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. 🙁 I thought I was so spiritual, but wow, was my heart ever deceiving me – big time.
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.
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, bitterness (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). 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 obedience (by God’s power working in me, not my own strength) 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):
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. 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.
What I Admire about Godly Men – Part 1
What I Admire about Godly Men – Part 2