“I would love it if we could pray together, but he just never initiates it, and since he is the spiritual leader, I guess I have to wait for him.” These words came from a disgruntled counselee who was lamenting the fact that she and her husband never pray together. I think it is wonderful when couples pray together. It can bring about a deeper intimacy between the spouses, and between the couple and the Lord. But not every couple prays together on a regular basis. In fact, I would say that 3 out of 5 counselees that I see report that they do not pray with their husbands regularly. Some say, as I mentioned in the opening quote, they would like to but they don’t believe it is their place to make it happen.
While I do believe it is good for couples to pray together, my purpose in writing today is not to offer you “Three Steps to Getting your Husband to Pray with You,” or anything close to that. Many of my counselees express disappointment that their husbands do not pray with them, but then go on to report that they don’t even pray for their husbands. My sisters, this should not be! We must pray for our husbands, and today I’d like to share with you three reasons I believe this is such a vital ministry for wives.
Why Should We Pray for our Husbands?
First, our husbands are human. They are weak, and they are in the world. With some exceptions, most go out to work every day. Some are in ministry, surrounded by Christians but most are working out there every day in the fallen world, battling all kinds of temptations and frustrations. They desperately need to be lifted up before the Lord throughout the day, for His protection and grace. Who better to do that than their wives, who know where they are, who they’re with, and what they’re doing? They need our intercession.
Second, we know our husbands. Who else knows your husband like you do? Who knows his weaknesses, his vulnerabilities, and his particular frustrations? What other human knows his relationship with the Lord better than you do? Pray specifically for him in these areas, and let him know that you are praying. Your husband needs this encouragement.
Finally, if none of these other motivations do the trick, pray for him simply because you love him. I know there are times when you may not feel love for him, but even in those times, you can still love him with the love of Christ. You want God’s best for him, right? Your love for him must stir up your heart to pray for him, even when things are not going great in your marriage. You are the only one who loves him in this way, and he desperately needs your loving prayers.
My dear sisters, our husbands are imperfect, and they will probably never fulfill all the requirements of the “ideal” spiritual leader we have imagined. But perhaps we should use those moments of disappointment as a cue to examine our own hearts as wives. Rather than focusing on what our husbands are doing or not doing, let’s look at how we are doing in our role as their helpers. With Facebook and Pinterest constantly in our face about recipes and home décor, we can forget some of the spiritual responsibilities we have as wives. Praying for our husbands is one of the most powerful things we can do to encourage and build them up.
How Should we Pray for our Husbands?
Pray for his role as the leader of your home. Pray for his heart as he faces temptations in the workplace. Most importantly, pray for the love that you share, both for each other and for Christ. If your husband is not a believer, pray for his salvation, and for your witness to him. If he is a Christian remember that, as each of you grows closer to Christ, you will be drawn nearer to one another in the process, as this illustration shows:
Do you long for the day when you and your husband will share a level of intimacy with each other and the Lord that will make praying together a regular occurrence, eagerly shared by both of you? Then begin now to pray for your husband, examine your own heart motives, and trust the God who put the two of you together in covenant. He is faithful!