Men of Prayer – The Husband’s Place in the Home.
meeting our future bride, those things which help us know what to expect, how to respond to our spouse, how to minister, organize the home, and a host of other areas that are all necessary for the growth, health, and nurturing of a home. One area that I had not expected to encounter significant spiritual resistance in, or as much of a fight in, was in personal and family devotions. It’s safe to say from my beginning experience and from talking to other men, that the devotional area for men is even more of a battlefield in married life, than single. I don’t say this to discourage other men (or woman), I say this to help emphasize the need for solid, heavy work in our walk with God before marriage, because it makes a difference after. I had made a habit for years to get up in the mornings to spend time with God in reading and prayer. Extra-Biblical book reading also made its way in there, but, it seemed that this was a harder task after marriage. Things took longer now that there were two people, or more, in the home and putting good solid time into my relationship with God became a little more involved. There also seemed to be a distinct element of heavier spiritual battling.
Making a difference
In my earlier years through Scripture reading, I learned to really appreciate the physical expression of praise and humility seen in Scripture. You have David coming before the Lord with outstretched hands, the children of Israel jumping and singing praises to God, and then you have the corporate or individual expression of humbling one’s self by going prostrate. It’s not popular to talk about the physical position of making one’s self prostrate, but we do find that it is a frequent position of Israel, the prophets, and others (men and women) who come face to face before God (2 Chronicles 20:18). I’d practiced prostrate prayer before as a single man, but had not done so for a while up to the time of marriage. Now, with the spiritual battle seeming to press upon me, I decided to once again incorporate it into my time of prayer and I’ll have to tell you – it was a blessing. There are a couple reasons I think this really helped in prayer.
- Being prostrate physically re-enforces the position the heart should be in
- Being prostrate is a natural expression of the position the heart is in (Psalm 95:6 come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker; Ephesians 3:14)
- Being prostrate physically re-enforces a habit – prayer (1 timothy 4:7 – discipline yourselves for the purpose of godliness)
- Physically demonstrating praise, humility or testifying of the Lord is encouraged in Scripture (Psalm 95:6 – come let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker)
- Our real enemies against whom we fight see a husband going to prayer before the Lord in his home (Ephesians 6:12)
Through the years, I’ve heard other believers consistently make the point that being physically prostrate before the Lord isn’t necessary, that it doesn’t inherently reflect the heart, and that people may have physical limitations. These things are true, but, I believe the issue of physical limitations to not be in the majority, and we see in Scripture a consistent encouragement and display of physical expressions of the heart by believers in the Old and New Testament. Of course being prostrate does not make one Holy, but it is a physical humbling of ourselves, which goes along well with times of prayer.
I hope this is encouraging to other husbands who may be newly married and are undergoing more fight in their walk with God than previously experienced – for single men as well. I would encourage you to try this. Make a habit of it. I saw the battle move forward in my own life. My spirit felt strengthened – and I think my wife’s was too as an effect of it. In the end I hope you’ll take encouragement from 1 Corinthians 16:13 to watch, stand fast, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love. Be men of prayer.