridiculously important in allowing me to be in Christ first as He will have no one else before Him.

    My wife, as remarkably gracious, forgiving and generous as she is was just worn out from years of financial neglect and stress plus an emotionally disconnected husband who was basically a law unto himself. Little wonder she was worn out.

    Along the way I have been changing on the outside quickly and obviously but the change on the inside has been much slower and more composed. At the moment I am halfway through a 21 day fast of water and an occasional apple/carrot juice because I want to make sure that I am most definitely humbled before God to allow Him to do whatever work is necessary and also a physical separation if you like from who I was and who i am now.

    I have learned two very important things along the way. Firstly, for me, it has been imperative to be obedient first and then understanding always follows and secondly, that as I carry out that obedience, mostly the understanding that follows is that despite my eagerness for reconciliation He continually presses down into my heart and I continually see new areas in my heart that need resolving.

    As a husband (praying deeply for the return of his bride) I have learned that whilst a constantly praying wife may have resolved things less painfully I am so grateful for that same agony to bring me to a most joyful and amazing relationship with Christ. Once again, thank you so much for your constant and vigilant commitment to protecting an area that has been so under attack.

    1. Gary,

      Sometimes it takes the really painful times in our lives for us to “get it” and to understand that this is all about us turning fully to Christ. I hate that you have both gone through so much pain, but I am thrilled about the way your walk with Christ is blossoming and thriving. That is ultimately more than worth the pain!

      How I praise God for what He is teaching you, my precious brother! I thank you for sharing your story and pray with you for God’s will, His greatest glory, and His healing for you, your wife, and your family.

      Thank you for the encouragement. I pray that God might be greatly exalted here! And I pray that many might come and drink from the streams of Living Water flowing freely here.

  2. Praise the Lord – what a beautiful prayer! Not a hint of, “They’re WRONG, Lord – change them!” Everything is tempered with a godly humility and respect… I love it! I have a feeling that since the Lord revealed the sinful attitude you used to have, the tone of your prayers has changed greatly from what they once were. πŸ™‚ I really needed this encouragement – I’ve been struggling with not sounding testy or upset because of the way pregnancy is messing with my body at this point (I feel nauseated and dizzy on a regular basis lately). I want to be positive and encouraging… I’m just not completely sure how to be as peppy sounding as I want to be when I feel as yucky as I do. Cam’s really understanding… he knows my tone hasn’t changed because I’m mad at him, it’s just my “I don’t feel well” tone. Still, I would like to do better.

    Thank you for allowing me to read this… my prayer is that I will emulate this prayer in my daily life, regardless of how I may be feeling. πŸ™‚

    1. Wow!! What a powerful prayer!! Its about love, compassion, and selflessness. In the past, my prayers were about what I need and to change my husband. Im learning to take personal inventory of myself and make sure I’m being obedient to God’s Word as well. God taught me how to extend the same grace that He extends to me to my husband. Seeing our husbands through God’s eyes is the key!

      Beautiful prayer!!

      1. Shirley,
        Yes, that is what my prayers were in the past – “God, give me this thing I want and change my husband so I feel more loved.” πŸ™ Not good.

        I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart! I love that you are looking at yourself first and extending God’s grace to your husband! WOOHOO! How I praise God for His amazing ability to transform our hearts, minds, and souls and to change our perspective to begin to match His own. What a priceless gift!

    2. BlessedOut,

      Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!! Those hormones do create additional challenges to God’s commands for us to respect and honor our husbands. But I praise God that He is able to give you victory and His Spirit’s power even during pregnancy, my sweet sister. πŸ™‚

      Yes, God has completely revamped and renovated my heart, soul, mind, and my prayers. My attitude is completely different now. I haven’t seen God answer all of my prayers. But I have seen Him answer SO VERY MANY. And I trust Him with the timing of the ones that are not answered yet. I just rest in His sovereignty, love, and provision.

      For me, when I am exhausted, sick, hormonal, rushing, etc… I have to very consciously focus on my tone of voice, or that old edgy tone of voice will come back. I am not perfect at it when I am not feeling well, either. So thankful for grace from God and from our husbands!

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your life. πŸ™‚ Thank you very much for sharing!

  3. April bless you! I wanted to share how you posted has blessed my spirit. I not marry but I believe it’s following in the near future. Preparation is very important to have a successful relationship with another one. Being conscious and accountable for our behavior set the tone for a purposeful relationship. The testimonies God give you to share and expound on does my spirit well. Thank you for your submission to Christ and answering your calling to help build the Body of Kingdom.

    1. PrayerfulAwaiting,

      Preparing to be married in a God-honoring way is SO IMPORTANT! I praise God that He is already working in your heart.

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you on your walk with Christ. πŸ™‚

  4. Thank you for this uplifting and inspiring post! I believe was just like the ‘old you’ April, but God has been dealing with me in the past few weeks – finding your blog has been part of it – and I have had to do SO much repenting.
    My main area of resentment was over my husband not being a Christian (yet!) I became a Christian 12 yrs ago, after we had already been married 9 yrs. My prayers have been all about him believing, and God changing my husband to make him realise that it’s his fault that I can’t share the most important thing in my life with him!! And it was ALL his fault!!! πŸ™
    I have only just realised that I was the one who brought this third person, Jesus, into the marriage! If it is anyone’s ‘fault’ it’s mine! He didn’t do anything wrong, he was the same amazing guy I married. I am so very blessed in this regard as he is a wonderful, loving husband and dad.
    For everyone struggling with an unsaved husband, try and see it from his perspective. Suddenly I had changed, I was ‘in love’ with an invisible person he doesn’t believe exists, I’m off to church and church events all the time, and he felt pushed out and ‘second best’.
    Over the years, alot has changed for better in this regard and I have learned to balance family with God and also got Spirit-filled and generally wiser about how I dealt with things…. BUT only recently have I begun to grasp how disrespecting of him I’ve been. Controlling, demanding, selfish – ugh, I am so ashamed. I have also realised recently how many idols I have in my life: my children, my own happiness, my children’s salvation, my future plans, my job (I’m a Christian youthworker so how can that be wrong?!!! It was!) so I have had to repent and repent and repent. And God has been amazing and He has revealed so much lately, but I am still very much a work in progress.
    Praise Him, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! All I want to do is bring Him glory, and honour Him with my whole life. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” Psalm 51:10
    Thank you April, for being a beacon of light and honesty. Keep honouring Jesus in all you do!

    1. Sus,

      Boy, can I relate to having to do a ton of repenting! When God first opened my eyes to my sin in December of 2008, I spent hours every day for about 6 weeks seeing more and more sin and repenting of it. I had to go to almost everyone in my life and repent for my pride, control, disrespect, self-righteousness, gossiping, bitterness… Whew! I felt like I needed those huge industrial sized dump trucks that are used in quarries to dump my load of sin into every day.

      BUT – it was SO SO SO SO SO worth it!

      I have a number of posts for wives whose husbands are not believers yet. There is a “category” section on the right column of my home page, you can find topics about “winning him without a word” and “respecting a husband who is not a believer.”

      Here are a few amazing posts:

      When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God
      My Secret Idol
      My Demon
      If I Obey God, then God OWES Me a Godly Husband, Right?
      Why Do I Have to Change First?
      I REALLY Want Him to Change Too!

      Also, you may want to search my home page for:
      – idol
      – idolatry
      – lead
      – leader

      Is your husband happy with the balance you have in your life now with church?

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your life and all that He has in store! Praying for you – for regeneration and sanctification. And praying for God to draw your husband to Himself in His timing for His greatest glory and for your husband’s greatest good.

      Much love to you!!!!!

      1. Thank you so much April, for replying and for loving all of us on here like sisters. There is so so much that has been useful and illuminating to me on your blog already, especially about idols and ways to show respect, etc. And I didn’t realise you had a ‘section’ for unsaved husbands!! πŸ™‚ I will have to read it and re-read it, when I have time, but don’t worry, not as a replacement for God’s Word! πŸ™‚
        Yes, the God/church/family balance is about right, or at least better now, I think. Over the years my husband has accepted my involvement with church and now my job which is part of it. Bless him, he has been SO understanding of all the demands on me from the young people I work with. I have also realised today that I have made an idol out of wanting the young people saved too! I am desperate for them to know and receive Jesus, and so so happy when they do, that I never realised that this in itself was actually quite sinful, because it is one of the most important things in my life! But although that probably sounds reasonable for a youthworker, and even from the loving heart that Jesus has given me for them all, I realised that they had become my ‘treasures on earth’!! (I’ve given them all back to Him today in prayer!)

        So yes, my husband has had to put up with alot in terms of ‘sharing’ me, and I have only just realised this! I have now been thanking him constantly, and admiring him for all the things that I have taken for granted for years!
        God is awesome! He is showing me my husband through new eyes!
        God bless you, and thank you for taking the trouble to reply. I am excited too! What a journey we are all on! πŸ™‚

        1. Sus,

          You are most welcome! Y’all ARE my sisters! We are going to get to be sisters forever together!!!! I’m so excited to get to meet each of you one day – whether on earth or in heaven. We are closer than blood relatives on earth. I’m so thankful for the Body of Christ!

          I’m glad to hear that the balance is going better. Balance can be so difficult! Ministry to others can seem VERY, VERY important. And it is! But, God must come first, and our husbands next, and our children. Desiring to see your husband saved and these teenagers saved – is a GOOD thing. But it is important to keep Christ as the center of it all and the main thing. πŸ™‚ As I know you see now. πŸ™‚

          I am so excited for you and for being on this road together. What a blessing you are to me already!

          Much love, my precious sister!

  5. Wow- this is such a great prayer – one to keep referring back to. Thank you April. It is so powerful. I wish I had always known to pray like that. The prayer that really struck me in the heart was:

    “β€’We trust Your Spirit to work in them and we leave room for You to speak to them and convict them of sin. We are not the Holy Spirit. Let us allow Him to do the opening blind eyes, convicting and bringing people to repentance. The position of β€œaccuser” is also filled. Let us not ever join in to help the enemy!”

    Wow!! I keep getting this wrong. I swing from trying to be super helpful (I am not his Holy Spirit) and then I get really hurt and angry and remind him of all his failings (his accuser).:( πŸ™ I have so much to learn before marriage. Thank you for your insightful prayers April – they are so on point.

    1. Happy Wife,

      That is where I stayed for so many years in our marriage – trying to either fill the Holy Spirit’s position (not very well, I might add), or aiding the enemy by joining with him to accuse Greg. Sadly, I was a lot better at the role of accuser.

      I’m glad that this was a blessing – YES! I wish I had always known to pray like this, too. But – we learn and grow in stages and steps. That is how life is. πŸ™‚ I praise God He is allowing you to learn these things now, not many years into marriage.

      Much love, my precious sister!

  6. Those are some powerful points you make about men. I really believe that if more men were to be real men, (caring, loving, just, responsible spiritual leaders) that couples would have be so much happier. I know by having a wife who submitted to me it MADE me become more of that man. A man with plenty of room to grow though also. By doing what you, so many ladies here and what my wife does, I believe that the man in your life has the best chance at becoming that person he should be.

    1. Wayne,

      I completely agree! When we are living out God’s design and walking in obedience to Him – there is joy and intimacy in such a greater level in every way. I love your story! Thank you so much for sharing your perspective, my brother!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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