What’s the most intimate thing you’ve ever done for your husband? Don’t say it out loud, just keep it in mind…
I want to suggest that the most intimate act you can share happens as you’re praying for your husband from head to toe. I’m not suggesting you mentally picture him and pray over each and every body part. I’m suggesting you pray for him with your whole heart, without any malice or bias or intent to get him to magically morph into the person you want him to be.
I’m suggesting that you pray that God make your husband like David (minus the murderous act and adultery). It’s not that I love everything David did. I love David’s heart. I love his relationship with God. What I love about David’s relationship with God is that after it was all said and done, God said David was a man after His own heart.
Wouldn’t you love to know that the man you sleep next to each night is a man after God’s own heart?
When you pray for your husband, you are praying for his heart. You’re praying for his love and intimacy with God. You’re praying for his soul – and that’s the most intimate act we as humans can participate in.
Why Does Your Husband Need Your Prayers?
Before getting married, while still swimming amongst the sharks that make up the dating pool, I often prayed about my love life. I prayed for whoever my boyfriend was at the time. Most of the time, I was praying for them to have a relationship with God. At the time, I seemed to date guys who didn’t value their relationship with God as much as I did (read: they didn’t value their relationship with God at all). So I often found myself begging and pleading with God to get the two of us on the same spiritual page. When that didn’t work, I’d fast and pray or call two or three together to pray in His name with me.
Sometimes, we can take it for granted that someone who is in a relationship with God still needs our earnest prayers. It’s rough out there in the streets (and in the office building, in the car, at the mall, everywhere). No matter where he goes, your man needs a little extra something that can only be provided by God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
My biggest struggle with praying for my husband is realising it’s for his benefit, not just to make him into the man I want him to be.
You’re on the Same Team!
I love playing team sports (which is funny because I’m such an independent person). Marriage is like playing a team sport. You’re always trying to find ways to pass the ball, give a shout of encouragement or a slap on the rear in support. When I talk about praying for you husband, I mean praying prayer for strength, health and healing. Not just praying that he’ll start to pick his clothes up off the floor-drobe. There is power in prayer.
Sometimes men can be stubborn. Heck! All of us can be stubborn sometimes. Visit Pete and I when he’s trying to make me do something. The stubborn streak really comes out of me then. As wives, if we are encouraging our husbands in the right direction, if we are trying to inspire our husbands to walk in a Godly way, the best thing we can do is stop nagging and start praying. (I need to take a taste of my own medicine here!)
I once heard a friend say, “When my wife nags me about something, it just makes me hunker down and become more stubborn about the issue.” In contrast, he said, when his wife prayed for him, things were really different. “Watch out when my wife prays for me!” It’s silent but effective! He told Pete and I that whenever his wife prays for him over something she’s convicted he should change, something happens in his heart. The Holy Spirit is able to change him in a way that her nagging words never could. It’s not about praying selfishly, but praying with your husband’s best interest in mind.
Before you go getting all excited – mentally setting up a shrine to God to get your husband to pick up his clothes off the floor or help with laundry or the kids – let me clarify that that’s not exactly the type of change I’m talking about.
When Was the Last Time You Found Yourself Praying for Your Husband?
When was the last time you stopped to pray for you husband? I mean really, sincerely pray for him? Place his name before God? Do you ever stop to think about what your husband is going through instead of thinking of how he can do this or that better? Have you ever stopped to think of the pressure he must feel at times in the relationship, especially if he’s a father as well as your husband?
5 Ways Praying for Him Can Really Change Things
I’m not sure what your current situation is. I don’t know if your marriage is on the verge of breaking up. I’m not sure if your husband is sick. Perhaps he’s out of a job. Or perhaps there’s no extraordinary situation; maybe you just want to lift him up in prayer.
I want to share 5 ways praying for your husband can really change things. They might surprise you!
- Laying everything at Jesus’ feet changes the way you see your husband’s flaws: There’s this crazy thing called perspective. Talk to any girlfriend, hoping to become a fiancée or newly married wife and you’ll get a much difference perspective than you will from a woman married for 20 years. Why is that? Why do we forget those things which first excited us about our spouse? When we kneel before God and pray for our husbands, we gain perspective. We begin to see ourselves in comparison to the beautiful perfection of Jesus. We begin to see ourselves in the story of the debtor who owed a creditor a lot and was forgiven but was unable to forgive the man who just owed him a little bit . When we lose perspective and all we’re able to see are our husband’s faults, praying for him can help us bring it all back into perspective. There is something absolutely beautiful and wonderful about the man to whom you said “I DO”. Ask God to give you perspective.
- Taking it to God in prayer takes the responsibility out of your hands: There is this stereotype about men that they can’t just listen to a problem, they also have to try to solve it. I’ll bet that women suffer from this as well. My mind spins into over drive when I hear people’s problems. I start to conjure up ways we can fix the problems. Are there things about your husband that worry you? Things that realistically you have no control over? Why not put the responsibility in God’s hands? When you pray for your husband, you shorten your to do list. You take a responsibility off of your shoulders and you give it to God to worry about. That sounds like a sweet deal to me!
- Lifting him up in prayer offers him the strongest support you can give: Sometimes we worry about whether or not we are there enough for our husbands. Are we taking care of him? Are we being supportive? I’m not saying to pray and then do nothing. I’m saying the strongest support you have to offer him is the support that God has to offer. It seems counterintuitive that the strongest thing you can do is to entrust it to a God whom you cannot physically see. I always find comfort in Genesis 1:1, which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” While it might seem to be a simple verse, it comforts me because it gives me assurance that God is in control of each and every situation. So when you’re looking over your situation and your marriage and your husband, know that the strong support you can offer him is through your consistent and dedicated prayers.
- Praying for your husband changes your relationship: It’s hard to be mad at someone when you’re also praying for them. Prayer shifts the mood. It shifts your attitude. When you pray in private for your husband, you’ll be more likely to pray with him as well. Even though couples are Christian, it doesn’t mean they pray together. It’s estimated that less than 8% of Christian couples set aside regular times to pray together. Imagine the shift that might take place in the middle of an argument if you would suggest praying. If nothing else, it would press the pause button and give you both a moment to cool down. Prayer changes things.
- Praying for your husband changes you: The most unexpected result of praying for your husband is that it changes you! That’s right…you. We can’t control anyone in this life. Even our children – we can only control them for a little while before they realise they are their own people and then they start making their own decisions. I remember praying intensely for a friend. I longed to see changes in his life. I dedicated myself to praying for him. One day, in the middle of my prayer, I remember sensing God saying to me, Rachel, do you only want to pray for this person? What about yourself? You don’t need prayer? You’ve been spending so much time praying for him, you’ve neglected praying for yourself. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is that the change needs to take place in us and not in the other person.
I love what blogger Selena Frederick says on her blog FierceMarriage: “There’s something intimate and bonding about praying for your husband because only you know some of the battles that he’s facing personally; maybe at work or in a family relationship.”
Praying for your husband is a beautiful privilege. I won’t pretend that it’s a magic bullet because it isn’t. Marriage is a beautiful journey. It’s so much fun when it’s built on a beautiful friendship and is enhanced by physical intimacy. Prayer is the glue that sticks it all together.
What has your experience been with prayer and praying for your husband? Have you tried it before? Has it made a difference?