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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Covering Your Husband in Prayer - The Power of a Praying Wife

Reuben Theo's baptism - November 2010

Our two older children, Therese and Andre, sleeping on Fathers' Day in 2010 :)
My husband led the evening prayers last night. Because it was already a bit late, instead of having four wide awake children, plus two adults, we were left with two tiny tots -- Reuben, 4 and Isabelle, 1 -- while the two school children -- Therese, 9 and Andre, 6 -- were already sound asleep, tired from the day's school activities. Suffice to say, the toddler and the infant were not able to say "Amen!" to our vocal prayers! They were also a bit antsy from our having turned off the volume of their "Lego Movie"!
The two younger ones, Reuben and Isabelle, playing with cups!

But, we did meet the Lord's "quota" for praying. Dong and I equaled TWO right-minded adults who seeked God's Presence:

Matthew 18:20 
"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

Not to say though that by one's lonesome, the Lord will not be with that person or will not listen to that person. Of course not! In my daily walk with Christ, I am alone with Him, but my walk becomes more pleasant and "easier" because of sisters and brothers in Christ who are walking in faith too, along with me. And who better to pray with than my own husband, who is not a separate individual from me, but is one with me, through the sacrament of Holy Matrimony?

Ephesians 5:31 
As the Scriptures say, "A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
 and the two are united into one."

Because of this mystery...

Praying with one's spouse is praying as a unit or as one.

Praying for my husband is also praying for myself.

So, I ask you: 
Have you prayed for your husband today? 
Have you covered him in prayer?


A sister-in-Christ emailed me about some problems she was having with her husband. She asked me for some advice and I pointed out to her that she should pray for her husband, who, to me, looked like he was suffering from depression caused by demonic oppression. After emailing her and praying for her, she said something that struck me and which led me into writing this blog piece. She said:

"I love the prayers you wrote for me, I will add them to my regular prayers now.
You know what I missed on my submission journey?
   Praying for my husband.
I figured I shouldn't appeal to the Lord to change people so that they please me; I should ask Him to show (me) my own sins. I think I'm a bit too hung up on changing myself. I need to extend my prayers to my husband and others now."


This made SO much sense to me, to be honest. We are taught in this respect and submission journey to FOCUS on changing ourselves, and not changing and controlling our husbands and/or others. That is the Holy Spirit's Work! We do not want to play the Holy Spirit, nor do we want to meddle with His Movements. It's not part of our "job description." We were created to be the help meets (Gen 2:18) or helpers of our husbands and not as the Helper. Only the Holy Spirit can convict and change. We do not have the power nor the authority to do that.

Having said that though, we still do need to 
PRAY for our husbands!!! :)

I get where this sister is coming from. In her deep and honest desire to STOP her former controlling behavior towards her husband was her decision to also STOP alongside that, her former "prayers" that were all but rants to God ("Please change my husband."; Please make him more sweet and kind."; "Please make him more hardworking"....). The problem is she just STOPPED praying altogether to God for her husband, lest her prayers turn into a litany of his faults and failures, once more!

How do we pray for our husbands while NOT turning this into a rant-fest against them?

It's all about the motives of the heart.

1 Timothy 1:5

The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

When we pray for our husbands, we must not use this time to complain about them or to point out to God their million-and-one (perceived and real) offenses against us, but we pray for our husbands in order for the Lord to bless them, prosper them, protect them and show His Mercy on them...
With our youngest, Isabelle Veronica - March 2014
I must admit, my "prayers" before were not really godly nor pleasing to the Lord, because it was all about asking God to change Dong. For more samples on how I prayed before and how I pray now, please read this post on "Why does God not Answer my Prayers?!?".  Whereas changing people really is God's Territory, without going into deep introspection into what I myself needed to change, bugging God to change my husband was just plain as day self-righteousness and pride!

Matthew 7:5
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough 
to deal with the speck in your friend's eye.

It was only after the Lord had convicted me and changed me in September 1, 2013, and when the "scales of disrespect" (against God and against my husband) fell off from my eyes for good, that I was able to see myself for who and what I truly was -- a sinner in need of God's Grace and Mercy. I was spiritually blind for so long! :(  I thought that it was only my husband who was in dire need of change, not knowing that I was the one who had a LOT of changing to do.
It was only when I focused on my own walk with Christ and truly let go and let God, and STOPPED trying to change my husband and nagging God to change him, did Dong surprisingly change -- without my "help" and without my "intervention"!!!! Who would have thunk?!? ;)
I do my best though until now, NOT TO FOCUS on the changes that the Lord is doing within his heart and in his life. I FOCUS on what the Lord is doing in my own heart and in my own life, while always looking out on how to bless him daily and support him in his own walk with Christ.

I also make sure that my husband is covered in prayer. 
I am his prayer warrior and prayer partner.

I lift Dong up to God all the time, making sure I lift up unto the Lord all of his good qualities and ask for His Mercy too for whatever sins he might be committing knowingly or unknowingly. I also ask the Lord to bless him in all areas of his life,  as the God-ordained leader of our home. What I've stopped doing is "commanding" God to specifically do this and do that with regards to my husband, as I used to do in the past.  :(
Whereas, it would not be a sin to tell God to intervene and deliver one's husband from a life of sin and bondage, it would be sin to judge and condemn one's husband before God! 
March 22, 2014

After having confessed your sins to God and making sure that you are in good standing before Him -- that is, you are not cherishing any sin and not consciously engaging in Sin -- I don't see how it would be wrong to bring up to the Lord things that you would want Him to change in your husband.
It's one thing to tell the Lord to help your husband change his errant ways, as in, 
"My husband is currently being very unloving, Lord. Please enlighten him with your Spirit to treat me more kindly, because his shutting me out of his life really hurts me. Please change his hardened heart. I want us to have a loving relationship." 
    But it's another thing to tell the Lord that: 
"Lord, my husband is a good-for-nothing lazy slob who is a waste of time and space!!! I really pray he gets his act together! I am so repulsed by him! Please change him! I am sick and tired of him and this situation!"

In the first instance, the wife was honest to God about her hurt feelings and her husband's unloving actions, but it was still done with humility and love, with room for God to work in her husband's heart, and with much grace extended to her husband.

In the second instance, the wife was judging her husband in front of God, condemning him about his sins. The "Please change him" in the end was done more out of spite than out of love; more out of the prideful attitude of "I've done all I could to change him, maybe YOU could do better than me! Take a shot at it, will you, God?" than a humble admittance of and resignation to God's Power to change hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

I must admit with much embarrassment that my "prayers" before my conviction were more of the latter rather than the former. Yuck! :(

But, since my conversion, I now rest in His Sovereignty and in His Divine Wisdom. I no longer want to "control" God! I now let GOD be GOD. I share with the Lord all that I want to tell Him, minus the judgments and the attitude! :P

Do not underestimate the POWER of a praying wife! 
Start covering your own husband in prayer today.

I read this book as a newlywed. - 2004

May we all be richly blessed! :)

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