A question we ask all couples when we meet is, “Do you pray together?” The answer we almost always receive is no. A survey at a recent FamilyLife marriage event indicated that only 8% of couples attending pray together.
Why don’t couples pray together? We think it has much to do with our common enemy, Satan. He understands very well just how dynamic prayer is and does everything he can to keep couples from experiencing the awesome power of prayer. Years ago Welsh Revivalist Evan Roberts said, “Prayer is the secret of power.” If we realized how mighty prayer really is we would want to do it all the time. In a nine month period during the Welsh revival, Roberts led 100,000 to Christ. Now, that’s power!
Couples often say they’re not comfortable praying out loud because one feels their prayers are less eloquent than their spouse’s. However, prayer is simply a conversation with God. He wants us to honestly pour out our hearts before Him. In the Psalms, David did just that with surprising transparency.
In marriage, intimacy is the Holy Grail and prayer is without a doubt the most effective way to increase intimacy with our spouse. The openness and heartfelt nature of prayer bonds couples together. It is the meaning of “two becoming one.” One of the best ways to begin praying together is to use a method called “popcorn prayer”. Couples take turns praying short, one or two sentence prayers. For example: (Him) “Lord, show me how to better provide for my family by being more productive and strategic in the workplace” (Her) “Holy Spirit, show us a better way to understand, communicate and relate to one another.” Over time, you’ll find this form of prayer to be very effective. The more you practice this dialog together, the more comfortable you become. It is also a great idea to write down your prayers, recording how and when God answered them.
This is how it worked for us as we began praying together. We would know we were making the right decision when we both had peace. Our faith and intimacy increased as we shared with one another. We experienced exciting and powerful prayer encounters together, a three way interaction between husband, wife and God’s Spirit. Why pray? It’s how God shows us His power, His love for us and that He is at work in our lives.
–Alan and Jamie Wood, Authors of Power Marriage and Third Cord Secret, www.thirdcordsecret.com and marriage pastors at Inverness Vineyard Church in Birmingham.