December 12, 2016
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power … For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” Ephesians 6:10, 12 (NIV)
I still remember being sequestered in the Bride’s Room of our church just moments before the organist began to play for the early arrivals.
As I sat before an oversized gilded mirror trying not to wrinkle my dress, I daydreamed about the man who would become my husband in moments. He was everything I had ever hoped for: handsome, smart, ambitious and strong. Most importantly, he loved Jesus.
Yes, this was a good day.
Staring at my reflection, an unwelcome thought popped in my mind. Doesn’t every woman feel this joy on her wedding day? What could go so terribly wrong that such a high percentage of marriages end in divorce? Am I fooling myself? Am I that much different from the thousands who have walked the aisle before me?
I decided right then I would do everything in my power to make my marriage a success. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the words “in my power” were a problem. “My power” was not enough. Marriage was hard.
Fairy tales often end with the words, “And they lived happily ever after.” But … if we could see the epilogue to those rides off into the sunset, we’d most likely find daily struggles, potentially divisive decisions and angry arguments sprinkled throughout.
Fairy tales stop short of telling us about tension over whose turn it is to wash the dishes, pay the bills or put the kids to bed. They leave out the part about stress over holidays with in-laws, frequency of intimacy and who gets to spend what, when. We naively repeat the words, “for better or for worse,” and then are shocked when the first hint of “worse” rears its ugly head.
If you’ve been married for more than a few days, you’ve likely figured out that blessed unions need work to stay blessed.
And I dare say, the most important “work” we can do as wives is on our knees before God in prayer. Only God can truly protect our marriages and our men. And He invites us to participate in the unleashing of His power by praying for our husbands and turning the key to the storehouse of heaven’s door for blessings outpoured.
We’ve got to remember: The real struggle in marriage is a spiritual one. Our husbands are not our enemy; the devil is (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
Paul urged believers to enter into spiritual battle armed and ready with the Word of God. He wrote: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms … Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:12,17, NIV).
Through prayer, the enemy’s plans are intercepted and principalities and authorities are defeated. Through prayer, the power and provision of God flows into the lives of His people.
I had to learn prayer is not a means of gaining control over my husband, to whip him into shape and make him the man I wanted him to be. Prayer is a means of relinquishingcontrol of my husband and asking God to shape him into the man that He wants him to be.
Regardless of where your man or your marriage falls on the continuum of terrific to tolerable to terrible, there is always room for improvement. Prayer can make a bad marriage good and a good marriage great.
There’s no better way to pray for someone than praying Scripture. We’ll use the following as our closing prayer for today. While I love to pray for my husband from head to toe, today we’ll just focus on our husbands’ head.
Dear Lord, I pray for __________.
- His Mind — That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- His Eyes — That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13; Mark 9:47)
- His Ears — That he will hear Your still small voice instructing him. (1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 32:8)
- His Mouth — That his words will be pleasing to You. (Psalm 19:14)
- His Neck — That his decisions will honor You in all regards. (Psalm 25:12)
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 5:16b, “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God — it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” (AMP)
To learn more about how to pray Scripture over your husband and get a 30-day prayer guide, see Sharon Jaynes’ book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer.
Click here for a free downloadable for “Praying Scripture for Your Husband from Head to Toe.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one area of your marriage that you feel could be better?
If you’re feeling brave, leave your prayer request in the comments, in just a few words. Then pray for the name above yours. I will pray for the last responder. (To honor your man, please don’t leave a lot of details. God knows all about it!)
© 2016 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
Originally published Monday, 12 December 2016.