“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.”
Note from Sharon: I know that devotions on marriage are difficult for many who are not married and perhaps would like to be. That’s why we usually keep the marriage devotions that minister to thousands of women in the month of February. Whether you are married or single, please join us at GiG in praying for marriages all around the world.
Friend to Friend
I can 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 in front of an oversized gilded mirror trying not to wrinkle my dress, I daydreamed about the man who would become my husband in just a few moments. He was everything I had ever hoped for: handsome, smart, ambitious, and strong. And most important, he loved Jesus.
Yes, this was a good day.
As I stared 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 and there that 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 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 sex, 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, then you’ve most likely figured out that the blessed union doesn’t stay so blessed without a lot of work. And I dare say, the most important “work” we can do as wives is on our knees. 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 the 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 up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” (Ephesians 6:12,17 NIV)
Through prayer, the enemy’s plans are intercepted; the principalities and authorities are defeated. Through prayer, the power and provision of God flows into the lives of His people.
I had to learn that 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 relinquishing control 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 the decisions that turn his head will honor You in all regards. (Psalm 25:12)
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Ponder this verse today: James 5:16 “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)
What is one area of your marriage that you feel could be better?
If you’re feeling brave, leave your prayer request, in just a few words, and then pray for the name above yours. I will pray for the first responder. (To honor your man, please don’t leave a lot of details. God knows all about it!)
More From the Girlfriends
As a wife, you have been given the privilege of serving as a mighty prayer warrior for your husband. Yet sometimes, it’s hard to know what to pray. In Sharon’s book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Scriptural Guide to Daily Prayer, she maps out sixteen areas to target, from the thoughts he thinks to the path he walks. This book will equip and empower you to establish a habit of purposeful prayer in just a few minutes a day. Click over to her webpage and check out her specially priced Valentine’s Day Bundle!