Many years ago, I learned that I can actually use the written Word of God to pray for my family and friends. It was not a new idea; using the Scriptures as prayer is a very old concept. But it was a new idea for me. When praying Scripture, you are using words inspired by The Creator! There is power in those words, power that can be part of our prayer life!
We know from the Bible that we are to pray for one another. As believers, prayer is commanded of us; it is not just a suggestion. There are examples throughout the Old and New Testaments of godly men and women presenting their requests before the Lord and seeing Him answer in awesome ways.
But where do I begin? How do I pray for my husband? For my kids? For my friends who are hurting?
I am not eloquent. I do not have the ability to write wonderful prayers like those we read in Psalms or which the apostle Paul prayed in his letters. I can think of lots of things I may want to change in my kids or husband, but are my complaints appropriate topics of prayer? When I pray, what things should I ask the Lord to do in my husband’s life? In my kids’ lives? I my friends’ lives? Where do I start?
We had been married about 10 years when I found myself looking at my husband’s hands one afternoon. They are wonderful hands. Not beautiful, but wonderful. He can repair just about anything with them. He can play the guitar in worship with his hands. He writes reports and letters in his daily work with his hands, and he types more than seventy words per minute. As an engineer, he knows drafting and can design lots of things. He has written me silly love notes and signed sentimental greeting cards. With his hands he has disciplined our children, hugged them, and wiped away their tears. He has used his hands in officiating soccer games and teaching our children to ride bikes, ski, and use power tools. One touch from his hands helps soothe my tired body and calm my troubled soul after a long day. I love my husband’s hands.
As I looked at Ron’s hands that day so many years ago, I found myself thanking God for Ron and his hands and asking the Lord to bless the work of Ron’s hands in the days to come.
An idea was birthed as I prayed: I could use the different parts of my husband’s body as prompts for prayer.
God mentions parts of our bodies throughout Scripture – hair on our head, diligent hands, clay feet, ears to hear, eyes lifted to the Lord, a heart after God’s own heart, and many more. If I could find and memorize those passages, they could help me in knowing where to begin when praying for my husband.
I spent the next few days looking up Scriptures regarding the human body. I wrote them down on an outline drawing of a human form. I put many of those verses and promises together in a prayer for my husband.
Over the years, my prayer has changed somewhat, depending on what challenges we are facing and what new truths God is showing me. There are days when I pray more for wisdom for his mind and peace for his heart than strength for his physical body. One spring, while my husband was fighting a bad staph infection in his ankle, I found myself frequently praying for him to be able to stand firm in the Lord. When he is facing a deadline at work, I pray that God will give him the mind of Christ, order his steps, and help him win favor with God and men.
The following is example of this prayer model. It takes only a few minutes, but is powerful. I am moved me each time I lift my husband up in prayer using this format. I find my love for my husband strengthened every time I pray this prayer for him.
I encourage you to try this model: Start at the top of your husband’s head and pray down to his to feet. Look up Scripture passages pertaining to his body. Memorize them. Meditate on them. And use those Scripture verses as the foundation for your prayer.
This model can be used to pray for anyone – your child, parent, friend. I began to pray using body parts as prompts when praying for each of our children. As I rocked a little one to sleep or comforted a crying child, I prayed that he would learn to lift up his eyes to hills where his help comes from. While bandaging the latest wounded knee, I would pray that God would help my child to stand firm in the Lord. When I saw our teen playing a sport, I prayed that she will run with endurance the race that is set before her, fixing her eyes on Jesus.
At first, I had all the Scriptures typed out on a sheet of paper with the references. I would pray the verses exactly as written. Then, over time, I began to memorize them and pray them from memory.
I humbly come before You to intercede on behalf of my husband and our family. I thank you for giving us to each other and making us one.
(Head) My husband is the head of our home. Help me to submit to his authority and help him to love me as Christ loves the church. (Ephesians 5:22-23) Show him and remind him of all your benefits. You forgive our sins and redeem our life. You crown us with love and compassion. You satisfy our years with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagles. Renew my husband’s strength today. (Psalm 103:-1-5)
Lord, You know my husband. You have searched him and know him. You know when he sits and when he rises up. You understand his thoughts from afar. You know him in the secret places. You wove him together in his mother’s womb. Help him to know these things and remember who You are and what You have done for him. Remind him of Your love for him. (Psalm 139)
(Mind) Give him the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) and help him to love You, Oh God, with all his heart, soul & mind. (Matthew 22:37) Help him to have a mind set on Your Spirit so that he will have life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
(Hair) Remind my loving husband that You care for him. Show him in a very real way today how much You care for him. (Matthew 10:30) You even know every hair on his head! (Luke 12:7)
(Eyes) Father, as he faces challenges at work and at home, help my husband to lift up his eyes to You who are enthroned in heaven (Psalm 123) and cause him to lift his eyes to mountains from where his help comes. Help him know his help comes from You. (Psalm 121:1)
Lord, our world is full of temptations; they are everywhere around us. Cause my husband to turn his eyes away from vain and worthless things; preserve his life according to Your Word. (Psalm 119:37) Open his eyes that he may behold wonderful things in Your Law. (Psalm 119:18) Cause him to look at the things which are not seen and to remember that what is seen is temporal, but what is not seen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
Cause him to fix his eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of Your throne. (Hebrews 12:2)
(Ears) I ask You, Lord, to give him the eyes to see and ears to hear all that You have for him. Cause him to hear Your Word and believe so that he may not be condemned. (John 5:24) And strengthen him so that he can be a doer of the Word and not hear it only. (James 1:22) Open his ears so he can hear Your Word and so that his faith may increase.
(Mouth) Cause him to hunger & thirst for righteousness. (Matthew 5:6) May the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14) May his mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long. (Psalm 71:8) May Your words be sweeter than honey in his mouth (Psalm 119:103)
As he goes about his day, help him to let no unwholesome talk come out of his mouth, but to speak only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29) Help him to keep perversity from his mouth and keep corrupt talk far from his lips. (Proverbs 4:24) Remind him that out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:33-37)
(Shoulders) Lord, my husband has so many responsibilities at work, home, and in our church. Help him to remember to come to You when he is weary and heavy-laden, and You will give him rest. Remind him to take Your yoke upon himself and learn from You, for You are gentle and humble in heart, and when he does, he will find rest for his soul. For Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Help me to bear his burden and to find ways to make his life better and his load lighter so that I can fulfill the Law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)
(Hands) Father, thank you for my husband’s hands. I ask You to bless the work of his hands today. (Psalm 90:17) Cause him to desire to worship You with his hands (Psalm 47:1, 63:4, 88:9, 119:48) Help him to use his hands to do good things (Ephesians 4:28) and keep him from being lazy. Cause him to be diligent in the work of his hands. (Proverbs 10:4, 12:24)
(Heart) Put in him a pure heart and a new song. (Psalm 51:10, 40:3) May he serve You with all his heart (Deuteronomy 30:7-10) Give him the desires of his heart; put Your desires in him and then fulfill them. (Psalm 30:4) I ask that this day You turn his heart to our sons and our sons to their father. (Malachi 4:6)
Enlighten the eyes of his heart Lord, so that he may know the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of Your inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of Your power toward us who believe. Remind him that these are in accordance with the working of the strength of Your might which You brought about in Christ, when You raised Him from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:18-21) Remind my husband of Your hope, Your inheritance, and Your strength. Help him keep this truth in his heart as he goes through his day.
(Private parts) Cause my husband’s desire to be for me alone as the lover in Song of Songs loved and desired his beloved. May he rejoice in me, the wife of his youth. Help me to know how to satisfy him physically. (Proverbs 5:18-19) Help him to fulfill his duty to me as his wife, and likewise help me to fulfill my duty to my husband. (1 Corinthians 7:3)
(Legs & Feet) May he see the way out which You provide in all temptation and stand up under it. (1 Corinthians 10:13) Help him to stand firm in the faith and not waver. (1 Corinthians 15:58) And help him to stand firm in you. (Ephesians 6:13, James 5:8, Philippians 4:1)
Your word is a light unto his path. Help him to follow the path you have for him. In his work, lead him regarding what to do when. (Psalms 119:105) Direct him in the path of righteousness. (Psalms 23:3, Proverbs 20:24)
You will lead him on the right path. May he follow You and Your path alone. (Proverbs 4:11) Teach him that though the mind of man plans his way, the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)
Remind my husband that the steps of a man are established by You and You delight in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because You are the One who holds his hand. (Psalms 37:23-24)
Finally, Lord, as I think about the story of Mary washing the feet of Jesus, I ask You to help me know how to wash my husband’s feet this day. Teach me how to serve my husband and, in doing so, glorify You.
In the Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen