Prayer is a core part of the Christian life; naturally, it should extend to our most intimate relationship: marriage.
One author and theologian, Henri Nouwen says: “a spiritual life without prayer is like the gospel without Christ.”
Two common questions about prayer and marriage
People often write to us asking about prayer in their marriage. These are two of the most common questions we receive:
Q: Why should I pray with my spouse?
A: For intimacy—with God and with your spouse.
Prayer is an indication of devotion and an expression of intimacy. When we pray together, we metaphorically and physically align ourselves (as a couple) and place our entire focus on God. Prayer unifies us in purpose as we express thanks and worship to God, bring our problems to Him, and ask Him for guidance.
Q: So… how do I pray with my spouse?
A: Honestly and humbly.
Praying can be tough to do together if you’ve never tried it. If you’re intimidated or unsure on how to pray with your spouse, try this:
6 ideas for unified prayer in your marriage
1: Hold hands.
Make sure to face each other and hold hands when you pray. It sounds obvious but it’s still worth mentioning. Holding hands is a physical way to express unity and closeness, and facing each other opens your posture toward one another.
2: Embrace silence.
Sometimes you don’t know what to say—that’s fine! It’s alright to be quiet and listen. Conversing with God involves Him talking to you as well. Additionally, filling the air with words for their own sake doesn’t make your prayers more likely to be heard. God hears every word!
3: Write down your prayer requests.
Keep a notebook handy or a note on your phone with a list of things you’re praying for. I’ve found that if I don’t write them down, I’m very likely to forget them when it’s finally time to pray. Your heavenly Father wants to hear your concerns and requests. Write them down and bring it ALL to Him, He’s big enough!
Your heavenly Father wants to hear your concerns and requests. Write them down and bring it ALL to Him, He’s big enough!
4: Pray for each other.
No one knows your spouse as well as you. Intercede on his/her behalf—for health, strength, wisdom, courage, anything.
5: Pray explicitly for your marriage.
Pray that you’ll grow closer as a couple. Pray for direction on how to serve Jesus together. Ask God for unity and clarity of vision. The last thing you want is to be divided.
6: Pray for your community.
Pray for your community and friends however you feel lead. Your time interceding on their behalf may spur thought on how you can minister in your community as a couple and as a family.
A marriage marked by prayer
This list is just a start—and it’s definitely not the most theologically robust. However, I hope it gets you thinking. For some couples, prayer is a completely new concept. For others, it’s a time tested necessity for their marriage. Either way, praying together with your spouse has an amazing way of taking your focus off of yourselves and placing it on Jesus.
We hope your marriage is one marked by communion with God, and prayer plays a vital role in building your trust and reliance on him.