The Power of Praying Pastor’s Wife
That title sounds like it could be part of Stormie Omartian’s collection of prayer books, right? If you’re not familiar with her work, Stormie has published multiple titles including “The Power of a Praying Parent,” “…Woman,” “…Mom,” “…Grandparent” and on and on the list goes. One of her books, “The Power of a Praying Wife,” is one of my favorite titles, and I’ve enjoyed teaching from her DVD materials on that topic as well. But, I must confess. I have dreamed of writing to her and saying, “Hey, would you ever consider writing a book entitled, “The Power of a Praying Pastor’s Wife”? I don’t know if she’d think I was nuts or if she would be intrigued. Needless to say, I’ve not taken that huge leap of faith – or craziness – but I do think it could be an invaluable book for many.
The prayers I’ve prayed on behalf of my husband over the years are countless. Many of those prayers had absolutely nothing to do with him being a pastor, but were focused on our relationship, his relationship with our girls, his health and just life in general. There were some seasons, though, when my prayer life was stretched so tight that I didn’t even know what words to pray for him. So, I pleaded with the Holy Spirit to pray for me, to protect him, to give him wisdom and to restore and heal his heart. Just as my prayers for my husband have been countless, there is no way I could even keep track of how many of those prayers I have seen answered. God is so gracious and kind. He doesn’t get weary with my pleas or fears, and he does not turn a deaf ear to any who are seeking His ways.
Just as Stormie focuses on a variety of different topics in each chapter of her books, I’ve been nudged to focus in on and pray for a variety of specific things in my husband’s life over our years spent in pastoral ministry. Here’s a few that come to mind that might also help you to more effectively pray for your husband – and your pastor.
Perhaps your husband needs wisdom, James 1:5 is a great place to start in your prayer journey for him. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
How about restoration and healing? Psalm 23:5a is a simple plea, but oh so powerful. “He restores my soul.”
In my prayers, I tend to stick with verses that I am already familiar with or have put to memory, but every once in a while God gives me new thoughts and prayers. One example happened just a few years ago. I had been leading a once-a-month Sunday School class on the Book of Acts. We took about a year to get through it studying the birth of the early church, the stoning of Stephen, the ministry of Peter and the missionary trips of Paul. Each study brought new discoveries as we went deeper into each chapter, but the highlight of the book ended in a verse that I have prayed for my husband for several years now.
The setting of the verse is this: Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to be brought to trial. Acts 28:30 says, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.” What a picture of faithfulness, huh? Next came verse 31 which really struck a chord within my soul. It says, “Boldly and without hindrance he [Paul] preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.” Wow! Now, that’s what I yearned for to be reality in my husband's life.
What an amazing way for the Book of Acts to conclude, and on that triumphant note was birthed a determination to pray even more fervently for my husband. Yes, he needed wisdom. Yes, he needed guidance and grace. Yes, he needed restoration and healing. But, oh, to be able to be faithful until the end irregardless of circumstances. What a gift! “Oh, God, please grant my husband the ability to preach boldly and without hindrance! Help him to share clearly and effectively the message of the Gospel of your Son’s redeeming work at Calvary. Give Him your grace and mercy as he seeks to follow you.”
And, you know what’s happened over the past several years? God has answered that prayer over and over again. In fact, every time I hear him share the Gospel from the pulpit, at a cemetery or simply in conversation with a friend, I am amazed at God’s grace in our lives. For a pastor to be able to preach boldly and without hindrance – what a gift!
The Scriptures are filled with topics and promises that we can each pray for our pastor-husbands, and I encourage you to find a verse to pray for your husband this year. But, I will caution you with the words that Stormie shares in her books. It goes something like this: If you’re thinking that your prayers are going to fix your husband, you might as well just throw this book away. First, you must look inward and see how God can change your heart. Then, you can pray for your husband.
There is great wisdom in Stormie’s words. Perhaps the best way to help your husband in the coming days is to start right at home – in your heart. Maybe the best way to impact your husband is to seek God’s face in your own life. Only you know the answer to that. My hope is that both you and your husband would benefit from your prayers this year. Where do you want to see God work? Is it time for you to boldly face what God’s ready to teach you? Trust Him to take away all hindrances to your spiritual growth and give Him your open heart and earnest prayers.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24