** UPDATE: The prayer challenge that is introduced in this post will take place four times a year: September, April, June, and November! Opt in link will remain valid! Would love to have you join us on this prayer journey!
When my oldest son, Jonah, was 18 months old, he suddenly began struggling intensely to sleep through the night. He would wake up several times screaming in terror. My nightly routine consisted of rushing into his room, comforting him, and then laying him back down. Within minutes of my exit he would be up again screaming, and so the cycle continued all night.
At first I wondered if he was teething or going through a new toddler phase, but I soon realized his room had a darkness best described as sinister. I would always feel an intense need to pray whenever I was comforting him. Every night, Jonah’s terror increased. No longer were his cries isolated to the nighttime, but his fears began to prevent him from napping throughout the day. After two months of this, he would shriek and claw my skin if I would even try to take him into his room in the middle of the day for a diaper change.
My husband, who was somewhat hesitant about the idea of our young son battling something evil, eventually talked to some older men at our church. Without hesitation they told my husband that this was spiritual warfare. They shared their personal stories of battling the Evil One for their children and said to my husband, in these exact words, “Satan wants Jonah. You have to fight for him. You have to protect him.”
My husband, who rarely cries, became very emotional at the reality of what our toddler son was experiencing. With a new resolve to fight for him, we anointed his room with oil, paying special attention to the windows and the door. We prayed our hearts out, rebuking the Devil and calling for the blood of Jesus to anoint my son and his room.
Jonah’s cries, screams, and fears immediately vanished.
Our eyes were opened through that experience to the reality—and intensity—of spiritual warfare. Satan is active and desires nothing but destruction for each and every person. There is no doubt in my mind that he was tormenting my son those two months.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. – Ephesians 6:12 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8
Praise God that three and half years later, Jonah is a mostly carefree four- year-old boy! He often sleeps perfectly, which I am thrilled about, but it is hard to be continually mindful of the spiritual battle that is still raging around him. Occasionally, he will cry and scream in the middle of the night, and after his shaking stops, he will tell us the same story about an “owl” that comes through his window and tries to eat him. Once he mentions a visit from the owl, we again anoint his room and pray over him, and every single time it brings peace. As long as we remain prayerful, there is calmness in our spirits, rest in Jonah’s sleep, and no talk of an owl. When we fight hard for him, the attacks stay at bay, but we often grow used to the peace and grow lax in our prayers until our son, screaming in the middle of the night, asks us to pray for him again.
The same is true for my husband!
I am blessed to be married to a man who loves the Lord, but it seems that during the times he is actively growing in his faith, I easily forget to pray for him. I don’t realize that my husband is constantly under spiritual attack.
Think about it: our husbands represent Christ in the marriage equation. A husband’s love for his wife should show a hurting world the sacrificial love of Christ. Satan does not want this image shown, and he is out to destroy anything that resembles Christ. Satan hates every single husband because of the potential witness his love could be to this lost world. Your husband and my husband are walking targets for spiritual warfare, and we wives CANNOT understand the pressure they are under or the attacks that they constantly experience. Husbands need the prayers of their wives more than they need air to breathe!
The scary truth is that if your husband loves Christ, the Devil is doing everything in his power to bring him down. If he does not follow Christ, the Evil One is doing everything in his power to keep him there. No husband is safe!
The Lord has birthed in me a passion for promoting this truth. If I were to transform into a Braveheart warrior, paint my face blue and white, rally a group of women, and yell “Freedom!” this would be my accompanying speech:
“Dying in your bed, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that one for a chance . . . just one chance . . . to go to your knees and tell your Enemy that he may take your life, but he will never take your husband’s?!”
Ladies, we have a chance to fight this war every single day. Our husbands experience far more evil attacks in a single 24-hour time frame than we know. They need our prayers. They need the Lord’s protection. Just as my son needs his parents to fight a spiritual battle for him, husbands need their wives fighting on their knees for them.
As passionate as I am about this subject, I have been slacking in my prayers for my husband. I will be writing more about that confession later this week, but I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming 30-Day Prayer Challenge that I am offering to help rectify this oversight in my life. Every day for the month of September, I will send an e-mail with a Scripture-based prayer regarding our husbands. My oldest daughter starts kindergarten on September 2, and our fifth baby is due September 5! With all the upcoming changes our family is facing, I want to make sure that I am keeping the spiritual battle for my husband in the forefront of my mind. I want to pray for him each and every day. If you would like to be added to this special e-mail chain, click this link!