A few years ago my dear sister-in-law shared with me something that was making a difference in her marriage. She and her husband started praying together every night at bedtime – out loud. She shared that it was bringing them closer as a couple.
My husband and I had a good relationship. We always prayed out loud before meals as a family, or if there was a specific need we knew of, we would say a prayer together. But we hadn’t really purposefully spent time praying out loud together as a couple. Who doesn’t want to be closer to their spouse? That night I told my husband what my sister-in-law had shared and asked him if he would be willing to try this with me for a week.
The first few nights it was a little awkward. We weren’t quite sure what to pray for or what to say. As time went on, we found it was getting easier and easier. Before we knew it, praying together at bedtime was part of our every day routine. Not only were we spending more intentional time with our Lord, but we were doing it together. It was a new kind of spiritual unity we hadn’t really experienced before.
There were a few side effects to this new habit of ours. For starters, we were finding it easier to pray out loud in different situations. We felt a lot less awkward and more comfortable talking to the Lord in front of people. We were exercising our prayer muscles and they kept getting stronger! Additionally, it became a lot harder to stay mad at one another, not that we usually fight or disagree. But if I was a little upset because he had spent too much time helping someone in need when I would rather be selfish and have him at home with me, by time we were done praying, my heart was reset and I simply could not be mad at him for being the compassionate man that he is. Even if there was something I felt justified in being angry about, after spending those few minutes together in prayer, I could not be mad!
I have spoken with a few other friends and asked them if they pray with their spouses, and if so, how they do it. Everyone does something a little different, but here are a few ideas to help you get started in bringing more spiritual unity to your marriage.
Take turns. Whether you both pray each night, or one prays one night and the other prays the next, be sure you both are sharing your prayers together out loud.
If you aren’t sure what to say, begin by reciting The Lord’s Prayer.
The basic things my husband and I pray for each night are: our children, each other, our jobs, to help us to be a blessing to others, our parents and siblings and any needs any of our family have, those in our community and any needs they have, and thank Him for all of His grace and mercy.
I’ll be honest, some times are harder than others. If I’ve had a particularly stressful day, the enemy tries to attack and tell me that I don’t really want to pray, and that it doesn’t matter if I skip it this once. But we have decided to be faithful in this one act every single night, and it makes such a tremendous difference. It only takes a few minutes and helps us to go to bed with peaceful hearts and minds. I challenge you, if you don’t already, try praying out loud with your spouse for one week.
I would love to hear from you! Do you and your spouse pray out loud together?