“Speak only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs [not your needs, but theirs] that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18: 19 -20
It’s no secret that Christian couples struggle to pray together. We’ve heard it said: “The couple that prays together stays together;” and data proves that to be overwhelmingly true. That’s because couples who pray together nurture their relationships and strengthen their intimacy with God and their spouses. So why not join them?
Here’s a few ways to help you get started:
- Share your desire to pray for your spouse. Expressing your longing to pray for your spouse communicates your love for God and your spouse!
- Invite your spouse to pray with you: Be sensitive to any feelings of spiritual inadequacy your spouse may have. Help alleviate any fears by sharing that he or she doesn’t have to lead the process or even pray out loud. “You can just hold my hand and pray silently with me,” is a good place to start.
- Set a time and place: Establishing a routine starts with the “when and where?” When do we have uninterrupted time to connect? Where’s a comfortable spot for us to pray? It might help to set a time to eliminate any aversions to praying together.
- Make a list of things you want to pray about together: Start with personal requests; things that involve you, your spouse, your children and your family. The closer the issues … the more engaged you’ll be in the process.
- Pray conversationally: Some call this “ping pong praying.” Each of you pray short sentence prayers for the first request and then work down through your list. This method helps keep your time moving and your thoughts from wandering.
- Don’t “preach” to one another: “Please help Bart to see his need to soften his heart and let me do what I want to do …” is not going to foster Bart’s continued participation!
- Don’t quit if you miss a day: Consistency will grow over time. Relax and don’t let the enemy discourage you. Allow your spouse to have the freedom to remind you that it is time to pray. Share the responsibility of leading this process.
Knee to Knee Nose to Nose Questions:
Why do we struggle with praying together?
Are either of us feeling some fear or inadequacy?
Take a minute to pray and ask the Lord to overcome those fears and anxieties and to help you work through this list and get started.