Water of the Word is a collection of nearly 250 prayers, weaved from Scripture, put together to be prayed specifically by a husband concerning his wife. And if you’re someone who has been given the particular privilege and responsibility of being a husband, then I don’t know why you wouldn’t want it by your side. It’s a gem.
Reviewing a book like this is, on the one hand, a little strange. That’s because essentially it’s a book rammed-full of Scripture. As the author (or should that be editor) Andrew Case says, “if you like the Bible, you’ll like this book”. Fill it with the word of God and you can’t really go wrong!
On the other hand, I still want to publicly ‘review’ this book because it’s so excellent and so helpful. Case knows that it is easy to be a sleepy and lazy pray-er, and thus a sleepy and lazy pray-er for one’s wife. But he was inspired by George Mueller’s commendation to “pray Scripture” and so began to read the Bible seeking to pray it back to his heavenly Father about his wife. As a result, each page consists of one prayer, perhaps six or seven sentences long, and each rooted in a passage of the Bible. Case’s wording is deep and fresh, but the result is simple and brilliant.
Case writes in his preface that husbands have a model for such prayer in Jesus’ constant intercession for his bride, his people. So for husbands to love their wives “as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25) will involve praying for them. The title then comes from Ephesians 5:26, where Jesus is described as making his bride holy by “the washing of water with the Word”. Scripture is part of our God-given means by which we seek our wives’ spiritual well-being. And Scripture + Prayer = this book.
I’ve by no means used every page yet, but I’ve found Water of the Word to be a great aid to my own faltering prayer. Like the popular book, Valley of Vision, it’s just very helpful to be given good words to pray. And in this case all these ‘good’ words are essentially lifted straight from Scripture. So, very good! In particular, I’ve appreciated both the call of this book to not neglect praying for my own wife, but also its support in actually giving those prayers some substance.
As a husband learns to pray for his wife, he is acknowledging that ultimately his wife’s needs are bigger than anything he can meet, and vice-versa. What every person needs most is God, and so what better thing is there than to pray to God for someone. As such I’ll finish off with these words from Case:
Of what good is it to do everything for your wife but the best thing? To bring all kinds of earthly goods before her for substance and honour is commendable, but to what end if you do not bring her before God? Will lifting up her by words of kindness and compliment suffice if you fail to lift her up before her Creator with supplications and thanksgivings? Why should you praise her for her beauty when you omit to exalt her Father for such matchless handiwork? You are not enough for her. Your strength is not strong enough for her. You are powerless to change her heart. Therefore pray.
You can pick up a copy of Water of the Word from its publisher 10ofthose, here, for only £6.99, with free postage. And before you ask, yes, there is a wife’s version now available too.
Full disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of the book for free, but I hope this is still a fair and honest review!