Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Couples Who Pray Together, Stay Together

A friend of mine once worked with a pastor who, for me, coined this phrase: Couples who pray together, stay together.  I think the guy was doing some sort of research project related to this idea, but even though I don't know the details of how this man came to his conclusion, what I do know is that I wholeheartedly believe it to be true.

I also know that in my own life, sharing a time of prayer with Thomas every night is one of the times I cherish the most.  These days, we're lucky if we get to complete a whole sentence when talking to each other, much less a whole thought, so this time to connect and pray together is priceless.

Since prayer is a personal thing, it is also viewed as a rather intimidating thing to do in front of others.  Even when that person is the one you love and trust the most, talking to God in front of that person is not necessarily the most natural thing in the world.

However, if you are able to get to the point of putting all reservations and feelings of awkwardness aside, I think you too will find that this is a wonderfully meaningful and enriching way of investing in your relationship with your spouse and your relationship with God.  Not only that, it will also be a wonderful blessing to those you hold in prayer.

In this day and age, when there are so many other things vying for our time and attention, it can feel like a miracle to have a chance to connect on such a level with your partner.  But doing so doesn't have to be complicated.  In order to get started, the most important thing to do is to pick a time when you can usually count on having a few minutes to yourselves.  Like I mentioned, for Thomas and I, this is after the kids have gone to bed and moments before I drift to sleep.  From there, all you have to do is have an open heart and mind and a willingness to talk to God in front of your partner.

In case praying "ad-lib" and out-loud is out of your comfort zone, here are a few other ways of connecting in prayer as a couple, taken from Praying as a Couple on vibrantfaithathome.org.
  1. Pray a memorized prayer together (the Lord's Prayer, a morning offering, etc.)
  2. Name things and people you are thankful for.
  3. Use a book of written prayers.  Take turns reading a part aloud to each other.
  4. Sit quietly.  Ponder God's presence in your life, in your marriage, and in your family.  If inspired, voice what is on your heart.  Even if the whole time is quiet and no one says anything out loud, that is okay.
Of course, like most things that help keep a marriage strong and satisfying, the important thing is to repeat regularly!

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