By Robin Sam
DOES your husband need your prayers? Silly as it may sound it is incredible how many nominal Christian women do not realize the need to pray for their husbands. If you are a married woman, I would like you to get this first: Your husband needs your prayers as much as you have need of his.
If your husband’s parents are alive, and if they are believers, then be assured that they will pray for him. However, when you, his helpmate, pray for him God’s merciful hands will work in his favour. You need to have no doubt in it. And, God will make your husband testify like the psalmist in Psalm 94:18, ‘If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.’
Although men and women are similar in many behavioural traits, there is a huge difference in their mindscape. The Bible says, when God created the earth, he appointed man to rule over it. Eve was created as the helpmate for Adam. By that divine decision, God did not ask man to subjugate woman but gave him the supreme mandate to rule over the household (Genesis 3:16). We must not infer this in a wrong sense. Women should understand that they are equal heirs with men in a spiritual inheritance. However just as Christ is the head of the church, man is the head of the family (Ephesians 5:23). To get this right is the first step towards living a spiritually fulfilling family life.
If you agree with me that you as a spiritual partner of your husband have a great role to play by being the one who will pray for him every day and night, then we will move on to the 7 powerful ways you can pray over your husband.
- Pray that he will stand firm in his faith
Dear Father God, I pray that you will help him to love you always and serve you wholeheartedly. Help him in his resolve to live for you as a Kingdom man. Make him, like David, a man after your own heart. Make him stand firm in his faith and be alert to the falsities of life and wrong doctrines. Give him the grace to ‘Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.’ Let all that he does be done with love (1 Corinthians 16:13). May the purpose for which you created him be fulfilled in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
- Pray that he will gain honour and standing in his life
In Job 29, the beleaguered man tells his ‘comforters’ how his life was before Satan played havoc. I would like you to read the chapter carefully. What was Job’s standing in the society? Job 1:3 says that the man was ‘the greatest of all the people of the East.’ That he was the greatest of the people of his times in his land meant that he had quite a few blessings and divine privileges. We will examine some of them here. God watched over him in those days (Job 29: 2). God’s lamp shone upon his head (verse 3). His friendly counsel was over Job’s tent (verse 4). The Almighty was with him (verse 5). There was prosperity in his house (verse 6). He had honour at home, in the city and in the open square (verses 7-9). He had more honour than the nobles (verse 10). He had a great testimony at home and in the open (verses 11, 12-16). He was righteous, blessed and a do-gooder (verses 13, 14).
How was it possible for Job to be such a blessed man? God has revealed the answer to the question in the very first verse of the first chapter of Job. While the moral of the story is only revealed at the end of fables, in the book of Job the message that you and I need to draw is laid out in the very beginning. And, what’s the message? The four qualities of Job. Job was blameless, upright, God-fearing and evil-shunning. Would you like your husband to be a man like Job? Would you like him to receive the honour, standing and blessings that Job received? There’s only one way! And, that’s to live like Job did. So pray that your husband will live like Job – as an upright, blameless and God-fearing man who shuns evil.
Pray that his prayers will be answered
1 John 3:22 says, ‘And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ How can we get our prayers answered by God? By keeping His commandments. It’s that simple. We must keep them even when they seem burdensome. The good news is Jesus Himself has said: ‘My yoke is easy and my burden is light (Matthew 11:30). I urge you to pray this prayer first for your life and then for your spouse’s. The key to answered prayers is keeping God’s commandments. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, says James 5:16.
- Pray that he will remain steadfast in his calling
The Spirit of God who made Paul write of the importance of being ‘brave’ and ‘strong’ (1 Corinthians 16:13) also made the apostle write the epistle to Ephesians. The first verse in Ephesians 1 urges us to ‘walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.’ That’s the advice Paul gives to the church in Ephesus.
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to follow too. Do you know what your calling is? Does your husband know the calling of God upon his life? If neither of you know it, I pray God will reveal it to you in the coming days. If you know what your calling is, I pray to God that He will give you the grace to walk worthy of it, too.
- Pray that he will love you just like Christ loves the church
The love that Christ showers upon His church is selfless and limitless. How did God the Father love the world? John 3:16 says, ‘For God SO loved the world…’ (emphasis mine). Because of the limitations of our mind we tend to think that there is a certain height, depth and width to God’s love (Ephesians 3:18,19). Nothing could be possibly farther from the truth. God’s love is infinite, just like His glory, power and might are infinite (Psalm 139:1,2). It is way beyond our comprehension and too high for our knowledge.
Now, ponder over Apostle Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:25, ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.’ Do you think it’s a tall order? I think not! Yes, it’s difficult when we attempt to do it with our strength. However, it is possible with God’s grace (Luke 18:27). When some of us find it difficult to love ourselves, loving others – just as Christ also loved the church – would be difficult too, but it is not impossible.
- Pray that he will show Christ to your children through his life
Eli must have been a loving dad to his children, Hophni and Phinehas. The children of such a great man of God ought to have been God’s favourites, too, but the Bible calls them ‘scoundrels’, ‘good-for-nothing priests’. Eli did not get any commendation from God for being a loving and doting dad. On the contrary, God was disappointed with him over his parenting style – laidback and leisurely. Matthew Henry says, ‘Eli shunned trouble and exertion.’ To be fair to Eli, he did question his sons over their wayward ways (1 Samuel 2:23) and he did advise them (verse 24). But he stopped at that. 1 Corinthians 4:20 says, ‘For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.’ Even after being told by Samuel about the impending judgment of God upon his family, we see Eli being quite nonchalant and unrepentant. ‘And he said, “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him’ (1 Samuel 3:18).
King David was, of course, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but sadly he failed as a father. The man, who was one of the best kings to rule over Israel, fell into sin with Bathsheba and did a dastardly act to hide his sin. Ultimately, his past caught up with him (2 Samuel 12:7).
If this happened to the man after God’s own heart, where would we be if we don’t watch out? If you have prayed for your husband’s honour and standing, you now need to pray that he will have a great testimony in his life. Only a good witness can proclaim the truth. Pray for your husband keeping in mind that only in such a life God’s Word will powerfully manifest itself.
- Pray he will be a man who takes charge of the family
Remember God is not just looking for men, but Kingdom men. It’s the Kingdom man who leads his family from the front. He does not shirk his responsibility towards the family. He does not take lightly his role as the breadwinner of the family. The Kingdom man knows his job does not get over with fathering a few children. He does whatever is in his might (and whatever is right before God) to prosper the family.
Therefore, pray that God will bless the work of your husband’s hands. Pray that he will be blessed in the city and in the country (Deuteronomy 28:3). That he will be watched over when he comes in and when he goes out (Psalm 121:8). Pray that your husband will never resort to shortcuts to success. Pray that he will always lean on to God to meet his needs and the needs of the family (Philippians 4:19; 1 Timothy 5:8).
You can pray over him in a lot more ways but if you have begun praying for the 7 ways in which your husband can be blessed by the Lord, it is a good start. I pray that God will enable you to pray wholeheartedly for your spouse and that through your prayers God will command a breakthrough, a blessing into your life, the life of your husband and that of your children. In Jesus’ matchless name, I pray, Amen.