This is an important question, as the majority of Christian couples, even pastoral couples, don’t make this a regular practice. Yet it is probably the most fulfilling and divorce-proofing thing any couple can engage in. Also, it has been said that praying together is the most intimate thing a husband and wife can do. So how do you get started? Here are a few ideas and things to consider:
- Maybe all it will take is for one of you to simply suggest it. Many spouses just haven’t considered this practice as it was never modeled in their own homes. Perhaps just a suggestion that you pray together for your children/grandchildren, or for one another’s day…could prime that pump.
- Sometimes one spouse is obviously a more seasoned prayer, especially out loud. This makes the other feel very self-conscious. Be sure to remember that you are talking to God and simply agreeing in prayer with your spouse. Reassure one another and make a commitment to be completely non-judgmental of one another’s prayer styles.
- Praying Scripture over family, friends and situations is a very good way to pray together if this practice seems difficult at first. For example, pray the Aaronic blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 over children/grandchildren and even over one another. Another Scripture to pray over children/grandchildren is 1 Timothy 4:12. A good prayer devotional can also be very helpful.
- Pray as you take walks or while you are driving together.
- Try praying together first thing in the morning. Get coffee and a blanket and sit on the couch or outside (depending on weather). Some like to hold hands as they pray.
- If you are trying to make a decision together, ask God to bring your thoughts and hearts into unity. Perhaps spend a few minutes praying silently alone. Next, share what the Lord seems to be saying to each of you. For example, when my husband and I pray together about an amount of money we might want to give to a missions organization, we will pray separately and then share the amount we feel God has impressed on our hearts. If we don’t have the same amount, we split the difference. Then we give thanks together that He has blessed us to be a blessing to others.
- Whenever you are angry or upset with one another, come to the Lord in prayer together and ask Him to give you forgiving hearts, wisdom, peace, or whatever seems to be at the root of your disagreement. It’s very difficult to stay angry with someone you pray with.
Even if it’s only for five minutes a day, please consider praying together as husband and wife. Not only will it benefit your relationship greatly, it will please the heart of God, be an incredible example to your children and/or grandchildren, and you will always wonder why it took you so long to get started! If this practice is a blessing to you, please don’t keep it a secret! Engaged or newly married couples need to hear your testimony of what it has meant to you to pray together as a couple. Pass it on!