It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1
The next Happy Husband Habit is Prayer. To start to tackle this subject we need to first try to define it. There is a story about D. L. Moody making a visit to Scotland in the 1800s and asking a group of grade school kids, “What is prayer?” Almost every kids’ hand went up in the auditorium. He decided to call on a young lad near the front to answer his question. The kid stood up and said, ‘Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ, by the help of his Spirit, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgement of his mercies.” This evidently is the answer to question #178 in the Westminster Catechism. Moody promptly responded to the lad by saying, “Be thankful, son, that you were born in Scotland.”
So, what does prayer mean? Prayer is the process we use to ask God for things. The ‘things’ is not cars, money, or houses, but the desires and needs of your heart. John Piper is quoted as saying “what your heart needs most is God – to know him and trust him and love him and obey him.” Prayer is also a time for us to come to God giving thanks, offering praise, and confessing our sins. We also have an opportunity through prayer to ask on behalf of other people.
Praying For Your Wife
As we look at this Happy Husband Habit we are going to break it down into a couple of posts: Praying For Your Wife, Praying With Your Wife, and Making Prayer A Happy Husband Habit. Today we will tackle Praying For Your Wife.
Men are not really known as the prayer warrior types. In reality, women have more natural talents to be spiritual prayer warriors because their God given strengths seem to fit so well with prayer. In doing some research on this topic, it became apparent over and over that even the best preachers and Christian speakers often would say that their wife is the spiritually dominant spouse in their relationship. Prayer is about communication and communication is about words. Words seem to send us running for the man cave. As men, we tend to be able to pray, but we often do not feel that we pray effectively. I think part of this is that effective prayer requires us to get personal and for a guy that can be awkward. Prayer might even tiptoe over into the realm of being emotional if we were to get in too deep. So, we often pray, but sometimes our real prayers are only during times of desperation when we really get to a point that we are screaming, “HELP!!!!!!”
Let’s look at some ways that we can pray for our wife.
We often fall under the “God is Great, God is Good” mentality to our prayers. We get vague and ask for God to bless our marriage. Unlike when we are thanking God for our food and then commencing to go through the rituals of open mouth, insert fork, and chew; our marriage has many facets that can be explored in our prayers. If we can take the time to offer up specific requests to God about our marriage we may be able to see more direct answers to prayer within our marriage. So, try to focus in and ask explicitly about your marriage.
Jesus put an emphasis on the importance of approaching God with boldness for what we would like. We should not be timid when we pray for our marriage. We need to be careful not to just pray to get by, but to allow our marriage to thrive. If there is something you would like to ask God to do in your marriage you should go ahead and ask him.
Get Your Relationships In Order
It is important to make sure that Jesus is your top priority relationship, even over your marriage. It is also important to encourage your spouse to make Jesus their biggest priority as well. If the relationships are in order, His guidance will fill your marriage and you will have no problem loving each other more. It is important to pray for God’s wisdom and strength instead of relying on your spouse. Also, rely on God and not your spouse for your security and self-esteem. In marriages, it is easy for a husband or wife to make God really small and try to do the work that God has promised.
Pray for Emotional Intimacy
We need to ask God to allow our marriage to be a safe relationship where we can be open, honest, and have trust. This also means we need to be open, honest, and trust him with our sins and fears. We have to ask God to heal our emotional troubles and allow us to be genuine.
Pray for Spiritual Intimacy
We need to ask God for his presence and power in our marriage. Pray for protection from the distractions that could interfere with seeking God. We need to ask God to help us be unified as a couple.
Love Your Wife
Ask God for help in being the headship of the family. Pray for His direction so that you can love your wife with a servant’s heart. We should ask for help in making decisions that are not selfish or prideful. Ask that God gives you the grace to treat your wife as well as Jesus treats you. Pray for peace in your home. Pray for maturity in dealing with any conflicts that you have. Ask God to strengthen your wife’s faith by requesting that she love to pray, worship, and read the Bible. Pray that you can see your wife as God sees her and to be able to appreciate His great gift to you.
Protect Your Marriage
Pray for protection from evil influences or temptations. Pray for help with discernment in dealing with challenges. Pray that you and your spouse can forgive each other quickly when mistakes are made.
Pray For Your Witness
Ask God to help your marriage be a witness to other people in a positive way. Let your example be a witness to someone else that might need a light to get through the darkness. Ask that your experience and journey might encourage another couple to have a closer relationship with God.