The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b, NIV).
Friend to Friend
Prayer…it changes everything.
If you’ve been married for more than a few days, then you have most likely figured out that the blessed union doesn’t stay so blessed without a lot of work. If you’re not married, you’ve no doubt seen the difference prayer can make in any number of relationships.
I dare say, the most important “work” we can do as wives, mothers, friends or coworkers is on our knees. The psalmist wrote, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain” (Psalm 127:1).
Only God can truly protect your marriage and your man. Only God can protect your children and your home. And He invites you to participate in the unleashing of His power by praying for your husband, your children, and your family and turning the key to the storehouse of heaven’s door for blessings outpoured.
Louise saw this happen with her husband, Allan, in a miraculous way.
Allan was a tough man. Raised by a single mom with five siblings during the Depression in the early 1930s, Allan learned how to scrap his way through life and climb to the top of humanity’s heap through sheer determination and grit. He married at nineteen, had his first son at twenty, and a baby girl at twenty-five. Over the next two decades he advanced from driving a delivery truck at a lumberyard to becoming part owner and president of a building supply company in eastern North Carolina.
Allan drank heavily, fought with his wife physically, and terrorized his children emotionally. He gambled, dabbled in pornography, and had questionable relationships laced with a host of unsavory vices. But when his teenage daughter became a Christian and began praying for her family, God grabbed the chisel of grace and began chipping away at Allan’s proud heart of stone. Three years after his daughter’s decision to follow Christ, his wife, Louise, became a believer as well. His wife, his daughter, and a host of other prayer warriors began interceding with God on Allan’s behalf.
When Allan was forty-six years old, his life took several hairpin twists and troublesome turns. Because of a business deal gone terribly wrong, he was sued for breach of contract for breaking a noncompeting clause with a former employer. Fearing exposure in court and, more important, in his small community, Allan teetered on the brink of a nervous breakdown. From man’s perspective, it appeared he was on the verge of losing it all. From God’s perspective, Allan was right where he needed to be.
One day, in a surge of panic, Allan drove home from work, only to remember his wife was at a meeting in Pennsylvania. He got back in his car and drove five hundred miles to try and find her. As he drove into the town where he expected to find his wife, he passed a church. Immediately, Allan made a U-turn, parked his car, and ran inside the ornate building.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I need someone to pray for me. Is the preacher available? I need help.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” the church receptionist said. “He’s not in, but I know a man who can help you. Here,” she said as she sketched out directions on a scrap of paper. “The pastor of the Baptist church down the street is out doing some construction work on their new church building. Why don’t you drive on over there? I bet he can help you.”
So Allan got back in his car, followed the receptionist’s crude map, and found the country preacher out in the woods working on his church. With a hammer in his hand and Jesus in his heart, the pastor turned to Allan and asked, “What can I do for you?’
“I need you to pray for me,” Allan explained as tears ran down his weathered cheeks.
“Let’s sit down on this log while you tell me what’s going on.”
For several hours Allan sat with a fellow builder and told him all he had ever done. When he had finished his confession, the pastor put his arm around this broken man and said, “Now, Allan, let me tell you what I’ve done.”
The way Allan later explained it, “I told this man everything I had ever done. Then he told me he had done the very same things. And I knew if God could forgive him, and he could be a preacher, then God could forgive me too.”
Allan knelt in the woods of Pennsylvania with angels hovering low. Heaven’s host celebrated as he gave his heart to Christ and made Jesus the Lord of his life. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…” But for me, this is more than a sweet story. It is a miraculous memory. Allan was my dad.
From my earliest years as a Christian, I experienced the power of prayer to change a man’s life—to strengthen a man’s resolve, to protect a man’s heart, and to mature a man’s faith. My firsthand encounter with God’s faithfulness to hear our pleas began with my father and continues today as I witness it in the lives of my husband, my son, and a host of husbands whose wives call out to God in prayer.
On this, the first week of 2014, I hope you will join me in making this a year of prayer. Let’s start right now.
Dear Lord, I am so thankful for another year. Thank You for the people You have brought in my life. Stir my heart to pray often. Prompt my soul to pray fervently. Speak to my heart to pray powerfully. Thank You for allowing me to be an intercessor for those You have brought across my path and into my life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Write down 5 people that you will commit to pray for in 2014. You don’t need to note any specific prayers for these people, just commit to pray. I truly believe that God will prompt your heart about when and what to pray throughout the year.
Turn to Colossians 1:1-14 and pray those verses over those 5 people. Simply put their names in the verses.
Now, click over to my Facebook page and leave a comment with one of those names so I can pray for them today. Then pray for the name that is listed above your comment.
More from the Girlfriends
I am so excited about my latest book that is hot off the press: Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer. In it I map out sixteen landmarks to help wives consistently and effectively cover their husbands in prayer from his mind and the thoughts he thinks, to his eyes and the images he sees, all the way down to his feet and the path he takes. The 30-day prayer guide shows women how to pray in ways that are powerful, practical, and life-changing. Not married? This book is a great resource to use to pray for any man in your life…including adult sons, nephews, and that special someone.
Join me and women all around the world in a 30-Day Prayer Dare. Click here to learn more.