We planned every detail of our honeymoon. After saying goodbye to our families, my bride and I drove 40 miles from the church to our hotel. It was late, and our hearts were racing with anticipation. And just as we’d planned, we did something on our first night together that we have done every night since — for the past 15 years. We prayed.
Scripture describes marriage as a one-flesh love (Genesis 2:24). When a man and woman unite in marriage, they form a bond that is stronger than any other relationship on earth; they become “one flesh.” We often think of physical intimacy as the deepest expression of that love. I’m convinced, however, that there’s something even deeper.
By God’s design, praying with your spouse intensifies and strengthens your spiritual bond. When you pray together, your vulnerability with your heavenly Father deepens and enriches your marriage relationship.
Here are a few ideas for making your prayer time as a couple even more meaningful.
Don’t let mealtime be the only time you pray together. You can avoid falling into this rut by praying at other times of the day, too. Most Christians have been taught the importance of beginning the day with prayer. But ending the day in prayer deserves equal priority. It is hard to feel disconnected from or to stay angry at each other when you pray together before falling asleep.
Be real. Confess your sins to each other when you pray (James 5:16). Quick, trite or repetitive prayers do not reveal what is really going on in your heart. Wordsmith your prayers much like you would any other conversation. If you said the same thing over and over again to your spouse, your marriage would grow stale and shallow. The same is true of your prayers. Keep them fresh, and take your time to say what needs to be said.
Before you fall asleep tonight, reach for your spouse’s hand, pray and offer a gentle kiss good night. Inviting your spouse into your personal conversation with the Lord will deepen your marriage even as it strengthens your relationship with God.
Ted Cunningham is a pastor and the author of Fun Loving You.