Praying together

June 25, 2014

This past week at Chantilly (and this coming week at Linton Hall) we challenged couples to pray together every day. This is hard. Even as the staff discussed this, many admitted this is difficult… even for us paid ministers! Perhaps it’s just finding the time or maybe it’s because there’s something so intimate about prayer that even with our spouse we are embarrassed. Whatever the reason prioritizing this habit will pay dividends in your marriage for years to come.

For years I struggled with praying out loud with my wife. Oddly enough I can pray in front of hundreds of people at church without thinking twice but praying intimately and personally with Kim was, and to some degree still is, difficult. But last year I decided it was time to quit making excuses and do something. So I renewed my commitment to pray daily with her and am proud to say it’s been going well. We still have a long way to go but I know I’m investing in her and in my relationship with God every time I take anywhere from 15 seconds to a few minutes to seek God’s direction and help in this way.

One thing that has helped us is getting the book Moments Together for Couples at the Art of Marriage conference we attended at the nZone a couple years ago. There is a reading for each day of the year that takes less than 5 minutes to read. There are also 1 or 2 questions at the bottom of each reading for you to discuss. Then I simply pray out loud whatever comes to mind for Kim and myself. Sometimes it deals directly with the reading. Sometimes it is about something going on in our lives (e.g. a parenting issue we are working through). Other times we focus on someone else that we know is going through an especially tough time.

Part of what makes it work for me is I’ve tried to set the bar pretty low. I don’t try to pray for 15 minutes with her. I don’t try to cover everything on our prayer list every night. I simply committed to at least pray one sentence with her every night when we go to bed together. Even so, it’s not always been easy. But after sticking with it for a while it’s gotten much easier and it has become a habit. It comes naturally now.

This may not always be our pattern but for now it’s what works for us. It may not be what works for you. You’ll have to discover that for yourself. The point is to do something. One of the blogs I read (ToLoveHonorAndVacuum.com) did a great post on 10 Ways to Initiate Prayer with Your Spouse. Maybe one or two of their ideas will work well for you.

Guys – let me challenge you to man up and initiate in this way. Reject passivity, accept responsibility, lead courageously and invest eternally in your marriage.

Ladies – If you are reading this don’t think that means you can’t initiate. You can. Ask your husband to do this with you. Tell him how much it would mean to you if he would pray for you.

Try it. I dare you. See what God does.

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