Ray and Beth by Sea of Galiee, Israel
If you’ve been married long enough, you will probably feel as Billy Graham’s wife Ruth did when a reporter asked her one time: “Have you ever considered divorcing your husband?” “Divorce?” she said, looking shocked. “Oh, no, never! But murder, yes!”
It’s an amusing story (and so true for those of us who are married, hmmm?). For sure, our husbands can get on our last nerve sometimes!
Personality differences, the daily grind of our work and chores, bills that never seem to cease, demanding children and their needs, fatigue, stress, and unexpected crises can deeply affect a marriage and marital intimacy. With our full, busy lives, we have to make time in our schedule for fun dates, romance, just the two of you spending time together and talking, like you did when you dated. One of the greatest things you can do to strengthen your marriage is to pray for your husband.
The Bible says in James 5:16, “The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” Your prayers for your husband are powerful! They make a difference in your husband’s life! Pray for him every day, even several times a day.
Here are some tips for how to pray for your husband (and what to pray for):
Pray for his relationship with God. This is first, and foremost, and affects every area of his life. “But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:31) As your husband grows closer to God, he will experience fulfillment, peace, and joy in God’s presence and God’s continual favor and blessings. Psalm 112:1 says, “Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” As he seeks God’s face, he will receive the direction and wisdom he needs to lead your family and your home.
Pray for your marriage. This is second under his relationship with God. My husband Ray tells me that when he and I are not getting along and are arguing, he can’t concentrate at work or on anything. Our marriage affects his emotional and spiritual well-being. Pray for God to unite you as one flesh. “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and he brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed.“This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” (Genesis 2:22-24, NLT)
Pray for God to help you to honor and love your husband each day. Respect is what men desire from their wives. Ray tells me that he can conquer anything and overcome any difficulty or obstacle, if he knows I am on his side, supporting him. Pray for God to give your husband an agape love for you, so he will love you sacrificially as Christ loves the church – love is what women need to thrive!
When children are born, and as the husband’s (and/or wife’s) work demands more attention and responsibility, it becomes harder to devote time to the marriage. But it is vital. Take time out of your schedule each week to date and have fun together, to keep the passion and life in your marriage. This is the person you are going to grow old with one day!
Your children are going to leave home, and then you’ll have an empty nest. Dedicate time now to your relationship so that when they move out, you’re not sitting across the table from a perfect stranger. Cultivate a deep friendship with your husband over the years. Don’t let yourself go, and keep yourself attractive. Encourage him. Keep your marriage hot!
Pray for his friendships. Your husband needs godly male friends, for companionship and accountability. “Do not be deceived, for “bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Corinthians 15:33, English Standard Version) There are some men whose friendship will taint your husband. We become like those we hang out with! Pray for God to send godly men into your husband’s life to befriend him – men he can trust and confess his sin struggles to on a weekly basis, whom he can pray with and turn to in times of need.
A lonely man is in a position of danger. You are the first place your husband should seek for companionship, but your husband’s friendships with men of God for fun and recreation can help him, too.
Be alert to any close relationship your husband is developing with another woman. Some women won’t care if your husband is married, and will cause his downfall into emotional or physical adultery. Set a guard around your marriage through the power of your prayers.
Pray for his purity. Over the last two years, my husband and I have seen three different Christian marriages with small children break up, winding up in divorce, from the husband having an affair. “Here’s a very important lesson for the son, “The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech, her kisses are sweet and she’s going to sweet talk you, but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword, her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol, she doesn’t ponder the path of life, her ways are unstable, she doesn’t know it. And now then, my son, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth, keep your way far from her and don’t go near the door of her house and don’t give your vigor to others.”
Another great threat to your marriage is pornography. Pornography and seductive pictures of models and actresses are rampant today on the internet, on movies, in book stores, at the grocery store checkout, everywhere. Pray for your husband to “make a covenant with his eyes.” (Job 31:1), and that he will be faithful to you in thought, word, and deed. Pray also for your purity and faithfulness to the marriage.
Pray for his calling and his dreams. I can’t imagine anything worse (other than going to hell!) than going to heaven and finding out you never fulfilled the destiny God had created you for! Your husband has a specific calling and destiny from God – a unique blueprint just for HIM. And you are his help-meet for him to achieve that destiny!
Sometimes our husbands get weary or burned out. They are not using their spiritual gifts for God. They’ve lost hope for their dreams. They may become apathetic to the things of God, or even hardened if they have been deeply wounded.
This is a time when you really need to pray for your husband, as he is in danger of pride and rebellion to God. Encourage your husband in his calling and his spiritual gifts from God – to go for his dreams! Sometimes you might even have to exhort him to step up and walk in his authority and anointing, especially if he’s physically worn out, spiritually burned out, or just being lazy.
Draw the greatness out of your husband. Tell him his potential in Christ. Encourage him that you really see him doing great things for God. Brag on him when he does – then see God begin to move mightily in his life and use him in incredible ways!
Pray for his work. When God created Adam and Eve, he made them for specific roles in the family. It rested on the man’s shoulders to make the living and provide for his family, and this is not easy. It’s a lot of responsibility. A lot of times, men don’t work in Christian environments out in the world. They are surrounded with ungodly men and women. Temptation is rampant. There’s the stress of job performance to please the boss or other authorities. Your husband knows if he really screws up, he could lose his job. He might need continuing education and training at times. The need to keep his skills sharpened, to be on top of things at work, to do an excellent job (even better than his peers to stand out), is a lot of pressure on him.
You can help to relieve some of this pressure by providing good, healthy meals for him when he returns home from work, back rubs, kind and encouraging words – and mostly by prayer. Keep your husband covered in prayer every day. Pray that his work would be his pulpit or mission field. Pray for God to use the spiritual gifts within him at his job each day for His glory.
Pray for favor for him with his boss and other work superiors – that he would stand out among other workers. Pray for raises and promotions. Pray for wisdom and sharp skills. Pray he would do all he can do to be a light at his work, and to walk in integrity and honesty. Pray he would work hard as unto the Lord.
Pray for his reputation. Your husband’s reputation is closely related to his work. A man’s reputation can make or break him today in the work world – resulting in either promotions and raises, or being looked over and not achieving career success. If he has made foolish mistakes, it is sometimes hard to hold up your head as his wife, but it’s no time to nag him or fuss at him. You need to pray for him.
Pray that he would walk in wisdom, honesty, and reputation. A sterling reputation can open doors for him in many areas of his life, and he will be honored by both man and God. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,Loving favor rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs 22:1)
Pray for him as a father. I am so thankful that Ray is a good father to our children. He loves to spend time with them and enjoys them. He’s wise, he’s fair, he’s funny, he’s fun. He is our children’s hero. If your husband struggles in his relationship with his children – maybe he’s too impatient, or speaks harshly to them – gently exhort him. Tell him the kids have a tender heart. Men don’t realize that their naturally aggressive tendencies can hurt sensitive children. Pray that he would lead your children by godly example.
Pray for him to be a generous giver. In hard financial times, our husbands can become extremely tight with their wallets – especially when they are worried about making ends meet. They can get closed-fisted – even with the tithe and offerings! This is especially hard when a husband who does not have the spiritual of giving is married to a woman who is a giver. But the Bible says givers are blessed. “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.” (Proverbs 11:24)
Pray that God would give your husband revelation about the blessings of being a giver. Our God is a giver. He loved us so much that He gave His only Son. (John 3:16) And He wants us to be givers at heart, too. Pray for your husband to become a giver, and watch the blessings of God begin to just pour into your life! Give out of a heart of LOVE.
Pray for his health. A man who becomes run down, sick, and tired can lose his job, which can create even more problems in your lives, especially finnacially. Plus, when we are sick physically, it affects us emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Fix good, healthy meals for your husband and don’t buy a bunch of junk food when you grocery shop. I married a man with a good appetite; he loves to eat! He also enjoys snacks in between meals. You can choose snacks that are healthier alternatives such as popcorn or fresh fruit.
Encourage him to exercise; start walking together in the evening. Help to eliminate as much stress from your lives as you can, because stress can affect your immune system. Buy high-quality vitamins (yes, you do need supplements! I use MannaTech products; they are all natural and great!)
Your lives will be simpler and happier if your family is in optimal health.
Pray for his financial management. Ray and I have been through a lot of financial hardships since we married. We both came into the marriage with a lot of previous debt, we’ve had medical bills, and we’ve experienced a home foreclosure and complete bankruptcy. Since you and your husband are completely different persons, you each have your own financial personality. Financial expert, author and speaker Dave Ramsey says if you are married and fight about money, you are normal. (Ray and I are normal!)
Dave believes that there is a “nerd” in the marriage, and “the free spirit.” They are opposites and usually wind up married to each other and in conflict over money. The nerd is the planner, the one who needs the desk drawer organized. The free spirit is the one who is opposite; they never really look at the check register or make solid plans for retirement -because they have faith everything will just work out.
Being a nerd or a free spirit has nothing to do with being a saver or a spender. A nerd can be a spender, and a free spirit can be a saver. But nerds feel free spirits don’t take money seriously, and free spirits feel that their input on finances is totally ignored. So fights result.
The answer is to discuss and come up with a budget you BOTH agree on. It has to be a realistic budget to meet all the household needs, and has to include blow money for both people. Ray and I used to fight ALL the time about money. We had to go through a process of God breaking our pride and bringing us to brokenness before we began to walk in any kind of agreement in this area. Plus, I had to learn to stop spending money so much and earn Ray’s trust.
Now I handle our family’s finances, using an Excel spreadsheet for our budget – entering receipts of all our purchases. We have a monthly budget that we set up, which we both agreed on – that includes blow money for us both. Ray earns the majority of the money for our household, and I manage it, paying the bills.
We still occasionally disagree on money, but Dave’s methods through his Financial Peace and Total Money Makeover books and his audio teachings have made an incredible difference in our finances. Things are still tight, but we are on our way to becoming debt free.
Pray for God’s liberal wisdom and self-control for your husband and yourself with money. When women spend money, they tend tend to buy lots of little things, which add up quickly. When men spend, they buy BIG toys like tv’s, guns, or techno gadgets, which takes a hard hit on finances at once. Pray that you and your husband will walk in agreement on finances; it’s not worth it to fight! Unity brings God’s blessing and anointing. (Psalm 133:2)
Praying for our husbands is one of the greatest things we can ever do for them. Prayer is our most important work here on earth.
I’d like to conclude with this quote on prayer by author Richard J. Foster: “If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them, and this will lead us to prayer: Intercession is a way of loving others. ”
The best way to honor and love for your husband is by praying for him. Ready? Then start today! It will make a big difference in your husband’s and your life together.
Copyright 2010 Beth Jones