Challenges, Leadership, Leadership, Priorities

How Do I Pray With My Spouse? (Part 2)

This topic is the result of many readers asking us the question “How do I pray with my spouse?” In the last post, I covered the “why” of praying with your spouse. Now I hope to get a bit more practical and discuss the “how”.

If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the previous post so you can have the full picture. I’ve found that knowing what to do always has more depth if I know why I do it!

So… how do I pray with my spouse?

If you’re intimidated or unsure on how to pray with your spouse, here are some things to think about based on what we’ve experienced:

  • Hold hands
    Holding hands is a physical way to express unity and closeness.
  • Silence is OK
    Sometimes you don’t know what to say, that’s fine! Just be quiet and listen. Talking to God involves Him talking to you as well.
  • Write down prayer requests
    Your heavenly Father wants to hear your concerns and requests – He delights in them. Write them down and bring it ALL to Him, He’s big enough! Writing them down also provides structure in case you’re likely to forget (like us).
  • Pray for each other
    No one knows your spouse as well as you. Intercede on their behalf – for health, strength, wisdom, courage, or anything you know they need and only God can provide.
  • Pray for your marriage
    We always ask God for unity and clarity of vision. The last thing we want is to be divided, and we believe that God wouldn’t want that either. If we are divided, we ask for wisdom on how to reconcile our thinking with Him and each other.
  • Pray for your community
    Prayer isn’t all about us. It’s about interceding for others and hearing from God. Pray for your community and friends as you feel lead. Then listen as God challenges you on what to do to be His hands and feet in those situations.

Examples of Prayer

Jesus told us how to pray in Matthew chapter 6. This is the ultimate example for us! Note that it’s not long winded, and is spoken with a reverent yet conversational tone. Take a moment to read the Lord’s prayer (above). Jesus provides a basic outline of what our prayers should include:

  1. Worship and adoration“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name.”
    This is a phrase we often gloss over, but the term “hallowed” or “holy” is a term only reserved for God. It basically means attributing to God those things for which he can only be attributed: i.e. worship.
  2. Intercession: “Your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven
    Intercession means: the action of intervening on behalf of another. Pray for your spouse and for justice in your community (biblical justice, that is).
  3. Provision (or supplication)“Give us this day our daily bread.”
    Supplication simply means “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly”. The term “daily bread” is of particular interest in this context, but I’ll leave that for a future post. :)
  4. Holiness“and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
    Only with God’s help we can be more like Jesus. Jesus knew this as he instructed us.

This serves as a basic outline. The point is that God desires intimacy with us (hence Jesus’ use of “Father” and not “God” or “Lord”).

Praying together with your spouse has an amazing way of taking your focus OFF of yourselves and each other. If you’re fighting, consider praying. It may sound weird, but Selena and I have found that if we bring God into the room via prayer, we quickly realize where we are at fault. His holiness has a way of humbling us impeccably!

Start Now – Another Example of Praying with your Spouse

In case you’re still unsure on where to start, set aside a few minutes with your spouse and start with this – holding hands, of course:

(Husband starts)

Father, you are amazing and holy. I cannot comprehend how vast or powerful you are. Thank you for listening to our prayers and loving us so intimately.

I thank you for my wife. She is your most obvious blessing in my life. I ask that you would fill her with your joy, strength, and hope. Holy Spirit, enter our marriage. Help us love each other the way you desire. Convict us and correct us, the way only our Father can. (insert any requests you may have for each other, your family, and your community)

Thank you for all you have given us. We trust you to provide everything we need. You are always faithful. Right now, we need your help. Please provide _____ (insert your needs as appropriate). May we steward what you give us to bring you the most glory possible.

Father, protect us. Help us steer clear of sin and temptation. Forgive us for the times when we stray from what you want for us. Give us your Holy Spirit to help us stay away from ______________ (enter recent struggle points – this is why transparency is so important!). 

(Wife, pick up where he left off, filling in any spots as you feel prompted)

In your name,

Amen (“amen” literally means “so be it”)

Do you and your spouse pray together regularly? What parts of your prayers do you repeat most?

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  • I love being a husband

    This is pretty much the way my wife and I pray. We repeat prayers about our marriage often. We pray to be the spouses God has called us to be. We hold hands and sometimes I even put my arms around my wife. We are dealing with some heavy stuff right now, so we often repeat prayers about that.

  • Leslie

    I am so happy I came across this! Sadly I am fearful to suggest to my husband that we pray together because I am Catholic and he is non-denominational. However, the times we have prayed together he has never stated our differences, and has always done so joyfully. I guess I just fear conflict over our religious differences so we never really pray together. I am so happy I came across this because I know this a sign from God to overcome my fear and to pray more with my husband! Thank you so much!

    • $29305013

      :)

    • Debbie Blumenthal

      If you both love the Lord, who cares what denomination you are: He doesn’t.

  • Andrea

    I really want to start praying with my husband…but I feel like he will not initiate it. Should I be initiating the prayer to encourage him, or should I be praying that God let him lead us? Thanks for this post – very encouraging :)

    • Oc Film Company

      Go for it! I think it’s a wonderful thing that you’re inviting him to come to Christ in prayer with you!

  • Oc Film Company

    Most women find it hard to pray with their husband for several reasons. One of them being major though is when they don’t want to be the one to initiate it or not sure if they should. I think you don’t have to wait for your husband to initiate it. If you feel led by the Holy Spirit to pray, then invite him to pray with you. Best to make it a habit even but for a starter I think you should make the first move. It’s you and him coming to Christ because of you and I think that’s priceless!

    • I agree! I appreciate when my wife has initiated by suggesting we pray together.

  • confused wife

    My husband won’t lead us in prayer but he will pray with me. Is this wrong that I Am always the one leading our prayer and devotion?

    • The best thing you can do is to pray for him and also pray that God would help him in this area. My wife has [told me she’s] done so for many years and I am feeling convicted and compelled/motivated to act. Don’t be pushy, let God do the work.

  • Rhiannon

    After a lot of spiritual struggles and deluding myself, I somehow stumbled upon this blog and it’s really showed me a lot. I’ve read 4 different entries and I currently have tears streaming down my face because I realize just how much I have let God and my husband down. I was deluded and ultimately not very humble before I came to this blog, but I am being DEEPLY convicted at this precise moment and I do pray that I can do better in both my spiritual and marital life.

  • Christina

    Can I just say how I absolutely love your ministry through this website! I’m Getting married this May! And I have been blessed by all your articles! Even shared one with my fiancé with one I just read :) It’s just so great to read from all your experience, wisdom, and advice! More importantly, Christ centered! And I especially love this article! Praying is something we would like and have made a decision to start early on in our marriage by the grace and love of God! Thank you!!

  • whipplewoman

    I recently went to a women’s encounter and when I came home I asked my husband to pray for me. For the first time he prayed over me and I can’t express the love and intimacy that I felt with him. It’s a feeling I highly recommend.

  • MeS

    I would add to this a very important #5. Submission to God and His will for our lives and marriage. (“For Yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever and ever.”)