A few months ago, I received a request from a reader named Laura asking if I would make a free printable prayer guide devoted to Praying for Your Pastor.
“These guys need a LOT of prayer,” she wrote, “and there are many verses to support this.” I had already published printables for:
- Praying Scripture over Your Husband
- Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe
- Praying for Your Wife from Head to Toe
- Praying for Your Children from Head to Toe
- Praying for Your Marriage
- Praying for Your Unborn Child
- Praying for Your Teens
- Praying for Your Parents
- Praying for the Sick
- Praying for Your Country
Why not add a “Praying for Your Pastor” guide to the list? That made perfect sense to me.
So here’s what I came up with, based on relevant Scripture verses (click on references to read the passages cited). The prayers form an acrostic that spells PASTOR:
Ask God to help your pastor abandon a quarrel before it breaks out and to avoid slandering anyone. Pray that he would be peaceable & gentle; ask that he might live in peace, even with his enemies. (Proverbs 17:14; Titus 3:2; Proverbs 16:7)
Pray that your pastor would live a blameless life, that he would be faithful to his wife, and that he would raise children who are sincere believers, not wild or disobedient. Pray that God would protect his heart against greed, violence, drunkenness, impatience, and self-absorption. (Titus 1:6-7)
Ask God to grant your elder an extra measure of self-control. Pray that he’d live an upright, holy, and disciplined life. Teach him, O Lord, to love what is good and give him a pure & steadfast heart. Keep him alert & sober-minded. (Titus 1:8; Psalm 51:10: 1 Peter 4:7)
Pray that your pastor will hold firmly and be faithful to the Word of God, so that by sound teaching he will be able to encourage others and refute those who contradict its message. Pray that he would be a doer of the word, and not merely a hearer, since as a teacher he will ￼￼￼￼ incur a stricter judgement. (Titus 1:9; James 1:22-23; James 3:1)
Ask God to make your elder a man after His own heart. May he submit to the Word of God with humility and be obedient in everything, just as Christ humbled Himself and became obedient, even unto death. Help him run with endurance the race that You’ve marked out for him. (1 Samuel 13:14; 2 Corinthians 2:9; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 12:1)
Pray that God would give your pastor a good name in your community. Let him do nothing, Lord, that would tarnish his reputation or cause a little one to stumble. Let him be known for his wisdom, integrity, and hospitality. (Proverbs 22:1; Mark 9:42; 1 Corinthians 12:8; Psalm 25:21; Titus 1:8)
Laura was right. Pastors do need a lot of prayer. As soon as a person surrenders to the ministry, it’s as if a giant target gets painted on his back. Satan works overtime trying to take him down, hoping that if he falls, his flock will scatter as well. (The same can be said of parents and their children!)
Yet Christians serve a God who is greater than anything the devil can throw at us. That’s why I’m such a proponent of prayer. The Bible tells us, “You have not, because you ask not.” (James 4:2) I’m trying to change that narrative, one printable prayer guide at a time. 🙂
As I mentioned in 25 Ways to Show Love to Your Wife, praying with and for your wife is a critical component of a healthy marriage.
Here is a companion graphic to go with my wife’s Praying For Your Husband From Head to Toe. She made them both, but it made more sense to put this one on my blog than hers.
Whether you reference this prayer guide or not, I hope you will make it a habit to pray for your wife daily. If you’d like to download a free printable version of our head-to-toe plan to use as a reminder, just click on the image at right. Enjoy.
- Pray for Her Brain:
Pray that God would mold her into a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman and would keep her thoughts centered on whatever is true, lovely, right, pure, noble, and worthy of praise. (Proverbs 31:10; Philippians 4:8)
- Pray for Her Eyes:
Ask God to give her eyes of compassion, so she could see others as He sees them. (Matthew 9:36; 1 Samuel 16:7b)
- Pray for Her Ears:
Pray that she would listen for God’s still, small voice and would remain ever attentive to the His promptings.
(Matthew 11:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:19)
- Pray for Her Mouth:
Ask that God would fill her mouth with skillful and godly wisdom, that the law of kindness would remain on her tongue, and that she would only and always speak the truth in love . (Proverbs 31:26; Ephesians 4:15)
- Pray for Her Heart:
Pray that God would fill your wife’s heart with love and respect for you and with tender patience toward your children. (Ephesians 5:33; 1 Thessalonians 2:7)
- Pray for Her Arms:
Ask God to gird your wife with strength, making her arms strong and firm. Pray that He would bless the work of her hands and that she would do her work cheerfully, as unto Him. (Proverbs 31:17, 31; Colossians 3:23)
- Pray for Her Womb:
Pray that God would bless the fruit of her womb by giving her children who walk in truth. (Psalm 127:3; 3 John 1:4)
- Pray for Her Legs:
Ask God to strengthen and sustain your wife, so that she can walk and not faint and not tire of doing good. (Isaiah 40:31; 2 Thessalonians 3:13)
- Pray for Her Feet:
Pray that her feet would be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace so that she might faithfully pursue righteousness and love. Ask God to lead her in the path of wisdom and truth and to keep her foot from stumbling. (Ephesians 6:15; Proverbs 21:21; Proverbs 4:11-12)
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power … For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” Ephesians 6:10, 12 (NIV)
I still remember being sequestered in the Bride’s Room of our church just moments before the organist began to play for the early arrivals.
As I sat before an oversized gilded mirror trying not to wrinkle my dress, I daydreamed about the man who would become my husband in moments. He was everything I had ever hoped for: handsome, smart, ambitious and strong. Most importantly, he loved Jesus.
Yes, this was a good day.
Staring at my reflection, an unwelcome thought popped in my mind. Doesn’t every woman feel this joy on her wedding day? What could go so terribly wrong that such a high percentage of marriages end in divorce? Am I fooling myself? Am I that much different from the thousands who have walked the aisle before me?
I decided right then I would do everything in my power to make my marriage a success. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the words “in my power” were a problem. “My power” was not enough. Marriage was hard.
Fairy tales often end with the words, “And they lived happily ever after.” But … if we could see the epilogue to those rides off into the sunset, we’d most likely find daily struggles, potentially divisive decisions and angry arguments sprinkled throughout.
Fairy tales stop short of telling us about tension over whose turn it is to wash the dishes, pay the bills or put the kids to bed. They leave out the part about stress over holidays with in-laws, frequency of intimacy and who gets to spend what, when. We naively repeat the words, “for better or for worse,” and then are shocked when the first hint of “worse” rears its ugly head.
If you’ve been married for more than a few days, you’ve likely figured out that blessed unions need work to stay blessed.
And I dare say, the most important “work” we can do as wives is on our knees before God in prayer. Only God can truly protect our marriages and our men. And He invites us to participate in the unleashing of His power by praying for our husbands and turning the key to the storehouse of heaven’s door for blessings outpoured.
We’ve got to remember: The real struggle in marriage is a spiritual one. Our husbands are not our enemy; the devil is (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
Paul urged believers to enter into spiritual battle armed and ready with the Word of God. He wrote: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms … Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:12,17, NIV).
Through prayer, the enemy’s plans are intercepted and principalities and authorities are defeated. Through prayer, the power and provision of God flows into the lives of His people.
I had to learn prayer is not a means of gaining control over my husband, to whip him into shape and make him the man I wanted him to be. Prayer is a means of relinquishing control of my husband and asking God to shape him into the man that He wants him to be.
Regardless of where your man or your marriage falls on the continuum of terrific to tolerable to terrible, there is always room for improvement. Prayer can make a bad marriage good and a good marriage great.
There’s no better way to pray for someone than praying Scripture. We’ll use the following as our closing prayer for today. While I love to pray for my husband from head to toe, today we’ll just focus on our husbands’ head.
Dear Lord, I pray for __________.
- His Mind — That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- His Eyes — That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13; Mark 9:47)
- His Ears — That he will hear Your still small voice instructing him. (1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 32:8)
- His Mouth — That his words will be pleasing to You. (Psalm 19:14)
- His Neck — That his decisions will honor You in all regards. (Psalm 25:12)
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
James 5:16b, “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much .” (AMP)
To learn more about how to pray Scripture over your husband and get a 30-day prayer guide, see Sharon Jaynes’ book, Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer.
Click here for a free downloadable for “Praying Scripture for Your Husband from Head to Toe.”
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one area of your marriage that you feel could be better?
If you’re feeling brave, leave your prayer request in the comments, in just a few words. Then pray for the name above yours. I will pray for the last responder. (To honor your man, please don’t leave a lot of details. God knows all about it!)
© 2016 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
When God created man, He stepped back and said: “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” (Genesis 2:18).
The Hebrew word translated “helper” that is used for woman is ezer. It is derived from the Hebrew word used of God and the Holy Spirit, “azar.” Both mean “helper” – one who comes alongside to aid, assist or rescue. Ezer appears twenty-one times in the Old Testament. Two times it is used of the woman in Genesis 2, and sixteen times it is used of God or Yahweh as the helper of His people.
The remaining three references appear in the books of the prophets, who use it in reference to military aid. Interestingly the sixteen times the word, ezer, is used of God, it also carries military connotations. “O LORD, be my helper,” David cried (Psalm 30:10 NASB). “My father’s God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of the Pharaoh,” Moses proclaimed (Exodus 18:4). Clearly, the word “ezer” holds a place of great honor. It is a portrait of great strength.
Theologians William Mounce, in his Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words paints a poignant picture:
With so many references to God as our helper, it is obvious that an ezer is in no way inferior to the one who receives help. This is important because this is the word that God uses in Genesis 2:18 when he says about Adam, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” God then forms Eve as his ezer. According to God’s design, therefore, the man and the woman, the husband and the wife, have been designed by God to stand together and help each other fight the battles of life. And God is there as the divine ezer to fight with them.”
I was surprised to discover that even the Proverbs 31 woman, this woman who has been showcased as a godly role model for centuries, was referred to in military terms. “An excellent wife, who can find?” the passage begins. “Her worth is far above jewels” (Proverbs 31:10 NASB). The New International Version calls her “a wife of noble character.” The Amplified Bible describes her as “a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman.” The Hebrew word that is translated “excellent” or “virtuous” can also mean “wealthy, prosperous, valiant, boldly courageous, powerful, mighty warrior.” Did you catch that? “Mighty warrior.”
I’m not suggesting you replace your jeans with battle fatigues, brooms with rifles, and stilettos with army boots. But I am suggesting that God has given you an amazing role as a prayer warrior on your husband’s behalf.
There is a spiritual battle going on all around us, and Paul urges us to be prepared, armed and alert. Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds,” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).
In my book, What God Really Thinks about Women, I noted the following:
God did not create woman simply because man was lonely or needed a reproductive partner. He intentionally fashioned woman to complete man-to love with him, work with him, rule with him, live life with him, procreate with him, and to fight alongside him. She was a female image bearer in this mysterious union of marriage. Woman was and is a warrior called to fight alongside man in the greatest battle that was yet to come-a battle not fought on the battlefield with guns, but on our knees in prayer.
Through prayer, the enemy’s plans are intercepted. Through prayer, the powers, principalities, and authorities of Satan’s realm are defeated. Through prayer, the power and provision of God flows into the lives of His people.
Jesus said he has given you power and authority to “overcome all the power of the enemy,’ (Luke 10:19). “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world,” (1 John 4:4). You are an ezer, uniquely fashioned and supernaturally equipped to pray for your husband.
In today’s prayer, I’ll lead you through how to pray for your husband from head to toe.
Dear Lord, today I pray for my husband, from head to toe.
- His Head –That he will look to You as Lord of his life. (1 Corinthians 11:13)
- His Mind – That he will have the mind of Christ and think as the Holy Spirit would lead him and not the flesh. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- His Eyes –That You will keep his eyes from temptation and that he will turn his eyes from sin. (Matthew 6:13, Mark 9:47)
- His Ears – That he will hear Your still small voice instructing him. (1 Kings 19:12, Psalm 32:8)
- His Mouth – That his words will be pleasing to You. (Proverbs 19:14)
- His Neck –That he will humble himself before You and be strong, courageous, and careful to do everything written in Your Word so that he will be prosperous and successful. (James 4:10, Joshua 1:8-9)
- His Heart-That he will love and trust You with his whole heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5; Proverbs 3:5)
- His Arms-That You will be his strength. (Psalm 73:26)
- His Hands-That he will enjoy the work of his hands and see it as a gift from You. (Ecclesiastes 3:13, 5:19)
- His Ring Finger – That he will be true to our marriage vows and that our love will never wane. (Proverb 3:3; Malachi 2:16)
- His Legs – That he will stand firm in his faith and not waver. (Psalm 62:6)
- His feet – That You will order his steps and that he will walk in Your truth. (Proverbs 4:25, Psalm 26:3)
What Do You Think?
Consider asking your husband for some specific ways that you can pray for him today.
Look up each of the Scripture references above and make the prayer for your husband specific to his particular needs.
Find one friend with whom you can pray for your marriage. Commit to pray for each other’s marriage on a regular basis.
If you prayed for your husband today, from head to toe, click over to my blog page and say, “I’ve got him covered!”
I don’t think there is any other role for a wife than to pray for her husband. If you would like a laminated card of verses to pray for your husband from head to toe, click over to my webpage to check it out. It will fit into your Bible for quick reference.
14-Day Romancing Your Husband Challenge: How would you like to join your girlfriends in a 14-day Romancing Your Husband Challenge? Click over to www.localhost/sjold, click on the challenge sign-up button in the right column of the home page, and your 14-day challenge emails will begin. The chance to sign up will end February 28th. Come on girlfriend, February is the love month – it’s time to spice up your marriage.