The Prayer Life of Jesus: Praying for Your Wife as a Mother
The Prayer Life of Jesus:
Motherhood and Healthy Seeds in our Relationship
Helen Steiner Rice wrote a poem titled “A Special Prayer for You.”
I said a special prayer for you
I asked the Lord above
To keep you safely in His care
and enfold you in His love.
I did not ask for fortune,
for riches or for fame,
I only asked for blessings
in the Holy Savior’s name -
Blessings to surround you
in times of trial and stress,
And inner joy to fill your heart
with peace and happiness.
Once a month, I am presenting a lesson based on the “Prayer Life of Jesus.” So far, we have not actually studied a prayer itself. Most of the references to Jesus praying have not included the words of Jesus. My guess is, that’s because God knew if we had Jesus’ words recorded, we would simply memorize Jesus’ prayers and not talk to God from our own hearts.
In Luke 6:12, Jesus spent all night in prayer as He spoke with the Father before He chose His twelve apostles. Just what exactly Jesus talked about in His prayer is not known. But we can imagine He prayed that He would choose the right men and that the men He chose would be faithful to the challenge which would be before them.
Because today is Mother’s Day, we’re going to talk this morning about praying for our helpmeet as a mother and praying for our relationship with her.
PRAY FOR YOUR WIFE AS A MOTHER:
When you have a job, whether you are a man or woman, you know when your job begins and ends. You may not “punch the clock,” but you start your day at a specific time and you end your day at a specific time. You know what you have to accomplish during that timeframe.
But the job of “mom” is not like that. The job of a mom is never done. We had four kids in our family and I remember a few times my mom would say in exasperation: “I wish I had a different name besides ‘Mom’!” We were wearing her out. Moms don’t get sick days and if she wanted to resign, there’s no where for her to go!
Motherhood is a highly skilled profession that does not come with an apprenticeship - it’s all on-the-job training. A mom can go a long time before she finally sees the results of her efforts, maybe even 25 years or more. The benefits are great, but the pay is practically zero.
In multiple surveys, women stated that their role as a mom was one of their top three areas of need for prayers. They need prayers for their 1) spirits, and 2) emotions. And one of the greatest needs they stated they have is striking the right balance between their role as a mom and their role as a wife. So men, we need to pray that our wives can find that right balance. We can pray that she will find the peace of mind that comes with having those two relationships in harmony with each other.
If your wife is not a mother but wants to be, pray that she will find comfort from God. If you want a child but your wife does not, or if your wife wants a child but you do not, pray that you will find unity. Wanting children but not having them can lead to envy and frustration, jealousy and discontentment.
If your wife is a mom who works outside the home, you’ve got another aspect of her life on your prayer list. Moms feel guilty about their mom-skills as it is. They frequently ask themselves, “Am I doing enough?” “What more can I do?” “Did I do too much?” But if your wife works a job separate from the job she has as a mom, then she’s got the extra burden of spending time away from them.
Moms would like to be home when kids get home from school.
Moms would like to be present when their kids go through every new stage of development.
Moms would like to stay home if their child is sick.
Moms don’t want to miss any special events in their child’s life.
Moms will frequently wonder if their child is in the care of someone else, if everything is okay.
Moms will often feel guilt and pain over these questions, if she works outside of her mom-role.
Pray that your wife can be the mom that she needs to be and that she would like to be. Working moms have more to do with less time. Pray that your wife’s time with the children can be used as efficiently as possible.
Dads, here is also an area where you can really help out. Your presence in the home can and should be a stabilizing influence in the home. Your presence gives your wife and children a sense of stability and security, strength, and love. Spend time with your children, talking to them about their day and encourage them. When the girls were in elementary school, you know its hard to get a child to talk about their day… If you ask them what happened that day, they’ll say, “Nothing.” If you ask what they learned that day, they’ll say, “Nothing.” So when the girls were in elementary school, I would pick them up from school in the afternoons and there were times when I would say, “Tell me three things that happened at school today - make up two of them - and I have to guess which one was true.” That was fun and many times I could not guess correctly. But it got the girls talking about their day.
Every mom would love to see and hear dad praying for her as a mom and praying for the kids. Even if you can’t spend the time you would like, at least pray for them. Pray also with them. Ask them how they would like for you to pray for them.
Ask your wife for any insight she has on your children. Moms typically spend a lot of time with the kids, more than dad normally. They see things in the children that you might miss - strengths and weaknesses. You need to know them so you can pray for them specifically, and can respond to them as they need. Your kids mom will feel a peace of mind and confidence and joy to know that you are praying for her and for your children.
Donna Summer sang the song in 1983, “She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right!” A mom who is doing all she can for her children is working hard - even if she doesn’t get paid - and we dads need to treat her right, which begins and ends with prayer!
That mom will be guided by God in raising the children.
That mom will be patient.
That mom will have wisdom in discipling the children.
As mom teaches the children about Jesus.
That mom will have the time and energy she needs to pray for each child.
That your children will grow to be obedient and respect to Mom.
That your children will bless their mom.
LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD:
Relative to the virtuous woman, the wise man wrote: “Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her” (Prov. 31:28).
“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psa. 127:3).
“They will not labor in vain, Or bear children for calamity; For they are the offspring of those blessed by the Lord, And their descendants with them” (Isa. 65:23).
“Arise, cry aloud in the night At the beginning of the night watches; Pour out your heart like water Before the presence of the Lord; Lift up your hands to Him For the life of your little ones Who are faint because of hunger At the head of every street” (Lam. 2:19).
“For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him” (1 Sam 1:27).
This is the season for planting vegetable gardens. If you want a certain crop, you have to plant the right seeds. When it comes to the relationships in our home, the relationships with our wives and children, and the relationships between our wives and children, here are some seeds we need to plant and for which we need to pray…
1) The seeds of love. In Colossians 3:14, Paul writes that love is the “perfect bond of unity.” All the other great things in a family grow out of love - selfless interest in the other person’s well-being. As we pray for love to grow and thrive, we also have to “weed out” those things that fight against selflessness: hurt, strife, misunderstanding, criticism, selfishness, and anger.
Paul writes in Romans 12:9 - “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” Let your love be a sincere love, not pretentious. Don’t “love” expecting something in return. Abhor what is evil - especially in yourself - and cling to what is good. Remind yourself of what is good in your spouse and pray that you respect that and be thankful.
2) The seeds of faithfulness. When you plant a garden, it might be that rabbits hop over and help themselves to your plants. Or deer might wander over and eat your crops. So you might have to put up a fence around your garden to protect it from intruders. If we are not faithful to our spouse, and dependable, then we have lowered the fence around our marriage and around our home and we are allowing the intruder, Satan, to steal our crops. Pray that you will give to your spouse all that she needs, all that you owe her as her helper: 1 Cor. 7:3.
3) The seeds of respect. Before a marriage crumbles, the spouses lose respect for each other. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:24: “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” We might say, “seek the good of your wife.” Put your wife’s well-being ahead of your own. That’s not easy to do on a consistent basis and that’s why we need to pray about it.
Men, your wife does not want to be your mother and they don’t want to be your slave. If you don’t handle your responsibilities around the house - if you “turn” your wife into your mother, it makes your wife lose respect for you. If you treat your wife like your slave, then it causes you to lose respect for your wife. Pray that God will help you see you from your wife’s perspective and how you need to show her you respect her for who she is and what she does.
4) Seeds of time. Spend time together alone. You will grow apart if you don’t have things you enjoy doing together. Get a baby sitter; call me and Rachel. Our mission team, when our children were small, took turns babysitting each other’s kids every other Friday night. We knew we had 5 hours or so every other Friday night that was just for the two of us. You need time to talk. You need time to works things out. You need time to share your interests with each other. You need time to be together. We can’t avoid all the busyness of life, but if busyness becomes a way of life, it will hurt our marriage.
5) Seeds of communication. The attitudes we have when we communicate, our body posture, our tone of voice, and the words we use are all seeds that we are planting in our relationships. If we “plant” words of sarcasm, anger, impatience, criticism, then it’s going to result in a loss of intimacy and warmth, unity, and joy.
If you notice that you have bitterness, or anger, or un forgiveness growing in your relationships, you need to evaluate where they originated and then root them out. Pray that God will help you so that you can have a positive, healthy, and enduring relationship.
A healthy marriage is not about us changing our spouse into our image; it’s about us being changed by the gospel of Christ into the image of Christ!
That love will grow and about between you.
That you will stay faithful to each other.
That you will respect each other.
That you will not live separate lives.
That you will be friends.
That you will work together as a team.
That you will not divorce.
LISTEN TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD:
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up” (Ecc. 4:9-10).
Malachi 2:15 - “Take heed then to your spirit, and let no one deal treacherously against the wife of your youth.”
Romans 12:10 - “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
Take home message: Pray for your wife in her role as a mother and pray for the seeds of Christ’s spirit to grow in your relationship.