Each week, we turn our focus to praying for a specific person or group of people.
If you missed the original post on effective prayer, read it here.
Effective prayer is a learned habit requiring discipline and diligence. To that end, I am encouraging you to write down the people you are praying for. Part of building and maintaining habits is to have reminders and tracking tools. Making a list isn’t self-righteous or sacreligious. It is a tool. We devote time to counting calories, monitoring money, checking Facebook, making to-do lists–is prayer of lesser importance?
For other posts regarding prayer, click on “prayer” in the categories tab.
Focus for this week:
The Elder’s Wife
In the effective prayer post a few weeks ago, we talked about praying for the Overseers/Elders in your local congregation. The Bible also lists expectations for the wives of these men.
In 1 Timothy 3, Paul lays out the qualifications for elders. In this passage he states:
“Likewise, their [elders and deacons] wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things…”
1 Timothy 3:11
Note the words he uses:
- Reverent: respectful; she shows honor to God, respect for her husband and respect for others.
- Not Slanderers: she guards her words carefully; she doesn’t engage in gossip nor does she slice and dice people with her words.
- Temperate: self-controlled, in possession of a gentle spirit
- Faithful in all things: trustworthy, diligent
These traits are learned. These women have successfully raised children, managed their home, demonstrated faithfulness and respect to their husbands, learned to control their speech and much more. They are mature.
Last week I used this passage from Titus in reference to God’s expectations for the wife of a preacher (and, indeed, all women), and I think it is just as relevant for the wife of an elder:
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
~Titus 2:3-5, ESV
The specific things I’d like to encourage you to pray for on behalf of an elder’s wife will mirror what we prayed for on behalf of our preacher’s wife.
Pray for them to be devoted to the Word of God and to prayer.
If an elder’s wife is devoted to the Word, she will be able to help and support her husband. She will also be well equipped to help other women within the church. And, when the winds of criticism blow against her husband, she won’t wither with sorrow and despair.
Pray for them to be a good support to their husbands.
An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
An elder’s wife must support him in his work for the church. If she doesn’t support him, he will not have great success. It’s a team effort. She needs to show him respect in private and public. So many women tear their husbands to pieces because they think it is amusing or because they really don’t respect them. She needs to show respect to her husband as an example to the young wives in the church.
Pray for them to be careful in what they say.
This last point is so critical. What we say has the potential to help or harm others.
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Like a preacher’s wife, an elder’s wife is also privy to sensitive information. People often approach the elders with their grievances and sometimes their own sins. An elder is charged with guarding the flock which can involve taking people aside and correcting them discreetly. The elder’s wife is often included in these matters. If she goes around spreading confidential information, it will do great damage to herself, her husband and the church.
Write down the names of these women in your congregation. Lift them up, by name, to God so that He will help them and bless them as they work for the Lord.
Let us pray together to great effect this week!
Remember: Keep asking. Keep watching. Keep trusting.