Nine suggestions for beginning to pray as a couple
By Geoff and Lori Taylor
When a couple spends time praying together their connection is stronger.
I remember how our first date ended. I walked Lori to her door and in that awkward moment before we said goodnight, I held out my hand and asked her if I could pray with her before I left. She was pleasantly surprised and willingly agreed. I thanked God for our date and asked his blessing on each of us.
We were fortunate to have had that defining moment because it was the beginning of our prayer journey together. Since that first date, Lori and I have been praying together regularly. We keep it light and fun. But we’re committed, and it keeps us connected.
Spousal prayer is the key to family life and a fruit of spiritual maturity. But not all couples find it easy to share a moment of prayer. Asking some of our friends about their prayer life as a couple brought saddening results.
Many godly men can’t seem to find the starting point to engage in prayer at home, be it with their wife or their children. Many women earnestly desire their husbands to pray with them, but mutual prayer isn’t happening.
When the husband initiates regular prayer with his wife and family, he naturally moves into the leadership position in the home. His example sets the spiritual tone. For guys who find it awkward to pray with their wives and children, the best place to start is in their own personal devotions. Ask God for the opportunity and he will show you how to begin.
It is natural for a wife to want her husband to be a copartner in spiritual matters. Often, however, the wife’s expectation is different than that of her husband. If a wife begins to pressure her husband or becomes critical, she can unknowingly create a spiritual power struggle that is difficult for the couple to overcome. We’ve found that men who feel supported are more likely to embrace their leadership role.
If you’re interested in getting started, here are some ideas that have worked for us:
Try to connect for a few minutes each morning before departing or in the evening before bed (or both) to pray for your spouse, children and the events of the day.
Let your prayer time be regular, meaningful and succinct. A good habit is hard to break.
Join together in prayer with your children, both young and old. What an example you will set.
Husbands should take the lead to initiate prayer at meals or other appropriate times throughout the day.
Wives, follow your husband’s initiative without criticizing his approach or his technique.
Husbands, let your wife know she is important and joining together with her in prayer is a value to you.
Men tend to be fact-based while women are more emotional. Taking a few minutes to discuss the details of your prayer concerns before you begin praying can prevent “informative” prayers.
Once you’re comfortable with daily prayer, consider praying over a common list of concerns. This might be weekly or at a predetermined time based on your lifestyle.
Be flexible and patient as you develop a prayer life together.
Finding a comfortable habit may not be easy in its early stages, but it is worth the effort. We encourage you to start today. That awkward moment at the beginning is well worth it!
Geoff and Lori Taylor have been praying together for over 13 years, most of them in Bakersfield, Calif., where they currently live. They have four adult children and one new son-in-law, whom they enjoy praying for and with whenever the opportunity presents itself.