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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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. :)
- 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:
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”)