My husband and I have found that praying together is one of the most important things we can do for our marriage. And I’m not talking about praying at the dinner table or side-by-side at church or other church-related gatherings.
Those are all good things . . .
They just aren’t as powerful and bonding as taking the time to pray together as a couple either at the start of your day or near the end.
This is my challenge to you today as well! Get out of your comfort zone by praying with your spouse and discover what a difference God will make in your life and marriage!
When my spouse and I began this habit nine years ago (yep, we didn’t pray together for 24 years out of our 33-year marriage!), it felt a bit awkward and maybe even forced. But over time it became our rhythm . . . our spiritual dance, if you will, that has kept us more in step with each and with God than ever before.
Why praying together is beneficial . . .
1. Creates a bond and intimacy.
I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. If your marriage is growing cold, mundane or distant, this will certainly rev your hearts up for each other and for the Lord.
2. Helps prevent conflict.
I’m not saying this will keep every argument at bay, but it really has changed the climate of my marriage—lessening the messiness—because it refocuses our eyes on God, uniting us in the difficult moments of the day.
3. Invites God into your marriage.
I’m sure that many of you have your own time dedicated to God each day. And that’s great for you! But there’s just something special about coming together with your spouse in the Lord’s name. It pulls God toward the two of you like a magnet!
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20
Now on to a few cautions . . .
1. Don’t pressure a spouse to pray with you when he/she isn’t spiritually ready or open to it yet.
This is especially true if your mate is an unbeliever. Instead, pray for your unbelieving or spiritually hesitant spouse daily, but never push “praying together” on him or her. It will only create resistance and resentment over an issue that needs the winsomeness and love of God to come into bloom and grow.
2. Don’t expect immediate results.
Consistency and commitment to this practice will bear great fruit in time. But like any fruit-bearing tree, it takes time before you get to taste that delicious fruit in your marriage.
3. Don’t get frustrated if you’re the one who always seems to initiate.
If your spouse was willing to do this from the start but is not as mindful of the habit, accept that this might just be “your” role. At least, do it until there’s a change, being willing to accept it if it never changes. After all, it is a worthy role and calling—to be the initiator of prayer in your marriage!
As long as your mate seems willing, then leave the conviction up to God! He’s MUCH better at it than you are anyway! 😉
3 easy steps for praying together . . .
1. Agree on a set time.
My husband and I always like starting our day this way. But if your job(s) won’t allow for this, then choose a time that works for you both. If your spouse travels out of town a lot, consider using Zoom, Facetime or simply calling each other at an agreed-upon time. My husband and I do this when we are away from each other and it always serves to encourage us.
2. Hold hands.
You might feel like this is too awkward and intimate for your first time out, but I’d say fight that hesitancy. Praying together needs to feel like a joint effort—like dancing. And holding hands aids in that pursuit. If your mate balks at this, then respect his or her wishes. But at least respectfully and gently suggest it at the outset.
3. Each spouse should pray a simple sentence or two.
Don’t feel the need to pray “around the world and back,” especially as you begin this practice. Your mate may feel intimidated by how well you pray or simply won’t want to spend that much time in prayer when s/he is in a hurry to head to work. Just remember to always leave your spouse feeling encouraged and respected after you’ve prayed together.
Here’s an example of how I pray on any given day . . .
“Father, help us to make time for You and let that influence and soften our hearts so that we live out Your truths in key moments today.” Then my spouse prays a sentence or two and we wrap it all up with a hearty, “Amen!”
Get the idea? See how simple and to the point it is? I hope so!
Want to check out my Messy Marriage’s video channel at YouTube? Then click this link to find all sorts of inspirational thoughts and ideas meant to encourage you in marriage – Messy Marriage YouTube channel.
What is one reason you haven’t made praying with your spouse a priority and habit?
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