When Two Pray
Every time you and your spouse pray separately for one another, great things happen in your relationship.
Every time you and your spouse pray separately for one another, great things happen in your relationship. Prayer is truly powerful. But when you pray together, that power increases tremendously, and so do the results. Going to God in prayer as a couple benefits your marriage in several ways:
Prayer Promotes Unity
On the day you and your spouse were married, you became one in the eyes of God. From that moment on, however, there is still a process of becoming one in your everyday lives. The living out of this unity doesn't just happen; it takes time and effort.
The most difficult thing about a marriage is that there are two people in it. If you were just trying to work through things by yourself, you could certainly do a good job of it. But in marriage you have to mesh your dreams, desires, attitudes, assumptions, needs and habits with those of your spouse. The effort to do so can cause strife. When you pray with your spouse, you are drawn into unity with God and, as a result, with one another.
Prayer Promotes Emotional Intimacy
Just as physical intimacy reaffirms your oneness, so does praying together. When you pray as a couple, you are not only communicating with God, but also with each other. You can learn so much about one another by sharing prayer requests and listening to each other pray.
Prayer Invites God Into Your Relationship
For a marriage to last and be happy and fulfilling, three parties need to be involved: the husband, the wife and the Lord.
All marriages have problems because they are made up of two imperfect people. But if you add the presence of a perfect God, then you have unlimited possibilities for drawing closer to what God intended for marriage. Whether that happens is determined by how frequently and how fervently God is invited into your relationship. The more you pray together, the more you will see God do great things.
I know that praying together works because I have seen its power demonstrated in my own marriage. Over the years my husband and I have struggled with many different issues, and at times I have felt that all hope was lost. Yet in those moments of despair, God intervened; He changed our hearts and taught us how to make our marriage whole.
Prayer Changes Relationships
Through the ups and downs of 34 years of marriage, my husband and I have changed a lot for the better. We're not perfect — far from it — but we are living proof that by praying together, your relationship can change. A husband and wife certainly can't change each other, and they can never change as much as they would like. But God can change them both if they invite Him to do so. No matter what struggles a couple have, if they keep praying together, they can see things turn around.
If you or your spouse feels uncomfortable or embarrassed praying out loud in front of the other, don't be discouraged. Many people have felt that way and overcome it. Ask God to help you. Ask Him to teach you and your spouse how to pray together so you can have the marriage He wants you to have.
This article first appeared in the Couples Edition of the February, 2008 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. Copyright © 2008 Stormie Omartian. All rights reserved.