Month: May 2012

Praying for my Husband A to Z: G is for Greatness

Greatness

Psalm 18:35
Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation:

and thy right hand hath holden me up,

and thy gentleness hath made me great.

It is hard to stand on the sideline and watch while someone else gets the promotion, praise, and glory. We were made to worship and honor our Creator, but sin crashed the party turning our focus inward. We are driven by selfishness and pride to seek the spotlight and at times we are so blinded by  sin we are willing to do anything in order to get our “praise of men fix.”  It is not natural for sinful and fallen man to place the importance of another above them himself, but we are no longer simply flesh, bound by the law of sin and death.  We are new creations, risen in newness of life, empowered and led by the Spirit of God. God has something far better in-store for our lives than self-seeking, temporal gratification.

Recently I have sensed the Lord asking me if I am willing to be small in order that others, including my husband, can be great. It can get lonely and tiring being the person behind the scene. Standing on stage is much nicer than cleaning it. Being the person who takes orders isn’t as fun as being the one who gets to give them, but as Solomon discovered, vanity and emptiness follow closely on the heels of one who spends their life striving for glory, honor, power, position, and possessions.

My salvation cost me nothing, and in exchange for eternity all Christ has asked of me is full surrender to His will for my life.  How can I turn my ear from His call to serve, when the request comes from one who sacrificed His very flesh and blood on my behalf?  How can I merit striving for my own glory and earthly praise when He gave up his Glory and Kingly Robes to wear the swaddling rags of man.

As I yield my life to serve wherever and in whatever arenas the Lord asks of me, the challenge to be David’s Help-meet looms large. I am asking the Lord to make David a great man both physically but more important spiritually. I desperately need a heart transformed and yielded, humbly focusing the success and greatness of others. This means the dreaded “P” & “B” words, priorities & balance  : ) It also means living and believing in what I am praying for, David’s greatness. David needs to sense that I believe in him, trust him, and think him capable to greatness. I can’t live a life that physically and spiritually derails what I claim believe and strive for.

Father, you have given me an amazing husband. I am blessed beyond measure by the presence of my soul mate, playmate, partner and friend. Father we are sinners desperate for your grace, power, and transformation. You have loved and forgiven us and you rightfully called me to love David with the same selfless, sacrificial abandonment that you demonstrated towards me at the cross.  May my heart and spirit be open, submissive, and humble before you. May I be willing to serve both you and David, playing the role you have entrusted to me, a sacred help-meet to David. Lord, a Spirit Filled, God Honoring, godly, successful David is your desire. Truly greatness is when a man is covered by your gentle hand, filled with your grace and wisdom. Greatness is David leading his family and growing his business to honor and glorify you. May this be the reality and fruit of David’s life and work. Amen

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Praying for my Husband A to Z: F is for Favor

Favor

Psalm 5:12

For you bless the righteous, O Lord;

You cover him with favor

as with a shield

Psalm 84:11

Today I have prayed that my husband would be anointed with favor. Psalm 5:12 has been my heart-song for David. Some have said that Grace is God’s unmerited favor, a gift we do not deserve but are given liberally.

The Heavenly Father has chosen David and called him to Himself. He has called, and then promised that as he calls and leads he also will equips. He has also promised that He will perfect and finish the work He has begun in David’s life, & our marriage & family. So my prayer is that God’s grace would compass David as he works, thinks, interacts, and goes about his day.

 

I am also praying that David would find favor in the presence of his employees, customers, vendors, and all others the Lord brings into his life. His day is filled with much stress as he tries to keep the peace, make customers happy, all while growing and leading his company.

 

Father, it is true that your grace and favor is upon the life of my husband. You have loved and been intimately acquainted with him from His youth. I have seen your hand upon his life and I ask that your grace, love and favor would not depart. May your favor guide, protect and transform him. Father David deals with so many people and so many high pressure situations every day. Please give him the wisdom, discernment, understanding, and compassion he needs as he works with those you bring into his life. Please give him favor in their eyes, and give him the ability to defuse anger, animosity, physical limitations & weaknesses. Amen

Praying for My Husband A to Z: E is for an Eternity Perspective

An Eternity Perspective

During the April, A to Z blog challenge, one of my topics was Overcoming Through Eternity. As I thought through the multitude of prospective “E” words, I couldn’t ignore the importance of an Eternity focus.

 

A godly woman who spoke at a recent women’s function, pointed out the abundance of paradox’s we find throughout scripture. One of these is the call for us to, “see the unseen.” Because  we live in and are confined to a physical world, the call to strive to see and live for the unseen, can be a daunting task.

 

My husband has bills to pay, mouths to feed, and flesh and blood employees and customers to care for and make happy. When an irrational customer is demanding $4,000 to replace a scratch on their floor, that can’t even be found, it can be difficult to view both the person and the circumstance with an Eternity mindset.

 

For every physical trial, challenge, hardship & even blessing, there is an eternal purpose. Our lives are not our own, we have been purchased and redeemed for a price, and a very hefty one at that, the flesh, blood and body of deity.

 

My husband’s job is not intended to bring him fulfillment and happiness, and for that matter neither am I. David’s holiness and the proclaimed Glory of the Father is all that matters.

 

Today my prayer for David is that he would experience the fullness, peace, and grace of the Lord as he strives to see life with an eternal perspective.

 

Father, bless my husband with spiritual eyes, so that can he see his family, employees, business, and life with an eternity perspective. Father keep His eyes, heart, and mind focused upon you. May his prayer be that he would driven by an intense desire to be in your presence and satisfied only “when he awakes complete in your likeness.”

Praying for My Husband A to Z: Selfish Prayers- Regrouping and Refocusing for the Coming Week

Ten years ago David and I entered into a covenant relationship with each other. In front of hundreds of witnesses, David promised to give to me what no other person now has a right to, his heart, love, body, and life. I am David’s wife, partner, helpmeet, and confidant, the person he chose to make himself vulnerable to.

Though the Bible teaches that in this covenant relationship, I am the weaker vessel, in truth I hold amazing power and control over David. I posses the ability to crush his spirit and I can single-handedly bring calamity, ruin, and shame into the spiritual temple and physical home he is striving to build. Psalms and Proverbs explains that I can be odious, deceptive, and like a dripping faucet. Through my words, actions, and attitudes I can dishonor and tear down, but through the grace and power of God I have a second option. I can be the woman who works behind the scenes to make her husband “ known among the elders of the land.”

As I have focused on becoming an intercessory warrior for David, the Lord has convicted my heart concerning motives that often drive my prayer life. Many times, my prayers for David are born out of personal fear and selfishness. I pray for purity because I don’t want emotional ruin. I pray for wise business decisions because I don’t want my cozy life taken away. I pray for a wise spiritual father for our kids, because I don’t want my heart crushed by rebellious and foolish children. There are times I have even ignore the prompting to pray for something because the ramifications might bring about unwanted and painful disruptions to my easygoing life. I in no way mean to infer that the above prayers are bad, and that it is wrong to pray for areas that affect my life as well as my husbands, but I feel the Lord has exposed some selfishness tendencies that need addressed because they impede the goal of prayer, a life and heart transformed and yielded to the Creator it is crying out to.

I do not want pride and selfishness to create a facade of true love, I want to love truly, painfully, completely, and with abandonment. This love is directed towards my Heavenly Father whose sole purpose for my life and our marriage is to bring glory to himself. By loving Him completely, I can love David selflessly. By desiring God’s best for my life, David’s life, and our marriage, I am empowered and free to pray the “Anything” kind of prayers.

Lord, you created me to be David’s help-meet, willing to be the unseen warrior on the sideline cheering my man onto victory and godliness. Father, I want my prayers and moments of fellowship with you to be pure and free of fear, pride, and selfishness. Father guide my heart, mind, will, emotions, and affections this week as I focus on your will and purpose for my husband, our marriage, and my life. Father create in me a clean heart willing to decrease so that David can increase. Father help me to walk in the spirit, and in newness of life. My life is yours, hid in the life and blood of your son. My husband is yours, hid in the life and blood of your son. We do not belong to another, we belong to you. Our marriage is not for our happiness, but rather your Holiness and glory. Let your will and way be done in our lives. Amen

Praying for my Husband A to Z: D is for Discernment

Discernment:

 Wisdom, Insight, Perception, Perceptiveness, Perceptivity, Sageness

The day I got married, I was given the right to say one of the most liberating sentences on earth, “I need to check with my husband, I will get back with you.” Isn’t it wonderful to be able to place the pressure and burden of a decision on the shoulders of someone else!  I can go to David and ask for counsel and advice but even better than that, I can go to him and ask him to make a decision for me. I can tell him the facts, tell him my desire, and then hand the burden of choice over to him. I can even use him as an excuse, something he has told me he is totally fine with. He is a good boy, willing to protect and go to bat for me any time of the day and for any reason.

There are many things my husband and I have agreed to discuss together before making a decision. We make sure we are in agreement with our budget,  major expenses, and choices that affect the family, but for the most part the burden of many decisions fall squarely upon David’s shoulders. Weather at home or at work, his decisions effect many lives and the burden of that responsibility is a heavy one to bear.

My prayer today has been that the Lord would fill my husband discernment as he leads our family and runs a business.

Father, give my husband boldness and courage as he assumes the role of father, husband, businessman & leader. Help him to filter, with spiritual eyes and godly discernment, as he leads our home.

Praying for my Husband A to Z: C is for Calling

Calling

2 Peter 1:10

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren,

give diligence to make your calling and election sure:

for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

 

My husband never ceases to amaze me. He assumes so many roles during a 24 hour day. He wakes up early every morning and is my breakfast buddy, Bible study partner, leader, husband, and friend. We chat over coffee, cramming in as much “us” time as we possibly can before footfalls on the wooden stairs announce the arrival of our kids. With the quiet morning interrupted David assumes the role of “daddy” to three energetic kids who clamor for his undivided attention. Once David backs out of the driveway and passes through the doors at work he adds boss, accountant, teacher, counselor, advocate, and mediator to his growing list of duties.

 

Not all his tasks are enjoyable, but in order to provide for us and help his guys provide for their families, he does what has to be done. His days are spent sustaining, leading, and sacrificing for others, but his day does not end when he clocks out return home. He has been chosen and set apart for the Lord’s work and and for the Lord’s glory and testimony. A fifty hour work week, demanding wife, sick child, or broken down car does not excuse him from his God-given calling, “Be Holy as I am Holy, Love the Lord with ALL your heart, study…rightly dividing the word of truth”….Somewhere between the necessities, duties, and responsibilities of life, my husband is called by the Lord to embrace and fulfill God’s purpose for his life, to live, love, and serve his Creator with every ounce of strength and passion within him.

 

Our husbands are amazing men, with complicated, stress filled, demanding lives.  Somehow a midst all the physical demands and battles they endure, they have to simultaneously wage war on second front, the spiritual one.  Today my prayer is that the Lord’s calling upon my husband’s life would embolden, impassion, and drive him throughout  every aspect of his day.

 

Father, your hand is upon the life and work of my husband. He is flesh, with limitations and weakness, yet at the same time he is a spiritual, redeemed, and living creation called out by you. As he engages in the spiritual and physical arenas of life, help to never loose sight of eternity, and the only thing that truly matter or will stand when he meets you face to face. Help him to discover, fulfill, and accomplish the one calling that matters most, his relationship, walk, and service to you. Give him eyes to see, ears to hear your voice, wisdom, and council. Let his heart be consumed with a desire and passion for you alone. Amen

Praying For My Husband A to Z: B is for Boldness

Boldness

Philippians 1:20
According to my earnest expectation and my hope,

that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness,

as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body,

whether it be by life, or by death.

Boldness is a requirement for all who lead. Leaders bear the burden and responsibility of life & death, success or failure, profit & loss. As the leader of our homes and marriages, our husbands take the first step into battle, placing themselves squarely in the line of fire. They take this leap because it is their calling and duty but also because they love us. They sacrifice, labor, and fight trusting we have their back and are going to be there right beside them.

Our husbands fight in many different arenas throughout their week. Every building they enter can become a war zone. Factories, offices, gyms, the home, and even church can provide a host of challenges & opportunities, temptations & trials. Most of our husbands work in secular arenas, with people who disagree with and even challenge their beliefs and standards. Life can be lonely when you take a stand and choose to do or say what is right instead of what is popular.

Today I am praying the Lord gives my husband boldness  as he works, leads, and interacts with his employees & customers.

Father, you have promised that today you will give David all the grace and strength he needs in order to “walk worthy” of the calling you have given him, but this doesn’t mean that every decisions and interactions with others will be easy. Father, give him boldness when faced with situations that challenge the holy life you have called him to. Lord, fill his heart with the power of your Spirit enabling him to stand and fight for truth, honor, and your glory. Give him a boldness and passion for you that makes sharing his faith and your presence in his life a delight instead of a duty. Amen

Praying for My Husband A to Z: A is for Asking

Ask

Matthew 7:7-8

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

Jokes abound when it comes to the subject of how impossible it is for men to understand women. My husband and I were speaking with a couple in our flock one evening when this very topic arose. An older husband had the most incredulous look on his face as I explained how quickly unchecked emotions, driven by fear, can reduce women into a puddle of tears. In just a single millisecond, I explained that I could have my “late/tardy” husband mangled in a ditch on the side of a road, dying in a hospital bead alone, stuffed inside a coffin, buried at the local cemetery, the house repossessed, and myself receiving a ten-year service award at the local iHop, where I worked nights to support myself.

 

Yes ladies, we are an enigma, sometimes even to ourselves, but if the truth be told, often times when it comes to our men, we are just as clueless. We are emotional creatures, wearing every feeling, presumption, and crisis we encounter on our sleeve. We want to air it all out, and ‘talk” until we feel the issue is resolved, but this isn’t how the typical man handles life, stress, anxiety, trials, and failure. They are peculiarly silent creatures, but their silence in no way indicates they have life under control. I can’t comprehend how my husband bears the weight of running his business, providing for his family, and keeping me content and happy with any time left over to take care of his own physical, spiritual, & emotional needs. I look at this world and the unabashed assault satan wages against the leaders of our homes and I am horrified yet if the truth be told, despite what I see, I can not begin comprehend the magnitude or scale of the spiritual warfare my husband endures on a daily basis.

 

My husband is the authority of our home, and the spiritual head over me, just as Christ is the head of the church. If satan was evil, brash, and rebellious enough to oppose Christ by hanging His Son on the Cross, he will not spend any less effort to destroy our men, homes, lives, and marriage?  The accuser despises the Glory of the Father and He is literally “hell-bent” to rid any semblance of  God’s presence here on earth. Our marriages and our lives display the wondrous glory and power of Christ at work. We are images of the Son. Our lives are examples and a testimony of the redemptive work of the Father in the lives of sinful fallen man. Satan loathes us and he despises our men because of this. Simply put, our men are clothed in bright red bulls-eyes each and every day.

 

If David was drafted into the army and shipped to the most dangerous battlefield on earth, I think I would struggle to live a normal life because I would want to be on my face praying for him 24/7. Ladies, my man has been drafted and he is in battle. Satan is out to kill, steal, and destroy the life, fruit, and work of our men, family, and homes! Sadly my prayer life does not always reflect the gravity this spiritual reality.
.

Praise be to God for the work of His Spirit, for “greater is He that is in us than he who is in this world.” Hallelujah  and thanksgiving to our Loving Father for “he has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” This corrupt body of flesh has been put to death and victory is ours. Our Father stands with all we need and with every ounce of power and grace that our husbands need to stand, fight, endure, and conquer but there is something He has called us to do, “Watch and pray.”

Vigilance and sober mindedness is my calling. To see with spiritual eyes, the battles that truly matter is my goal. The ability to discern the true enemies of my life, marriage, and home, the ones capable of destroying not the body, but the spirit, is my duty. When it comes to comprehending the battles and temptations my husband has to fight today, while I might be clueless, I am not powerless and I am definitely hot hopeless.

 

As I begin day 1 of prayer for my husband I am simply crying out to the Lord, “ASKING” Him for wisdom. I do not know how to pray for my husband, and I do not always know what to pray for him, but the King of Creation, who sees all does! I need the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit to help me navigate through the emotions, fears, and weaknesses that oftentimes gets in the way of the Truth of His word and the reality of my husband’s true needs.

 

Oh Father, you knit the substance and essence of my husband together and He is the glorious work our you hands. You are his Creator and you know and understand his heart in ways I never can. You have a purpose and plan for his life beyond what I could ever fathom or comprehend and you have given me the precious gift of walking along side him as He discovers this amazing calling. You delight greatly in David, and it has pleased you to bring glory and honor to yourself by redeeming him and calling him your son.  Father, give me wisdom and discernment as I lift him up in prayer. Lord let my prayers for Him be a sweet offering of faith and love to you. Give me wisdom to navigate through my own weaknesses, fears, and failures so that I can be to him the help meet you have designed me to be. You have declared that if I ask, it will be given, that if I seek, I will find. Lord I am asking for the wisdom and grace I need to be the prayer warrior I am called to be. Thank you for hearing my cry, and for the transforming work you are accomplishing in my life, our home, and our marriage. Amen

The Hat You Should Never Wear!

The “Hat” you were never meant to wear!

As a daughter of Christ, wife, and mother, there are many roles I am “called” to fulfill. Some mornings I find a yellow hard hat on top my head. You know the “pardon my mess, your tax dollars are at work” kind of days when all you do is “fix things” like broken attitudes & relationships. Days filled with busted toys, skinned knees, and clogged drains.

There are the trench warfare days when I feel like I am wearing a special ops military grade helmet as I leap from fox hole to fox hole, dodging spiritual, mental, and emotional bombardments from the “enemy”. I am a cook, nurse, teacher, peacemaker, chauffeur, and the list goes on. Not every hat I don is difficult or burdensome. I love my sun visor moments! The mornings I can relax on a park bench with a book, sipping a cup of hot coffee while being serenaded by the sounds of my 3 treasures squealing with delight in the warm spring sun.

While many of the “hats” in my extensive collection require personal sacrifice, momentary angst, and occasional hardships, I would not relinquish any of the roles my Father has entrusted to me. Every “hat” the Lord has ever asked me to wear has been accompanied with grace and strength in abundance. It is a truthful saying,

“Faithful is He who has called you who will also perform it.”

Over the past few years, the Lord has opened my eyes to the fact that the source of some of my greatest struggles, defeats, and failures have come when I claimed a hat I was never intended to wear. If you are like me, a sinner saved by grace, chances are this hat has shown up in your collection from time to time, just as it has mine. Perhaps you are wearing this very hat as we speak.

I unwittingly placed this hat on top my of head just the other day as I stood at the kitchen sink, deep in thought. The week had been a rough one for me. I was exhausted and to make matters worse, I had not responded properly to some spiritual warfare that had arisen in my life. Suddenly an old, familiar foe I have battled for years wrapped its icy fingers around my heart and I immediately went into defence mode. I grabbed the bill of the “hat” with the words “Holy Spirit” stitched brightly across the top, tightened the strap, and set about to take control of the situation. To resolve this conflict, I determined that my husband, who was absolutely clueless as to what was bothering me, needed to do a,b, & c, and furthermore he needed to refrain from doing e, f, & g. (The poor guy!)

As my emotions swirled and the dark clouds grew, the voice of my Heavenly Father parted the commotion of my unchecked emotions and fears. With clarity, I heard Him declare with loving rebuke “Jody, you can not make your husband holy. That is my job and the work of my Spirit.” I reached up and pulled the “cap” from off my head, and I handed it to back to the Lord. In despair, I cried out, “But what can I do for him?” Just as clearly as before, the Lord answered me and He said “You can pray for Him Jody.” I prayed, peace flooded my heart, and the burden of a role I was never ment to fulfill lifted from off my shoulders.

The Challenge

The Lord works in mysterious ways! On Sunday I had to work in the nursery, so I missed the a.m. Service. As I prepared lunch after church, I asked my husband about the message and a smile came to my lips when he said it was about praying for others. As David gave me a summary of the message, all I could think about was that special moment in the kitchen when I distinctly heard God calling me to pray for my husband.

I am ashamed to confess this, but of all the “hats” in my collection, the “Prayer warrior” cap is not as worn and tattered as others are. My laundry, sun visor, chefs hat and workout caps are tattered and painted with sweat stains but my prayers cap looks fairly new. This calling to Pray is not a glorious, win the praise of man kind of “hat”. It is a private, selfless, and sacrificial act of love and humility. I feel the hand of the Lord impressing upon my heart the dire need a husband has for the prayers and intercession of his wife. Ladies, we need to pray daily, intently, and purposefully for our husbands, boyfriends, and future life mates. Single ladies do you pray for the man who will one day be your husband?

We can’t change our men, nor can we order their lives so that they never make wrong choices, or never stumble and fall. I can not work and move my husbands heart towards holiness, but the Lord of Creation can. I have to hand over the hat with the words “Holy Spirit” written across it, entrusting the heart of the one I love deeply into His capable hands.  This frees me to accomplish my calling an the one thing I am capable and called to do, PRAY!

Recently I participated in a 26 day blog challenge that was very rewarding. I would like to begin a 31 day A-Z challenge of my own and I wonder if you would consider joining me? You can participate on your own in private, or join in publicly on your blog. I would like to take the next 30 days to concentrate on my husband while developing the discipline and habit of lifting him up to the Lord. Each day I will choose specific things, (mine will correspond to the letter of the day as possible) to bring to the Lord in prayer. As you are led, would you participate in your own way? If you are single, please join us! Oh how I wish I had prayed for David before I knew him. Being a young man in this fallen world is not easy. Satan is a deceiver, a wicked lion who stalks and devours our husbands, sons, pastors, and leaders.

How amazing it would be to have hundreds and even thousands of women around the world lifting up their men to the Lord in humble, loving, God honoring, targeted, specific prayer each and every day. Please join me and if you feel led, pass this along via word of mouth, e-mail, at church, in small groups…..