Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Praying For His Mind

If you've ever read "The Power Of A Praying Wife" you've no doubt been compelled to pray for your husband in a new way. As military wives, the areas in our husbands' lives needing prayer are even more vast. I hope to tackle a few of these areas in this blog.
It should be easy for me to write about praying for our husbands’ minds as this is probably the area that I pray for the most for my own husband. Yet, it’s coming to me slowly this morning. Maybe because a man’s mind is so foreign to us women. Maybe because I have a hard time understanding my own mine, let alone his. Maybe because praying for “his mind” encompasses so many things, I don’t know where to start. Yeah… I think that’s it. How do I approach this issue? Do I start with the differences in a man and a woman’s mind? No, I think we’re all aware of those. How about the spiritual attacks on his mind? Maybe. Those attacks are as real as the ones faced in the sandbox. Or what about the protection of his physical mind? I’m talkin’ about the brain itself. That thing under his helmet. That’s an issue to be addressed. Or what about his memory? His ability to retain and recall information. What an odd thing to pray about… or is it?
                If you’ve ever gone to Sunday School, heard a sermon, or picked up a Christian “self help” book, you know very well about the spiritual attacks that we face. You know the battles we face. And I do hope that you are praying against those attacks for yourself and for your husband. When those attacks come, I pray that you recognize them and that you stand together against them. Those attacks can do more damage to a marriage than almost any other. If we don’t fight them, they will destroy us.
                But I want to talk about the other two aspects that I mentioned. Maybe you’ve never thought about praying for your husband’s physical brain- for the physical protection of it and for it’s working ability. Honestly, before meeting my warrior husband, I had never thought about it either. God has shown me that my circumstances are not unique to me, but they are unique to that of a military wife. Maybe you can’t easily identify with what I’m about to share, but maybe you can.
                The military is full of acronyms that we will never learn but there are 2 that are becoming quite popular in recent years- PTSD and TBI. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury are two diagnoses that our military members dread receiving. Many don’t believe that they actually have a problem. Yet these issues are very real and they burden more military families than we know. I am nowhere near qualified to write about these conditions or their effects, but I can relay to you, the importance in praying against them for your husband.
                If your husband does not have PTSD or TBI, praise God! If he is currently in a war zone, as you are praying for his physical protection, pray for the physical protection of his mind, as well. Pray against concussions. Pray that he always has his helmet on when he needs it. These things are so important! I only wish that my husband and I had already known each other and been married before he served his last tour in Iraq. I wish I had been praying these things for him. I wish that he had not received a total of 6 LOD concussions. I wish he could remember his childhood. I wish he didn’t see shadows. I wish he didn’t hear loud noises or that constant humming. I wish he didn’t see bright flashes of light. I wish he didn’t get angry easily. I wish he didn’t have nightmares. I wish he didn’t mourn the loss of his fellow soldiers. I wish the things that he saw and heard and smelled and did with his own hands were not still in his memory bank at all. I wish they could no longer haunt him. I wish he didn’t have PTSD or TBI. But I’m so glad that he is who he is. And I’m so glad that God has given me the patience and the desire to understand the battles he’s still fighting. I’m grateful for the resources that are available to us to help us learn together how to work through these issues and the circumstances that have entered our lives because of these issues.
                And what about your husband’s memory? I mentioned that my husband has no recollection of his childhood. He remembers very little prior to his senior year in high school.  Yes, these are important memories to have lost. But what about the things that your husband must recall on a daily basis? No, I’m not talking about the grocery list that you sent him with this morning. Or his ability to remember to put his socks in the clothes hamper. Or his ability to remember your birthday, anniversary, or how much you love calla lilies. Do you pray that while your husband is in the field he will have the ability to recall all the training that he has received? Do you pray that he will remember to do the things he’s been trained to do to keep himself and his fellow soldiers safe? Do you pray that he will retain the information he has studied before he goes before a promotion board? Do you pray that while he is away that he will remember the vows that you two made to each other on your wedding day? Do you pray that when he is faced with temptation that he will remember God’s Word so that he can resist that temptation? If not, I encourage you today to begin praying for your husband’s mind in a new way. This may be an unusual prayer, but we live in an unusual world as military wives. Join me in praying this prayer for our husbands:
Father God, we thank You that no matter how odd our request may be, You hear our prayers and You are concerned with the things that concern us. So God, we lift our husbands’ minds up to you today and we ask for Your hand of protection over them. Your Word says that You have knit each of us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13) so that means that You know us inside and out, every intricate detail. You know more than any psychologist of the workings of our brains and so we trust You alone with the ability to protect and defend our husbands against both physical and spiritual attacks on their minds. Where injury has already come, we pray for healing. We pray against nightmares, negative or evil thoughts, flashbacks and painful memories. We ask that you instead replace these things with thoughts that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, having virtue, or anything praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). We ask You to renew our husbands’ minds that they may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). We thank You for the extensive training that they have received as members of our military and we pray that when it is needed, they would be able to recall precisely what they have been taught. Give them good judgment, discernment, wisdom and clarity of mind in all that they do. We thank You for their willingness to serve, to be in harm’s way for the safety of others and to endure the things that they endure. We pray for Your mercy and grace to fall upon the men that we love. Bless them, protect them, shield them, LORD. Amen

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