Part 3: Praying for your husband
After talking with a friend who is implementing some ideas from Charlotte Mason's style of education, I decided I would stick with one subject for at least four weeks at a time. In this way, I (and those of you who read this) can give some focused attention to one area of life. Each Wednesday, I've started to write on the injunction given to older women in Titus 2. The first on the list of topics older women are to teach younger women is to love their husbands. The very first thing I would encourage every married woman to do, as I have written in the previous two Titus blogs, is to pray for your husband.
The enemy of our souls has several tricks up his sleeve to prevent us from praying or to waylay us once we start to pray. He first tries to prevent us from ever getting started by keeping us busy with other things and making us think we simply don't have time. This is why I encourage women to commit to just one minute of prayer a day for your husband. It doesn't have to be burdensome. For sure, young motherhood is one of the busiest and most demanding times of life. Nowadays, with the added blessing-curse of internet and smartphones, busyness, in the form of interesting, forever-scrolling distractions and bings and swooshes, has increased exponentially. Since this time of life can be quite overwhelming, I recommend just starting with a one-minute-a-day commitment—one minute of focused prayer time for your husband. He is your priority. Commitments made before God help us to undermine and defeat the enemy.
But another thing the enemy does, once we start praying, is to make our minds feel rather blank so that we don't really know what to pray. We then begin to pray very general, unengaged prayers, or we spend our prayer time trying to drag our minds back to the task at hand: trying to pray. So here's a prayer idea that I began to do for my husband. Get a small notebook or a stack of 3x5 cards and a small file box. I used 3x5 cards and a file box so I could add tabs, etc. for different people and topics. (I'll share more on a prayer system in my prayer blog on Fridays.) Put your husband's name at the top of the page or card. Then ask the Lord what you should pray for. As things come to mind, write them down in brief form, one thing per line. For example, you might write, "hunger and thirst for righteousness" or "daily time in the Word" or "burden to disciple the children" or "blessing in his work," "safety in travels," etc.
Think through the various areas of his life and write down things you can pray for in each area. As a wife, you also see things in your husband's life that others don't see. Through prayer we can lift those things up to God, praying for inner transformation. In this way our husbands will "be won without a word" (I Peter 3:1). Prayer is far more affective and winsome than nagging! So as you see things—even annoying habits, which we ALL have, or other things that tend to build angst and irritability in you—write them down and make them consistent matters of prayer.
By using a notebook or index cards, you can keep adding to your list of prayer requests as more things come to mind. Eventually your list will grow too long to pray through each day. So here's what I did: Get a paper clip and clip it on the side of the page/card pointing to the first request. Pray through 3-4 requests, or however many you get to that day. Then move the paper clip down to the request below the one you ended with. The next day, start at your paper clip and pray from there, each day moving the clip down to where you should start the next day. When you get to the end, put the paper clip back up at the first request and start over. If while you're praying, you think of another request, go to the end and jot it down so you won't forget and it will now be in the "prayer rotation"; then go back to where you left off. In this way you will continue to pray for things that have been on your heart.
This revolving prayer system will also enable you to see the ways the Lord is answering as you pray through the list over and over. You'll come to a request and realize, "Oh! God has answered that one!" You can then start another page or card to record answers. When you are tempted to feel discouraged in prayer and wonder if God is actually hearing you, you can refer back to your list of answered prayer.
By writing these things down, you are warding off two problems: you're blowing out the stale air of mental blankness and protecting against spiritual insomnia—our propensity to forget the things God has burdened us to pray for. Keeping a written list engages your heart and mind. A revolving list ensures that we will continue to pray faithfully for important things. Recording your requests enables you to come back for future reference and see how God has been working.
Remember: prayer is one of the best ways, if not the best way, we can love our husbands.