Chad and I have never been great at praying together. I mean, we have done it here and there, mostly when we’re in the middle of a bad situation or we are facing a big decision. But, as far as day-to-day praying together, it’s a real challenge.
I’m not sure why it seems to be so hard for husbands and wives to pray together. Most Christian couples I know pray FOR each other, just not WITH each other. Praying for each other is wonderful, but we’ve learned lately that there’s something special and important about praying together.
At the marriage retreat we recently attended, the final exercise of the day was for all of the husbands and wives to pray for each other. Chad and I got close and whispered prayers into each other’s ears, and it was one of the most moving things we’d done as a couple in years. Since then, we accepted a thirty day challenge to pray for each other, with each other every day. And, I’ve realized what we’ve been missing out on for all of these years.
Praying together has made us more tender. It’s hard to be annoyed or upset with someone who is praying for you. It’s hard to hold grudges or unforgiveness in your heart when you are praying for someone. Praying together has made me want to live up to the desires that we express with each other before God: Help us to love each other well. When we pray in these ways, the Holy Spirit really does show us where we can improve, where we can lose the attitude, and as a result, we find that we are going out of our way to help each other. We’re taking the time to say thank you. We’re stopping to recognize what a blessing our marriage is.
Praying together has encouraged us. I know that Chad has prayed for me on his own through the years, and I love that about him. But, there’s something so encouraging about hearing him with my own ears as he makes me and our marriage a priority before the throne of God. Few things in our marriage have made me feel more loved. It’s a beautiful thing to hear the man you love pray for your specific needs and wants. On my own I often pray, thanking God for Chad and what he means to my life. But, rarely has he ever heard me do so. I’ve been surprised by how meaningful those moments have seemed and how they really do affect the way we feel about each other and behave toward each other during the day.
Praying together has been easier than I imagined. We pray before we go to sleep, for less than five minutes. Only one of us prays each night, and it’s not a big production or discussion. I suppose I always felt like it had to be a huge prayer session where we address every little thing that we need to be praying for in our lives. But, no. We pray for each other only. It’s quick and painless and so simple. I honestly can’t believe it’s taken us seventeen years to figure this out.
Praying together is like repeating your wedding vows daily. We lie in our bed instead of standing at an altar. We aren’t wearing fancy clothes and we don’t have an audience. But, when we pray for each other, we bless each other with daily reminders of the vows we made almost two decades ago. Our prayers reaffirm what we said we would do–be in each other’s corner no matter what. Stick close when times are rough and when they’re amazing. Sacrifice ourselves for each other’s fulfillment and sanctification. Help each other. Love each other. Seek God together.
So, I would like to extend the thirty day challenge to you. Pray for your spouse, with your spouse for thirty days and just see if it doesn’t make you more tender toward each other and more positive about your marriage and your life together. Praying with Chad has made me want to be a better wife. It has made me more conscious about the importance of glorifying God with a strong marriage that is less focused on what I want or need and more focused on how I can better love and serve and cherish my husband. That kind of marriage will make you and your children feel secure in the family that God blessed you with.