Life can get chaotic, busy, loud, and even messy. In fact, the things we fill our time with may not be inherently bad or negative, such as a church, men’s and women’s Bible studies, children’s sports events, or even date nights. Some of the things we fill our schedule with may even draw us closer to God as an individual, create sparks in our marriage, and build lasting friendships. While developing and strengthening personal time with God and in fellowship with the church can result in spiritual growth, are they also unknowingly taking precedence in taking time to pray with your spouse? What if simply “checking the box” of reading the Bible, saying a personal prayer, going to church weekly, and getting involved in community outreach isn’t enough? What if this “checklist” is missing one crucial element? Praying together as a married couple.
You may be making leaps and bounds in your spiritual life the more you’re doing for the Lord; but what if a prayerless married couple is a ploy for the enemy to slowly weaken your marriage? He will do whatever he can to interfere with the benefits and blessing that comes when a husband and wife pray together. Hebrews 4:16 states this, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” What if a husband and wife linked arms and boldly entered His throne room? What changes might you see around you and in your marriage? Couples that pray together become a powerful force! Don’t just be a “Christian couple!” Be the couple that prays together! When you do, here are a few things you may begin to notice.
Prayer breaks down pride
Pride is what makes us most like Satan because it gives glory to ourselves rather than to God. Pride is selfish and struggles to admit sin or acknowledge any wrongdoing. When pride is left unaddressed in a marriage it can lead to a devastating end. However, praying together exchanges pride for humility. Humility is not arrogant; it brings out a heart of gratitude and recognizes our own brokenness and the need for a Savior. Praying together places God’s sovereignty above all else and gives value to one another. You will become more aware of your own selfish desires and begin to see your spouse in a new light. Pride will no longer be the filter that you operate from but you will see how much you both need Jesus in all areas of your life.
Prayer deepens intimacy
Marriage, in and of itself already speaks to an intimate relationship. In fact, scripture puts it this way, “a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one”(Gen. 2:24). This intimacy, however, goes beyond sex, it’s one that opens the soul and reveals a deeper part of you. Prayer requires vulnerability and openness that creates a fertile ground for intimacy to deepen, strengthen, and grow. Praying with your spouse increases trust and bonds that won’t be easily broken. It truly connects you at a spiritual level making your “intimate moments” that much sweeter…*wink, wink*.
Prayer softens the heart
Prayer has a way of stripping away any frustrations or judgmental thoughts, and as you humble yourself your heart begins to soften. You begin to have a perspective change and an attitude shift that can lead to better conflict resolution and forgiveness. Your heart becomes open to understanding rather than accusing, which creates a space for healing and reconciliation. Prayer brings to the surface any needs, concerns, or hurts; and when you’re praying together your hearts can be more receptive to your spouse’s emotions. It is vital for a husband and wife’s heart to remain not only soft towards God but towards one another. Softened hearts draw a couple together, while a hardened heart pushes them away.
Prayer Keeps God at the center
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help” (Ecc. 4:9-10a). Marriage is such a powerful commitment because you are saying yes to standing alongside someone for life, for when a person is alone they are susceptible to attack, while two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Two are absolutely better than one but three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken (Ecc. 4:12). When that third strand, God, is wrapped tightly around your marriage then no wind and no storm will be able to tear you both apart. Praying together keeps your marriage embedded in a solid rock foundation. It acts as a shield and a barrier between you and the enemy’s lies.
Prayer brings change
There will still be highs and lows as you continue on together on the roller-coaster of life, however as you pray together your worries and fears will turn to trust and confidence, and you both will begin to find joy no matter what life throws at you. The fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) will be activated in your marriage. Prayer transforms hearts, minds, souls, and actions. Imagine what it can do in and through your marriage.
Don’t underestimate the power of prayer and especially don’t underestimate the power of a praying couple. Be a couple that regularly taps into the power of God together. Voice your request to one another. Then do it! Then…keep going! Don’t stop! “The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers” (1 Peter 3:12a).