You are brave.
If you saw the title to this blog and thought “I want to read that,” you are brave.
No well researched statistics exist for how many Christian couples regularly (4-7 times a week) pray with their spouse. Anecdotally, for what it’s worth, I know for certain two. Two couples.
You are an anomaly and you want more for your marriage. I know it.
I am in no way claiming to be perfect in prayer. My wife and I have had good weeks and bad weeks as it concerns praying. It’s a constant struggle for time and attention. I am not dogmatic or legalistic about this, but I do want to offer you the benefits of allowing God into your marriage by praying together.
Here are some of the main points my wife and I have experienced:
Prayer keeps you both humble. We all tend to feel like the world revolves around us. We want our lives to be free of trouble or frustration (that’s not a bad thing), but in our desire for the world to be a better place, we end up wanting it to be better just for us. Matthew 23:12 says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Pray is one of the best ways to be humbled. Prayer gets you out of the self centered mindset and on to the glory and majesty of the Holy One of Heaven. Plus it gives you a time to pray for others. That leads us to the next one…
Prayer helps you as a couple love others more deeply. When you pray as a couple, you get the chance to stay true to your promises. If you are like me, I have about 3 or 4 people a week ask for prayer. Yours may be more or less, that’s not the point. The point is, if you’ve ever had someone ask you for prayer, you’ve said, “Of course, I’ll be praying for you.” How many broken promises have you made like that? Mine are too many to count. But when you and your spouse have a routine of praying together, you have a chance to pray for those requests. When the prayers are answered, you two will have a chance to celebrate!
Prayer strengthens your spiritual bond with your spouse. We as humans have a physical body and a spiritual soul. I know several couple who work out together. They get all into the CrossFit stuff and hit the gym together and get matching outfits. Staying physically fit is important, but what about being spiritual fit? How well do you know your spouse spiritually? Spiritual intimacy is another level of intimacy that is difficult to experience without regularly praying together. This kind of intimacy will lead you to love one another more passionately than you could have ever thought possible.
Prayer keeps you both accountable. I highly suggest talking with your spouse about your sins and mistakes that you made throughout the day. This can be awkward at first, but it will be worth it. Sitting down to pray with them is a perfect time for confession and forgiveness. As Christians, we are called to hold one another accountable and pray for one another. James 5:16 states, “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” How much more important praying for and confessing to our spouses must be! One note before I move on from this: when they other person drops a bombshell on you in this moment, do not begin a fight. Use your prayer to work through it. If it still needs addressing, do so in “a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).
I hope this is an encouragement to you. Remember, prayer isn’t a box to be checked but a relationship to live. Prayer is an avenue of spiritual growth for your marriage. Don’t get bogged down in “well, we have to do this…”
So go live in the Spirit and grow in Christ with your spouse. It’s worth it.