“I sought for a man among them that should make up the hedge…that I should not destroy…” (Ez.22:30)
A certain man discovered that his wife was secretly seeing another man. She would meet him on business trips and spend long hours after work with him. For months she had neglected her home responsibilities, such as making any meals for her husband.
He learned about the “hedge of thorns” that he could claim in prayer for his wife, and one day he used it. That evening when he got home from work, his wife was in the kitchen making their first meal in four months!
A wife learned that her husband was spending time with a younger woman. She learned further that he was planning to leave her and marry this younger woman. She was told how to pray for a “hedge of thorns” around her husband. The next evening he received a phone call from the young woman telling him that she wanted to break off their relationship.
The wife of a young pastor left him and began working in a bar. She was planning to marry the barkeeper. The grieving husband learned how to pray for a “hedge of thorns” around his wife, and three days later, his wife called him up and was ready to return home.
These are only a few of the many illustrations which Christians are experiencing as a result of building a “hedge of thorns” or “hedge of protection” around their loved ones. However, there is far more to the story than just praying a certain prayer.
The Scriptural basis for the “hedge of thorns” is found in several passages. First of all, God looks for an intercessor to make up a “hedge” of protection. (Ez.22:30). Job is an example of such a man in the O.T. (Job 1:5-12)
He prayed for God’s protection over his family – including his sons and daughters whom he feared cursed God in their hearts. The result was that God “made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that He had on every side”.
By building a “hedge” around an unfaithful partner, his/her “lovers” lose interest and Satan is no more able to take your partner captive “at his will”. Satan must get clearance from God for whatever he does, and his actions become God’s dealings in love. II Timothy 2:25-26; II Corinthians 12:7; Job 1:5-10)
A further illustration of the hedge is found in Hosea. God promised to make a hedge of thorns around Hosea’s adulterous wife so that her lovers would lose interest in her. (Hosea 2:6-7)
After God built a hedge of thorns around Hosea’s unfaithful wife, and her lovers left her, she decided to return to her husband. However, if she was to remain under his authority and protection, there were several things that he had to do. These are listed in Hosea 2:14-16.
The NT counterpart to this truth is illustrated in Christ’s interecession for Peter (Lk.22:31-38) and for his disciples (John 17:12 – the hedge of prayer – none lost but the son of perdition). It is also illustrated in Paul’s prayer for those under his spiritual care.
The basic teaching of Scripture on the hedge is found in II Cor. 10:4-5 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.”
This emphasizes the fact that Satan is able to have powerful holds on our mind, will, and emotions, but that through God we can and must pull them down.
The purpose of “binding Satan” (Matt.12:29) and building a “hedge of protection” around your partner is so that you can proceed “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
There are a number of cases in which a husband or wife build a “hedge of thorns” around an unfaithful partner through prayer, saw the return of that partner, and then failed to follow up on the victory. Soon Satan regained a foothold in that partner’s life. Thus, the following steps are very essential.
1. MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE A GENUINE CHRISTIAN.
God only hears the prayers of His own children. We become a child of God only through putting our full faith and trust for salvation in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in dying for us and being raised from the dead.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us…” (Titus 3:5).
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
2. CLEANSE YOUR LIFE OF ALL SIN
God delighted in building a hedge of protection around Job and all his family and possessions, because Job was “a perfect and an unpright man, one that feareth God, and…(hateth) evil,”
We can claim the righteousness of Christ as Christians by confessing our sins and cleansing our mind, life, and home of anything that grieves the Spirit of God and hinders His work in our life.
“…Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)
3. BUILD A “HEDGE OF THORNS” BY PRAYER
The following prayer is an example of building a hedge of thorns around an unfaithful marriage partner:
“Heavenly Father, I ask You in the name and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, to build a “hedge of thorns” around my partner. I pray that through this hedge, any other lover will lose interest and depart. I base this prayer on Your Word which commands that what You have joined together, let not man put asunder.” ((Matthew 19:6)
4. RESTORE A SPIRIT OF ONENESS
Follow through on your prayer by getting alone with your partner (…”I will allure her and bring her into the wilderness..”), using gentle, kind, and loving words (“…speak comfortably unto her…”_, committing yourself to your partner’s needs and visualizing hope (“I will give her her vineyards…for a door of hope”), restoring your partner’s happiness (“…and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth…”), and restoring a spirit of deep friendship (“…thou shalt call me ish (my husband) and shalt call me no more baali (my lord)). (Hosea 2:14-16)
5. CAST DOWN WRONG REASONINGS
In the spirit of friendship and fellowship, cast down false reasonings in the mind of your partner by wisely using God’s Word. Together, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (I Cor. 10:4-5)
Gomer was the wife of the prophet Hosea.
She was an adulterous wife.
In this account, God gives us a graphic illustration of how the “hedge of thorns” works
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PUT A “HEDGE OF THORNS” AROUND AN UNFAITHFUL PARTNER?
1. He/she will lose direction.
“…I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths.”
2. Any other “lovers” will leave.
“…she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them.”
3. Troubles will prompt a return
“…then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband: for then was it better with me than now.”
A “hedge will be ineffective if you have not resolved all past offenses, or if you do not follow through with Scriptural steps of actions.
THE PRAYER FOR A “HEDGE” INVOLVES THREE PARTS
1. YOUR SPIRITUAL ‘CREDENTIALS’
We are able to approach a holy God through the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ’s death and resurrection have already defeated Satan’s power. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Cor. 15:57)
2. YOUR REQUEST
When we pray, we must be specific; the more precise we are in our prayer, the more able we are to judge its Scriptural basis and the more alert we will be in seeing His answer to it. “…Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2)
3. YOUR SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY
Every request must be based on the will of God as revealed in His Word. God’s Word is the sword of the Spirit (Ep.6:17). Christians are able to overcome Satan “..by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev. 12:11).
GOD GIVES FIVE STEPS TO WIN BACK A WAYWARD PARTNER
1. Allure him/her away from ungodly influences.
2. Speak gently and lovingly.
3. Reestablish responsibility and by it restore hope.
4. Cause him/her to sing for joy.
5. Build an intimate friendship.
From Bill Gothard Ministries