In my last blog, I brought attention to the seemingly obvious lack of godly men in the church and in our homes. But what to do about it is the most important question. More specifically, what can we as women, do about it? In asking the godly men in my life what I could do to help inspire the men around me to live courageously for the Lord, the answers were almost universal and seem almost too simplistic to be true! Yet I know it works and is true because I have lived it!
The there were a couple of things that came up when I talked to the men. The main thing was: Prayer
Sounds pretty simple, huh? Even easy? I thought so at first! Come on, prayer? It’s gotta be a little more complicated than that!
It is, but at the same time it is not. When we pray – truly pray – the Lord changes things. He says that the ‘fervent effective prayer of a righteous man avails much’ (James 5:16b). Even in the Old Testament, look how many times the Lord determines to bring judgment on Israel, and they repent, pray and the Lord shows mercy.
I said I knew that the Lord works and moves when we pray for our men because I have lived it. Several years ago, the Lord brought a young man into my life and after being friends for a while we started dating. During that time and for a while after, the Lord taught me what it meant to really pray for someone. I knew this man could be so much more than he was living. But what could I do?
After we broke up, I prayed the Lord would allow me to see this man as He saw him. I prayed the Lord would continue to make him into the man I knew the Lord had created him to be. For months the Lord gave me a deep love for him and a heart and eyes that saw and loved him for who he was and for who he could be.
These weren’t just ‘oh Lord, bless him’ prayers; often they were gut-wrenching intercessory prayers. Two things happened – first, the Lord allowed me the privilege to watch him grow into the godly man I knew he could be. And second the Lord changed me. When I first started praying for this man, I was praying because I wanted him to change. The Lord had to painfully teach me I needed to be praying for him so the Lord could be glorified in his life, not so that he could meet my needs.
Warning, this is NOT a Hollywood story – It’s better! As he grew in the Lord and became more of a godly man, he met and married a wonderful girl and they are pursuing the Lord together. I walked away with some of the most life-changing and molding lessons of my life. I learned one facet of true, godly love means seeing a person for who they are and who they can be and loving them for that. Not for what they can give you in return.
“When we love someone we delight in that person’s existence, and we want to help that person be all the God designed him or her to be, even if that design may not have anything to do with us.” Laura Smit?
When we love some like that, it fuels a fire to passionately pray for them! The best part is prayer works!
Here is the thing with prayer though – it changes you just as much as it changes the circumstances. I previously challenged that praying for our men is a call that will take more from you than you might be willing to give. It will be a sacrifice – are the men in your life worth it? How serious are you about doing what it takes to encourage the men around you? Will you complain or will you act? And are you ready for what you will get?
I say it might take more than you are willing to give because when we pray that the Lord will get the glory, he must often change our selfish desires first. Are you willing to be a tool that the Lord uses? To the possibility of being a part of someone else’s story – one that may have different results than you expected, but is ultimately better?
Wives, this could mean that as you pray the Lord points out things in your life that need changing too – He often starts with us first and it can be times like this where you realize holiness is much better, but much harder, than happiness.
Are we ready for what we will get? A friend of mine was attending a Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage® seminar by Mark Gungor and heard him say the following: “Most women, if asked to describe the perfect man, describe another woman.” Often godly manhood looks differently than we think it should. Are we prepared to let the Lord work in the lives of our men regardless of how that meshes with our idea of the ‘perfect’ man?
I believe the men around us ARE worth it! We are called to love as Christ first loved us. He sacrificed everything for us – can we sacrifice a little and pray for our husbands, brothers and friends?
The Lord has strongly convicted me to stop complaining about the lack of godly leadership in our homes, culture and churches and DO something about it. So I am! I have committed to pray every day for my future husband (who ever he may be) and one of my brothers for this next year. I’m praying that the Lord would help me to see them through His eyes and that they would grow into the men the Lord created them to be for His glory.
Who’s with me? I’m serious. Old, young, married, single – if you are a women and have a heart and passion to pray for your husbands, future husbands, boyfriends, fathers, brothers, and friends and want to commit to regular prayer for them, please contact me. I’m setting up a private Facebook group where we can hold each other accountable to be praying for these men and share with each other what the Lord is showing us about Himself, prayer and those men through this. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this blog or ask to join – Women of Prayer for Courageous Men of God.
Whatever you do – don’t complain. Take your frustration and turn it into the power of prayer! Praying passionately TODAY moves mountains!
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Edit thanks to J & T Holden and C Brittin!