I’ve made a list of things people hate to hear when their spouse is deployed. Perhaps you could add to this list, but these are the statements about which I’ve heard complaints: “I’m sorry.” “I know how you feel. I was a single mom.”
Excellent or Praiseworthy is posted on Monday and Thursday nights.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. — James 5:16b
I attended a retreat at which the speaker introduced us to teaching on “Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe.” Being a visual-type person, it intrigued me to think that I could move in thought from my husband’s head down to my husband’s feet and pray for his mind, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, bones, heart, hands, legs and feet. Let me summarize some of this instruction, written up originally as material from Proverbs 31 Ministries (perhaps you have seen other versions of similar writings). I believe that the same can be used by you husbands to pray for your wife. I have added the “her” and “she” in order to complement the truth contained in this teaching so that married couples can pray for each other, especially during times of geographic separation caused by deployment:
“Praying for his/her mind: Colossians 2:2-3 ‘that he/she will have the rich experience of knowing Christ with real certainty and clear understanding’
Praying for his/her thoughts: 2 Corinthians 10:5 ‘that he/she will take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ’
Praying for his/her eyes: 2 Kings 6:17,1 Corinthians 16:13 ‘that he/she may see life from God’s perspective and be on the alert for spiritual danger’
Praying for his/her nose: 2 Corinthians 2:15 ‘that his/her life will be refreshing to others, and a life-giving perfume’
Praying for his/her mouth: Acts 4:29 ‘that he/she will have great boldness in witnessing for God and that the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart will be acceptable to God’
Praying for his/her bones: Isaiah 58:11 ‘that he will be healthy like a watered garden’ (I would add Proverbs 3:7-8: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”)
Praying for his/her heart: James 4:8, Proverbs 3:5 ‘that he/she will be filled with God alone and that God will create in him/her a clean heart filled with pure thoughts and right desires; that he/she will trust God will all his/her heart and not lean on his/her own understanding’
Praying for his/her hands: 1 Timothy 2:8 ‘that he/she will pray with holy hands lifted to God, free from sin, anger, and resentment’
Praying for his/her legs: 2 Corinthians 5:7 ‘that he/she will walk by faith and not by sight’
Praying for his/her feet: Psalm 40:2 ‘that God will keep him/her from discouragement and set his/her feet on a firm path'”
Let me take this thought of praying for your spouse one step further. Do this—visually step through the spiritual armor, from head to toe, found in Ephesians 6 and try to think how you could pray for your spouse as we “put on” each piece of the armor during deployment:
Helmet of Salvation—“Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving salvation because of the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross of Calvary. We know that it is His blood which cleanses us from our sin and forgives us so that we may live with You eternally. I pray that my spouse may know You and the joy of Your salvation more and more each day, even while we are apart. May the truth of that never leave their side and provide them perspective to face the demands of the hour.”
Breastplate of Righteousness—“Lord Jesus, It is Your righteousness alone that covers us and protects our hearts from eternal condemnation. May we be ever mindful of the fact that it is not our righteousness, for we have none, but your righteousness alone that assures us of a right relationship with God. Guard our hearts, as a married couple, to be ever drawn to You, not relying on ourselves or the things of this world, but on You and You alone. Provide for us the assurance of Your love and may our commitment to each other reflect our commitment to You as Lord and Savior.”
Belt of Truth—“Dear God, May we put on the belt of truth to gird ourselves with a certain knowledge of Your grace and mercy. Search our hearts and bring us to an understanding of our helplessness without Your presence and power in our lives. May we trust in You alone and seek You only for our needs. While apart from each other may we be mindful of fears and lies which would seek to draw our minds away from our commitment to each other.”
Shield of Faith—“Lord Almighty, It is faith in You and You alone that protects us from those things which seek to destroy us and our marriage—worry, doubt, guilt, discouragement, despair, disbelief. May our faith in You cause us to hold our shield with great confidence against the enemy, being obedient to Your will as the one Who made us and chose us. Please protect my loving spouse from the fiery darts which can be so painful, and keep them strong in faith while we are apart.”
Sword of the Spirit—“Awesome God, Your Word is all I need to fight the battles of this life. May Your promises come to our minds when we face trials which the enemy would use to defeat us. May we seek Your face in prayer and in day-to-day living so that Your Truth, in the person of Jesus Christ, and Your love would give us guidance, wisdom, and victory through a fresh filling of Your Holy Spirit. Thank you for the hope that Your Word gives us when times seem so tough.”
Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace—“Great Redeemer, Please help us to be ready to share with others the peace that can only come from You. While we are apart, we may have unique opportunities to serve our fellow military members with compassion during their hour of great need. May we, as a couple, be prepared for those opportunities, with sure understanding of the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ and His desire for us to proclaim Your faithfulness to others who may not know You.”
The teaching on the spiritual armor in Ephesians 6 ends with this instruction from verse 18: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Pray.
Questions to Share:
1. Take time to pray for your spouse, head to toe.
2. Share with your spouse, if possible, how you have prayed for them.