Many couples are uncomfortable with praying together because prayer creates an emotional and spiritual nakedness. We wonder if praying together is worth the effort when are lives are already busy. Does praying together really make that much difference in a marriage? What are the benefits?
As we pray, we connect with the one who is the source of all strength. When we pray, we turn our struggles over to God instead of carrying the weight of our burdens. It is a blessing when a burden is lifted from our lives and trusted to God's care. God delights in having his children draw near.
Spiritual vulnerability is a powerful tool for building intimacy in marriage. As we pray together our hearts are opened to each other. Spiritual intimacy helps lay the groundwork for emotional and physical intimacy within marriage.
Couples that are able to turn their struggles over to God recognize who the real enemy is. We are not struggling with one another, but against the devil who seeks to steal and destroy. In prayer we assume a united stance by together taking our concerns to God. When you pray with your spouse, remember that prayer is not meant to be manipulative. We pray to God and not at our spouse. Praying together unites us in shared purpose.
Praying for each other helps you start to pay attention to how the other person is feeling. We begin to see each other through God's eyes as we hear the needs that are weighing heaviest on each other’s hearts. We see each other differently before God's throne of grace.
Praying together also provides a good model for others to follow. When your children see you praying with your spouse, they learn to take their own problems to God and find answers from him. It demonstrates where to go for guidance and strength for each new day.
The spiritual aspect of a marriage relationship is important for a healthy relationship. Shared spiritual practice strengthens marriage bonds. It’s tough to allow yourself to be vulnerable, but the marriage relationship ought to be the place where you are comfortable with openness. Prayer nurtures a powerful connection to God where he is able to shape our lives, change our hearts, and influence our behaviors. When together we lay our struggles at his feet, he can work powerfully transforming our lives.
Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Establish communal prayer in your marriage and watch how God blesses it. It will indeed make you thankful!
Rev. Deb Koster
Rev. Dr. Rob Toornstra