Challenges, Communication, Leadership, Priorities

How Do I Pray with My Spouse? (Part 1)

Readers often ask the question “How do I pray with my spouse?” Here is a quick guide on how to start, taken from our personal experience and growth in this area. As with anything, we are still learning and have much room for growth. Heads up: I thought this would be a short post, but there’s just too much to cover. Therefore, the topic is broken into two parts: why and how. Read the second part here.

First, a Confession

Honestly, I struggle with praying. I find myself checking my phone first thing when I wake up when I should be consulting with God and bringing myself to Him before anything else. God has been convicting me (deeply) in this area, and I’m still far from where He wants me to be. By His grace I’m aware of it! And by His grace I can be transformed in this area.

Why do I pray with my spouse?

Prayer is a core part of the Christian life; naturally it should extend to our most intimate relationship: marriage! One of my favorite authors and theologians, Henri Nouwen says: “a spiritual life without prayer is like the gospel without Christ.

1: Intimacy with God and with your spouse

Prayer is both an indication of devotion and an expression of intimacy. When we follow Christ fully, we must pray. We must make God a priority in this area – especially with the rampant busyness of today’s culture.

To some couples, praying together is a foreign concept. Selena and I have found it to be both essential and enjoyable. When we pray together, we metaphorically and physically align ourselves, and place our entire focus on God. Prayer unifies us in purpose as we express thanks to God, bring our problems to Him, and ask Him for guidance.

Prayer is one expression of Christian friendship. Nouwen also writes,

“A friend is that other person with whom we can share our solitude, our silence, and our prayer…With a friend we can be still and know that God is there with both of us.”

The Bible tells me so – verses in the Bible about prayer

In lieu of expounding, let’s just defer to the Bible:

Matthew 6:9-13
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4:2
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

1 Thessalonians 5:17
pray continually;

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

1 John 3:22
And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

And many, many more… 

Conclusion

As we can see, there’s tons of evidence illustrating the importance of prayer in the life of a Christ follower. It’s a natural conclusion to think that prayer, therefore, must be part of our marriages. The question still remains: “How do I pray with my spouse?”

In my next post, I’ll answer the “how” question the best I can. I’ll take a closer look at Jesus’ example of prayer. I will also illustrate some key components of prayer Selena and I have found beneficial. Lastly, part 2 of “How do I pray with my spouse?” will conclude with a starter prayer that I hope will get you and your spouse headed toward a healthy prayer life together.

Question: Do you pray with your spouse? What types of things do you pray for together?

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  • I love being a husband

    We pray about everything and we do so regularly. Right now, we are struggling with infertility (the problem is with me, my wife is fine), so that gets prayed about a lot. Also, we are looking for permanent work, so we pray about that a lot too. We also pray for our marriage, for our church, for our families, etc.

    • Thank you for sharing. Sorry to hear about your struggle with infertility, that can be very heart breaking. It’s funny, I read this verse today and wasn’t sure where or how I’d get to apply it, but God’s timing is perfect:

      Psalm 113:4-9 (I believe verse 9 can be applied to men as well):
      “The Lord is high above all nations,
      and his glory above the heavens!
      Who is like the Lord our God,
      who is seated on high,
      who looks far down
      on the heavens and the earth?
      He raises the poor from the dust
      and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
      to make them sit with princes,
      with the princes of his people.
      He gives the barren woman a home,
      making her the joyous mother of children.
      Praise the Lord!”

      God is with you, He is faithful, and He is mighty above heaven and earth.

      • I love being a husband

        Thank you!!

  • Kim

    My boyfriend and I are seriously preparing ourselves for a Christ-centered marriage in our future so we pray together (as well as separately) about our relationship. We pray for patience with one another and for God to help forge lasting relationships with our family members. We also take time when we are frustrated with things to stop and thank God for His blessings in our trials and His help trusting His guidance in our future. While nothing has been easy for either of us growing up I am amazed to see how God answers our prays and has made each trial in our relationship a point of growth and connection for us rather then a place of tension.

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  • Khyndra Tallman

    Ryan and Selena, It seems like every time I see one of your posts on facebook it relates to what my husband and I are dealing with or have struggled with. Your posts are uplifting and always so positive and honest. Thank you for putting yourselves out there to be a light for others!

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  • Oc Film Company

    Haha I guess you’re not alone in your morning temptation of peeking at your phone first before anything else! It’s so tempting that’s why I often put my phone somewhere farther from me and put my Bible closer so that it will be the first thing I see when I wake up. Praying with your spouse is very important to keep everything sealed and guided by the Holy Spirit in your marriage. Thanks Ryan!

  • David

    We do this a lot with my girlfriend… Some time back we realized that physical intimacy is worthless without spiritual intimacy. It’s not easy to let another person into one’s intimate prayers and worship, but we believe it’s important and incredibly beautiful. We just don’t want to live our Jesus-centered lives and our two lives sepearately. And it seems like with God, no problem is difficult enough.

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