If you have been standing a while, then you have read the book of Hosea, and heard of “The Hedge of Thorns Prayer.” The scriptures are very heart-touching and appealing, especially the part that says “I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.” It gets very tempting to want to use this scripture to pray for a lost spouse to return to the marriage and family they ran away from, and end physical adultery. 

The Hedge of Thorns Prayer is an excellent prayer for Standers to pray for their lost spouse, BUT it must be prayed with a heart that understands, that God’s relationship to your spouse MUST come first. It’s to be prayed for your spouse’s salvation OR restoration to God from a backslide, lukewarm place. In context, this scripture gives guidance for those that seek people in God’s place. Our relationships with people are not meant to replace Him, but be reflect the loving relationship we have with Him FIRST.

Hosea 2 2-7 ESV

“Plead with your mother, plead—for she is not my wife,
and I am not her husband—

that she put away her whoring from her face,
and her adultery from between her breasts;
Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns,
and I will build a wall against her,
so that she cannot find her paths.

She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them,
and she shall seek them but shall not find them.

Then she shall say,  ‘I will go and return to my first husband, 
for it was better for me then than now.’

Many have taken this scripture and woven them into a prayer for the Stander to pray over their spouse to bring them back to the marriage. But the real truth behind it, and Whose relationship is broken becomes lost when we do that. This is about Someone else’s relationship your spouse is in, a relationship that is much more important than yours, and the REAL reason behind why your spouse left the marriage.

If you understand that marriage was not the reason they left, then you will understand that fixing the marriage is not God’s main concern. Physical and spiritual adultery is what God is trying to root out of your spouse through maturing and pruning. 

What is more important than your spouse returning back to you and your family? Their return to the Father first. Even if they appear to be walking with Him, if they have abandoned their marriage, they have rebelled and hardened to His truth to pursue other lovers. Hearts go hard because your spouse has chosen to live apart from Him, His will, and His truth. Read “Why is this happening.” to gain more insight and understanding about the truth of your spouse has hardened in heart and left the marriage.  

Father God, We thank You for taking our spouses through a season of growth and maturing. A storm that will expose the true heart and its wicked selfish desires. We thank You for having a plan and purpose for our spouses to bring them good and not harm, that it would lead them to rend their hearts in true repentance and not just their garments. Joel 2:13

We thank You for hedging up their ways, blocking their paths, and preventing them from overtaking anything that is leading them away from You, their first and true Beloved. Expose all counterfeits and open the eyes of the blind. 

Wash them thoroughly from their iniquity. Reconcile  them to You in repentance so they can be restored and cleansed to become “a vessel for honor” for Your glory prepared for every good work. 2 Tim 2:20-22

Help them have the courage and boldness to change, overcome and face their fears, and believe in HOPE again.

In JESUS NAME! Amen
Standing with you, 
Sheila Hollinger

 

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(~Marriage Revealed Ministries Inc. is committed to helping bring healing and restoration to couples who are struggling in their marriage. We do this through the revelation of Who God is and His heart and design for marriage which never intends abuse in any form. If you suspect abuse in your relationship, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit them online at thehotline.org~