One of the concepts we learned about in pre-marital counseling was the idea that couples who pray together, stay together. A few different studies indicate that this is true, with less than 1% of married couples who pray together seeing their relationship end in divorce.
I’m a logical person to a fault, so naturally, it made perfect sense to start praying together. The data was so compelling that I figured every married couple would pray together. But according to a FamilyLife® survey, less than 8% of Christian married couples actually pray together on a regular basis.
I suppose there are several reasons Christian couples don’t pray together. Maybe they’re too busy, maybe they’re embarrassed, or maybe they just aren’t convinced it really makes a difference. It can be really hard for a lot of couples to pray together, but I promise you the benefits are worth it.
The divorce rate data is too important to ignore, and so I’ve put together the following benefits of praying together as a married couple. You may not trust surveys or statistics, but from personal experience, I can honestly say that praying together has been one of the best things for our marriage. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Prayer builds intimacy
Marriage provides a level of intimacy that other relationships on Earth can’t match. Praying together helps that intimacy develop. Prayer requires a certain level of vulnerability, you must be open with God and whoever you’re praying with. This type of vulnerability around my wife increases intimacy and trust in powerful ways.
2. Prayer strengthens your love for each other
If you pray for anyone, you will grow in your love for that person. How much more true would this be with your spouse? When you pray for others, you consider their needs, their hurts, and their heart. If gives you a chance to listen, share what’s going on, and serve them through prayer.
3. Prayer provides encouragement
I always feel encouraged when my wife prays for me. Hopefully, she feels encouraged when I pray for her. When she prays for the things I’m struggling with, it is a clear verbal reminder that she cares for me and hopes for the best for me. Knowing that your spouse is invested in your life and praying for you will only strengthen your marriage.
4. Prayer provides an opportunity to communicate
Before we pray together, we often share prayer requests with each other. In a world where couples have increasingly more screen time and less face-to-face time, I really cherish our time for sharing prayer requests. It provides an opportunity to talk about deeper life issues that don’t typically come up around the TV.
5. Praying together encourages forgiveness
We pray together each night before going to sleep. If we’ve had an argument, or we’re just generally grumpy towards each other, our commitment to praying each night is a great way to ease the tension. It’s hard to pray with someone and stay angry with them. Prayer creates a daily opportunity to ask, give, and receive forgiveness.
6. Praying together invites God’s presence
Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Praying by yourself is important, but there is something special about praying with another person. It’s important not to neglect this with your spouse. Yes, you each have your own individual relationship with God, but remember that God should also be central to your relationship. Praying together helps enable that.
Tips for praying together
Praying together doesn’t require a big magical ceremony and shouldn’t take hours. My wife and I just pray together each night before going to bed. We could probably do it better, but those few minutes each night have made a huge difference in our marriage. he following things will help you be more consistent with your prayer life as a couple:
The following tips will help you be more consistent with your prayer life as a couple:
Choose a consistent time of day. Before going to bed, after dinner, when you wake up. Choose the time that works for you.
Be intentional about pursuing prayer times together.
Spend time sharing requests as often as seems fit. This gives you specific things to pray about.
Be encouraging and appreciative, many people can be shy about praying in front of others, even their spouse.
Keep it simple. You don’t earn brownie points with God by making your prayers long winded, nor will your spouse appreciate it.
Read Scripture as part of your prayer if you aren’t sure where to start.
Commit to praying together every day for a month. It’s a short enough timeframe to be achievable, but it should also be plenty of time for you to recognize the benefits.
Hopefully, this has helped convince you of the benefits of praying together. There’s no time like the present, so why not start today?