Devotions

How Prayer Can Change a Man's Heart

February 12, 2018
“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16b (NIV)
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Allan was a tough man.

Raised by a single mom with five siblings, he learned to scrap his way through life by sheer determination and grit. He married at 19, had his first son at 20, then a baby girl at 25. Over the next two decades, he advanced from driving a lumberyard delivery truck to becoming part owner of a building supply company.

Allan drank heavily, fought with his wife verbally and 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 gave her life to Jesus and began praying for her family, God grabbed the chisel of grace and began chipping away at Allan’s proud heart of stone.

One day he told her, “I’ll go to church with you from time to time, but I could never become a Christian. I’ve done too many horrible things in my life. God could never forgive me. I could never be good enough.”

His daughter explained no one could ever be “good enough.” If we could, then Jesus wouldn’t have needed to die on the cross to pay for our sins. But Allan couldn’t wrap his mind around that kind of grace.

When Allan was 46 years old, his life took several troublesome turns. After a business deal went terribly wrong, he faced an ugly lawsuit.

Allan teetered on the brink of a nervous breakdown. From his perspective, 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 panic, Allan drove from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, attempting to find his wife at a meeting she was attending. When he couldn’t find her, he stopped by a church and asked for prayer. The church receptionist drew Allan a map and sent him to find a pastor who was out in the woods building his new church.

Allan followed the scrap-paper map and found a man with a hammer in his hand and Jesus in his heart. He told the pastor everything he’d ever done in his raucous life. Then the man put his arm around Allan and said, “Now, let me tell you what I’ve done.”

The way Allan later explained what happened was this: “That man had done everything I had done. I knew if God could forgive him and he could be a pastor, then He could forgive me, too.”

Allan accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior that day in the woods of Pennsylvania and became one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known. 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, protect his heart and grow his faith.

Today’s key verse reminds us of just that: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b). My firsthand encounter with God’s faithfulness to hear our pleas for the men in our lives began with my father and continues with my husband and son.

If you’re married, you have the power to open the floodgates of heaven through your prayers on behalf of your spouse. Whether your husband doesn’t know Jesus yet, has a fledgling faith or lives a fiery, firm faith, there’s no one more qualified to pray for his relationship with Christ than you. No matter where your mate is on the continuum of faithlessness to faithfulness, you can pray with faith — “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1b, NASB).

Today, let’s pray for husbands. If you’re single, then use this guide to pray for the important men in your life.

Dear Lord, I pray for ________________.

His Shoulders — No matter what my husband goes through today, assure him that nothing is too hard for You. Empower him to cut cords of worry with the saber of praise and to place his burdens on Your able shoulders. (Genesis 18:14; Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 9:10)

His Heart — Place a hedge of protection around his heart to keep corruption out and purity in. (Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 17:20; Proverbs 17:22)

His Back — Protect him in the physical and spiritual realms. Keep him from the devil’s schemes that might trap him or trip him up. Thank You that no weapon formed against him will stand. (John 10:10; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:10-18)

His Arms — Help my husband be strong and courageous in Your mighty power. Bolster his courage when he’s afraid, and reassure him when he doubts. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9; Isaiah 30:15)

His Hands — Bless the work of my husband’s hands. Reward his efforts and bring him success. (Deuteronomy 33:11; Deuteronomy 28:12-13)

Lord, I lift up __________________ to You today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

RELATED RESOURCES:

If you’re a wife, you’ve been given the privilege of serving as a mighty prayer warrior for your husband. Yet sometimes, the task may seem overwhelming. In Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe: A Daily Guide to Scripture-Based Prayer, Sharon Jaynes maps out 16 landmarks to help you consistently and effectively cover your husband in prayer — get your copy today, FREE with a donation of your choice!

CONNECT:

Sharon has devoted February to strengthening your marriage! Click here to stop by her website and receive her FREE Marriage Builder Bundle download with romance tips and more.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:

What’s the most pressing prayer for your marriage or the man in your life? Leave a comment with your prayer request, then pray for the woman’s name under yours. I’ll pray for the first name. No need to share a lot of details. God’s got them all!

© 2018 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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