Almost from the beginning of our marriage I prayed that my husband would become interested in being healthy. I wanted him around a long time. Well, I prayed for almost 9 years before he decided to try running. He fell in love with it, lost a lot of weight, strengthened his heart and was all around a much healthier and happier man. Prayer works!
I am thankful for the number of good blogs, books, and conferences that are encouraging wives to serve their husbands according the Scripture with their unique gifts and callings and to pray for them regularly. But this is not always easy work. In fact, some of the things we must pray for our husbands are hard in and of themselves.
Your husband doesn’t only need you to pray that he has a good day, is successful, and walks with Jesus. These are not bad requests, but are rather generic prayers that have too little specific direction behind them. What our husbands need from us are specific prayers, hard prayers, for their growth in godliness. I love my husband and I want what is best for him. And the best thing for him is to be a man who who lives for the glory of God.
Here are five hard prayers I pray for my husband, and would encourage you to pray for yours.
1. Conviction of Sin
I pray that the Holy Spirit would never allow my husband to become numb to the sin in his life, but that he would convict him of his sin and remind him of his need for ongoing repentance and spiritual reformation. A convicted man will never be a proud man. A convicted man who finds God’s grace in Jesus will remain a thankful man. Pray that God continues to press in on the heart of your husband so that he remains sensitive to sin and the Spirit and continues in the way of godliness.
2. Humility of Heart
A proud man thinks too highly of himself, too little of everyone else, and has lost sight of God. A proud husband will not be open to necessary rebuke or correction, and will put himself first before others. But a humble man is teachable who, regardless of his temperament, will submit himself to the word of God. I pray that my husband will only continue to grow in humility as he follows Jesus, and that this would be one of the dominant marks of Christ in him.
3. Patience in Life
My husband wouldn’t mind me telling you that he is not naturally a patient man. But the lack of patience in a man is the marring of the image of God in him. God is patient with us in all our weakness and obstinacy, and we should all live lives that reflect this attribute of our Maker and Redeemer. And this is important because an impatient man is quick to complain, quick to become angry, and is therefore more likely to blame others, and even God, for what disturbs them. While my husband doesn’t get to that place, one of his greatest needs is to learn patience in life. Not just because God commands it, but because the kids (and I) need him to be patient. A patient husband is a man who knows he has received much more than he deserves, has been the recipient of God’s patience throughout his life, and who finds great joy in suffering well both the big things and the little things in life.
4. Love for God
I want my husband to love God more than he loves me or our children. Why? Because if he loved us more than God we would serve as his idols, and would eventually let him down. We are not good gods. But a husband who loves God above all other people in his life will treasure God and his good gifts. A man like that knows that outside of Jesus Christ his greatest earthly treasures are found in his home, in the life of his youth and the children given to him by the Lord. I pray that my husband would love me less than he loves the Lord, and that his love for God would be intense and endless. I know if he loves God first, he will love me better than I can imagine.
5. Discipline from God
Do you ever feel like your husband is not walking on the right path? And I don’t mean you have to keep reminding him to pick his clothes up off the bathroom floor (Annoying, but not a crisis.). But there will be times when husbands, just like their wives, begin to drift in their affection, focus, and carefulness in their Christian walk. There will be times when we need God to intervene and discipline our husbands to get their attention, show them the danger of their sin, and rescue from the potential danger ahead of them.
When our husbands are doing well we should praise God but we should also pray that God would do whatever is necessary in order to keep the heart of our men focused on himself.
There is so much more than can be said of how we should be praying for our husbands, but let’s begin by committing ourselves to pray hard prayers for them. I hope my husband prays hard prayers for me as well.