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:
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.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
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.
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.