Get Past the Awkwardness of Praying with Your Spouse

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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?


If you do pray daily with your mate, what positives have you seen God produce out of it?

32 responses to “Get Past the Awkwardness of Praying with Your Spouse”

  1. This is such a beautiful testimony to your marriage. I am blessed you share this with all of us. The image of prayer as a dance with its own rhythm is such a vivid description of the intimacy of joining in prayer and inviting God into the center. Thank you for this beauty this evening!


  2. I’m sending this to my husband. 🙂 Thanks for sharing about not praying together for the first 30 years of your marriage. When my husband and I were dating, we prayed together – and then life happened. We talk about praying together but it almost seems like its too late to start. Even though we pray separately, I know we need to pray together. Thank you for the transparency.


  3. Thank you Beth. You tackle such topics that may easily be overlooked.
    Praying together is important. Thank you for the ideas you have shared.
    Many Blessings to you


  4. I love the pic and the saying behind it. Very nice. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Great post, Beth, and it’s something that’s very, very important.

    One additional suggestion I’d make is not to use either canned prayers or KJV language (unless you speak Olde English at home). Make it a colloquial conversation with the Almighty.

    Not being on the same wavelength spiritually can be a huge problem, and it is for me. My wife’s a huge fan of Robert Schuller, and my faith is very Third-World in temporal expectations. Makes it kind of tough.


  6. Bev @ Walking Well With God Avatar
    Bev @ Walking Well With God

    As you know this is my second go-round in marriage. What a difference praying together makes!! I feel so blessed that i have a husband who will lead in the area of prayer and is the spiritual head of our now, two person home. I know what it’s like to not have this and so I never take it for granted. If you have a good man who prays…thank him and let him know he’s loved and appreciated.


  7. It’s like anything else, Beth – it takes time for seasoning! A fine wine takes days and years (sometimes) to become its best flavor. So does praying with your spouse. My hubs and I allow one another to “butt” in and add something relative – our prayers are a dance!!! Sometimes a lively polka!!!! Sometimes a slow and gentle waltz. Great post…again.


  8. I recently forced my husband to let me pray over him as we pulled into the driveway and shut the car off after dropping our kids off at school. In pain for days, but a quiet faith kind of guy, I knew it was my job in that moment to just pray on him without asking. It’s the most powerful medicine. Happy Wednesday!


  9. Yes, prayer together opens our hearts to God at the same time, in the same place. So important — and, THEREFORE, so very hard to do.


  10. Beth, why is it so hard to be consistent in the things that bring us together? I’m a night person, my husband’s a morning person. The time of day we pray affects who says the most! I love it when we do pray together. I’m also thankful to know he prays for me. I love hearing how you are making it work.


  11. Ryan and I pray before bedtime together. We just started doing this about a year ago maybe. For us sometimes it is full of thank you’s and asking God to watch over us. It is easy to fall into a rut of the general prayer. Because getting serious with prayer can really reveal what is going on in life and what is on your heart and mind. Thank you for the reminder to be authentic and true in prayer rather than just checking it off the list!


  12. I love the encouragement I receive here each week for my marriage…


  13. hubs and I were so good about this when we were newlyweds, we need to get back on track! thanks for the encouragement.


  14. Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays! It is sad that praying with a spouse can be awkward. I keep that ball in my husband’s court – he and I prayed together for a while, but even though my husband is a strong Christian, he doesn’t seem to want to pray together for whatever reason. But, I’m not going to bug him about it.


    1. Brandi, many of us guys feel awkward praying with our wives because we have to get out of that comfort zone and SHARE the deepest parts of ourselves. I even wrote my own blog post about this very topic several years ago, but it STILL feels somewhat awkward to me. I can’t explain it… I just have to grit my teeth and press on to make it happen. Encourage your husband gently, and perhaps he’ll change his mind.


      1. Thanks for your reply. Yes, it’s definitely a comfort zone thing. 🙂


  15. It’s not too late to start, is it …


  16. Thank you for adding your voice to this topic, Beth! We men like to bottle up our emotions and not share them much – even to the point of shutting out the wife who should know us better than anyone (except God). But it’s up to US to step out of our comfortableness and truly become ONE with our wives – by sharing those things that are hidden. Men, if you’re reading this… praying with your wife is the best possible way to create REAL intimacy within your marriage. Go and do likewise. 😉


  17. I think praying together as husband and wife is so important. It really helps to knit us together. Thanks for this, amy


  18. Beth, great suggestions and very wise cautions! It’s so easy to push too hard in this area! My husband and I do pray together. In our case, we don’t do it at a set time (although I definitely see the wisdom in that), our prayers together are more the spontaneous kind: someone sends a text asking for prayer for example, so we stop and pray or we might be talking about something and say, “we should pray about that.” Thanks for hosting this week. Have a great week end.


  19. The benefits of praying together are so worth it Beth. My husband and I don’t have a regular time, but we do pray together and it has always yielding great results. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.
    I like that you shared these cautions and suggestions too, so we do not pressure our spouse.
    Do have a super blessed day!


  20. I love your tips! My husband grew up Catholic with unbelieving parents. There was no prayer in their house. It is awkward for him, but I like your idea of short prayers. Thanks!


  21. […] spouse struggle here, give it a try! For more on this subject, read how prayer improved my marriage here, and/or look at these posts on transparency and […]


  22. I saw your link at Inspire Me Monday. As any couple, life has thrown challenges at us. However, praying together has been a major blessing in allowing us to grow closer as a couple through these challenges. Thank you for sharing your tips and testimony!


  23. These are great tips! There’s something so powerful about praying together.


  24. Beth,
    Now, more than ever, I really appreciate that my husband and I start and end everyday with prayer. Nothing is better than holding hands in bed, at the end of the day and giving our cares to God before we nod off to sleep. Like you said, you don’t have to pray around the world and back. God know the full scope of our concerns, but the important thing is connecting, as a couple, with God. Beautiful post sweet friend.
    Bev xx


  25. Beth, I am embarrassed to admit that after almost 42 years of marriage, my hubby and I have NEVER prayed together, just the 2 of us. I don’t know why. we just never got into the habit. I am going to see how he would feel about it. Thanks for the good encouragement.


  26. Beth – This post is wonderful. You have encouraged me to give it a whirl. We do not pray together other than meals, crises, or when praying for someone else. But we don’t have a habit of praying together on a regular consistent basis.

    Honestly, I didn’t want to have to take the lead and keep it going but after reading your post that seems like a silly reason.

    Hey did you start a link-up? If so please share the details and Iwill be sure to visit. I have been taking a little sabbatical but I am back.


  27. Thank you so much for this encouragement! My husband is so good about praying with me in the evenings before bed but a lot of times I just let him pray and say “Amen” when he’s done. It does feel very awkward for me to pray in front of others, even my husband. I pray a lot on my own. But I am going to take your advice and start with a short prayer, I know I can do that.



  28. Jeff and I go through seasons where we’ll do this and seasons where we don’t. I always like the ones where we do! Thanks for this encouragement, Beth! Praying together is such a powerful practice.


  29. […] I think that’s because it unifies us by keeping Christ as our focus rather than on ourselves. Read my post on this practice here. […]


  30. […] This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Messy Marriage  […]


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