Lesson 5: Praying for your Spouse: Be the example

Be the Godly example.

This is the hardest part. (for me anyway, because I’m stubborn and I want vendication)

1 Cor 7:13-14   And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

You can’t be the example as a “holier than thou” “throw it in your face” type of christian. You are the example when you retaliate and respond in love and forgiveness rather than bitterness, strife, anger, or resentment.

1. Fight against the evil of resentment.

It will start as a “Keeper of Wrongs”. Keeping a list of every unkind deed or word he ever did. It will grow to resentment and eventually into bitterness.

It’s fairly easy to determine if you have resentment in your heart right now. Start praying for God to show you any resentment or unforgiveness you may have.

Ask yourself a few questions.

1. How does my spouse treat me?

If all you can thing of are the bad things, then you have kept a record of only wrongs. You need to start thinking of the good things. Maybe it’s only “he provides partial financial help”. Maybe it’s a stretch for you but start with something.

2. How much do I love my spouse?

Depending on how long you have been dealing with issues in your marriage and how severe the issues are this could result in various answers.

I remember a time when I knew I loved my spouse but I couldn’t say that I respected him. This is very serious. This is a sign that you are in trouble and need God’s help. Seek God’s help and seek godly counseling if at all possible.

Ultimately, you must come to a place where you realize that “love” the way the world views love is very different from the way God views love.

You must realize that “love” is a commitment not a feeling. Unconditional love doesn’t only return love when it “feels loved”. Unconditional love will love no matter what. This type of “agape” love is difficult when you are more concerned about yourself and how you “feel”.

The world will tell you that you deserve better. You deserve this…that…You deserve nothing but to keep your marriage together and sacrifice whatever is necessary for it. We don’t even understand what true sacrifice is anymore. That is why the divorce rate is just as high in churches as it is in the non-church world.

2. Fight against the temptation of bitterness

Hebrews 12:15    Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you.

Bitterness will feed hate into a struggling marriage until separation or divorce seems the answer. Your spouse may succumb to this but you can’t.

Bitternesss starts as unforgiveness, then it turns into resentment, anger, and frustration. Then if it you don’t let God deal with this in your heart it turns into a hard wall that is only seen by harsh words and thoughts that say “I could kill you” “I wish you were not around” “You are…(fill in the blanks)”.

If you already see the fruits of this in your life then you are already ahead of the enemy. You “see” the problem. Now God can begin to heal this in your life.

Read the “Prayer for Bitterness”. This is a good start.

Jesus can set you free from all the bitterness. Once you are free you can effectively pray for your spouse.

Advertisements

Lesson 4: Proclaim in Faith (praying for your spouse)

Proclaim what is not yet as though it is.

Hebrews 11:1     Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

1. Caught being good!

Not only do you proclaim the truth of God over your spouse in prayer but also proclaim it to your spouse. Not in a condescending manner or taunting.

Proclaim his identity traits in Christ at every opportunity.When he shows patience in the smallest form praise him for it. Tell him “you are so patient” when he shows patience. When he shows love, praise him for it. “I feel so loved when you do that”, “I am so thankful I have you in my life. “ Even if the trait is faint and hard to see, find ways to tell him how wonderful he is. He may not be wonderful yet but God is changing him from the inside out.

2. Watch your words

The words you use daily are very important to your husband’s spiritual walk. If you use words that tear him down, disrespect or dishonor him whether in private or in front of people will negate everything God is trying to do.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

Another verse that is helpful to remember is…

Proverbs 12:18 ESV   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

We are to bring healing by using words that are in line with the Word of God. Healing is what your spouse requires. And while we can’t heal or change anything. God is the only one that can. We can be helpful or we can hinder it.

Ask yourself before you speak…”Will this help to bring healing to my spouse?” If not, then keep your mouth shut.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to put a guard over your mouth to help you say what is helpful or to not say anything at all if it will hurt.

The Lord will help you of you allow him to.

Lesson 3: Pray the Word of God in Faith

3. I learned how to pray the Word of God.

I don’t know how I missed this in 13 years of marriage. Being raised in a christian home, I was taught so much as a Pastor’s daughter with a Dad and Mother that were godly people that lived what they preached. But somehow, I missed this truth of praying the WORD!

It was years later and even now I am still learning how to pray effectively.

At some point I will write about the power of prayer and the various types of prayer. Prayer in faith to our Heavenly Father is the single most important action you will ever do in a day. This is where you fight the war!

I am not usually disciplined enough to pray as I should. But with God’s help that is changing. If I want a godly family, husband and life, I must PRAY!

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Use that Sword!

God does not leave us without defense. He gave us everything we would ever need to defeat the enemy in our lives and our family. One of those is the Sword of the Spirit, The Word of God. It can be an offensive weapon or a defensive weapon. Go on the offensive for the your husband.

1. Study

Search out scriptures to find every verse that applies to your situation. Write them down so that you remember them. Underline/highlight, whatever you need to do.

2. Pray with Faith

My Mom used to say “Say it like you mean it.” That’s the way you should pray the Word for your husband. In sincerity and like you believe God will accomplish what His Word says He will accomplish. You don’t fight-God fights for you when you pray. It’s FAITH!

3. Pray with Authority

You and your husband are “one”. The Bible tells us that. (Eph 5:31)

When you pray for your husband it is as if he is praying for himself. That’s how much authority you have over the things of the enemy when you pray for your husband.

Pray those scriptures over your husband daily. This is spiritual warfare and effectual prayer.

Example:

2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
“I pray that my husband (name) will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That he will glorify him both now and for eternity.”
Proverbs 3:7 (ESV) Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

“I pray that my husband (name) will not be wise in his own eyes but fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”

Acts 26:18(NIV) to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

2 Cor 4:4-6 (NIV) The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of glory of Christ, who is the image of God. …For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

“I pray that you open the eyes of my husband and turn him from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God; so that he may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ. I pray that the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ shine in his heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of god that is in Christ Jesus.”

Pray the Fruits of the Spirit over your husband (or any other Word of God). Start by placing his name in front of each fruit (trait) …”John is patient, John is kind, etc…”

Don’t grow weary in well doing. Keep praying.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Just because you don’t see any OUTWARD changes keep trusting in God that HE is working inwardly in your husbands heart.

Lesson 2-Praying for your spouse

This is the 2nd installment of the original lesson summarized in “Praying for Your Spouse”

This is one of the lessons I find hardest to walk out in my life. My flesh tends to think and act to anything that is happening NOW-what I think, feel, who is offending me…

Your spouse is not the enemy.

Ephesians 6:12 “We do not fight against flesh and blood..” (your spouse)

We fight against principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness (Satan and his kingdom).

Every time I am offended I revert to human nature and temptation to lash back in retaliation against the “person”.  That is the trap of the enemy! And I fall into it almost every time.

Jesus is the best example of how to respond to offense and abuse.

Forgiveness and love

After severe beating and abuse Jesus goes to the cross saying “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. (I digress at this point–I am not saying to take beatings–that is another discussion).

Jesus saw the people as tools the enemy used against Him and also as souls that needed salvation. He showed great love and compassion.

This is easier said than done sometimes. I see my problem as my husband’s behavior and he has a choice. While that may be true to some extent go back and read lesson 1.

Instead, below are a few things I have resolved to try in my own relationship.

1. Earnestly seek God’s “agape” love (unconditional)

Jesus was a great example of loving the unlovable. He can flood your heart with HIS love. His love covers a multitude of sins, HIS love forgives immediately and without conditions or strings attached.

2. Pray for spiritual eyes

Pray for God to show the heart of man the way HE does. So much of how we perceive problems and people are in direct opposition to the way Jesus sees them.

STOP! in the middle of the argument, situation, whatever…and try to “see” the real problem. The problem many times is not the person you are arguing with or mad it. It is the enemy behind the issue. If your spouse is blind to the root causes it is not your responsibility to tell him about it. It is your responsibility to react in love. Instead of arguing. Smile, soften, diffuse. Then, as soon as possible, pray for him.

3. Go pray!

Depending on the seriousness of the issues at hand, serious prayer along with fasting may be necessary.

First, ask for forgiveness for any bitterness, resentment or anger you may have against your husband and for any behavior you had that was not in love.

Then, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the root issues so you can pray specifically for your spouse.

Pray specifically for anything revealed to you with a heart of love. Many times, you will find that what is revealed are issues in your own heart. Be prepared to pray for those too and be willing to change.

You will have to be the change you want in your husband.

Praying for your Spouse

I, unfortunately, know what it is like to be married to an unsaved person. I say unfortunate for him because he his still lives unsaved and the marriage ended.

I lived through the fiery trial incurring giant, gaping, wounds. Wounds I did not fully comprehend until the dust settled. I cannot even begin to list the deep wounds inflicted by the divorce (consequences to separating what God joined).

I believe we go through tests and trials 1. to make us tried like silver, and 2. to help others.

For example, a women who has been molested will learn much from that experience and  by the grace of God come out on the other side with a greater understanding of God’s grace, mercy, strength and ultimately, healing. She will be a valuable vessel used by God to help other women and to pray for others.

I don’t claim to be an awesome saint living with no sin and no mistakes. I am human and usually learn the hard way.

I just pray that what I learn the hard way (because of stubbornness usually) others will learn from my experience and never fall prey to the same mistakes.

You can judge or you can learn from my mistakes. My prayer is for the latter.

I learned much from 13 years of marriage but I learned so much more after the divorce. I sought God to teach me how to pray more effectively so I would never go through divorce again. Divorce should never be an option. Marriage is a blood covenant and a lifetime committment.

If you are contemplating divorce or separation please read this and give it a try first.

I still use the same principles for prayer with my husband (who is saved). He is human and therefore not perfect. Because we are human we will still face each other’s sins, failures and temptations. Satan never stops fighting and neither should we.

I learned…

1. “Why must I always be the one to say “I’m sorry” or to take the high road?”

God’s answer to me was “Because you know better”.

The responsibility for correcting the situation (applying God’s truth to the situation) falls to the spouse to which the problem is revealed. If you have an understanding of the cause and effect of the offensive behavior, you must be the one to war against the enemy.

So get busy!

2. “We do not fight against flesh and blood..” (your spouse)

We fight against principalities, and powers, and rulers of darkness (Satan and his kingdom). Your spouse is not the enemy.

Every time I am offended I revert to human nature and temptation to lash back in retaliation against the “person”.  That is the trap of the enemy! And I fall into it almost every time.

Jesus is the best example of how to respond to offense and abuse.

Forgiveness and love

After severe beating and abuse Jesus goes to the cross saying “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. (I digress at this point–I am not saying to take beatings–that is another discussion).

Jesus saw the people as tools the enemy used against Him and also as souls that needed salvation. He showed great love and compassion.

  •  Earnestly seek God’s “agape” love (unconditional)
  •  Pray for spiritual eyes to see the heart of man the way Jesus does. So much of how we percieve problems and people are in direct opposition to the way Jesus sees them.
  •  Then go fight the enemy on your knees in prayer and fasting.

3. I learned how to pray the Word of God.

Inevitably, your spouse will have traits that are not in line with the Fruits of the Spirit (or any other Word of God). Start by placing his name in front of each fruit (trait) …”John is patient, John is kind, etc…”

Use that Sword!

Search out other scriptures that apply spiritually to your situation and pray those scriptures over your husband daily. This is spiritual warfare and effectual prayer.

4. Proclaim what is not yet as though it is.

Hebrews 11:1     Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (NLT)

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Not only do you proclaim the truth of God over your spouse in prayer but also proclaim it to your spouse. Not in a condescending manner or taunting. Proclaim his identity traits in Christ at every opportunity.

Caught being good!

When he shows patience in the smallest form praise him for it. Tell him “you are so patient” when he shows patience. When he shows love, praise him for it. “I feel so loved when you do that”, “I am so thankful I have you in my life. ” Even if the trait is faint and hard to see, find ways to tell him how wonderful he is. He may not be wonderful yet but God is changing him from the inside out.

5. Be the Godly example.

This is the hardest part. (for me anyway, because I’m stubborn and I want vendication)

1 Cor 7:13-14   And the woman which hath a husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

You can’t be the example as a “holier than thou” “throw it in your face” type of christian. You are the example when you retaliate and respond in love and forgiveness rather than bitterness, strife, anger, or resentment.

Fight against the evil of resentment. it will start as a “Keeper of Wrongs”. Keeping a list of every unkind deed or word he ever did. It will grow to resentment and eventually into bitterness.

Hebrews 12:15    Make sure that everyone has kindness from God so that bitterness doesn’t take root and grow up to cause trouble that corrupts many of you.

Bitterness will feed hate into a struggling marriage until separation or divorce seems the answer. Your spouse may succumb to this but you can’t. Jesus can set you free from all the bitterness. Once you are free you can effectively pray for your spouse.

Prayer for Bitterness–

 Father, forgive me for not forgiving my spouse as you commanded me to forgive. (Matt 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.) You placed no limit on the amount of times we forgive. So forgive me and forgive me for keeping a record of wrongs.

I forgive (name) of every wrong he ever committed and every offense against me (list every one you can think of) I choose to forgive completely just as you forgive me and to remember those sins no more as far as the east is from the west. i release hm from any debt that is owed to me. He owes me nothing from this point on. I am due no repayment for wrongs against me. In place of anger, hurt, resentfullness, regret and bitterness I pray your great compassion and boundless love abides in me. I pray for grace that is sufficient in all circumstances. I declare that joy is my inheritance in all situations.Thank you for moving on my behalf in this marriage covenant. I Jesus name, Amen.

Do not grow weary in well-doing. When you feel weak or falter in fighting for your marriage especially when fighting what seems to be “alone”. Remember, you walk by faith not by sight. And so important…the battle is not yours, it is God’s. He fights on your behalf.

You are never fighting alone.

The Lord, commander of the hosts of Heaven fights for you!

%d bloggers like this: