Hopefully your response to that question isn’t “Here we go, and yet another thing we are not doing in our marriage.” Instead, let this question be a good reminder that taking time to pray together is a practice that strengthens your marriage.
Let’s take a deep breath and start with this, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) The question is not meant to overwhelm you, but rather a reminder that the spiritual discipline of prayer, and the privilege that it is for a believer to pray needs to be shared together as a couple. Whether you are currently praying together or not, we’d encourage you to not look at the past, but look to the future and the spiritual intimacy you can begin to cultivate through prayer together.
Coffee as a Conduit (for prayer)
Tammy and I would say that coffee is an important part of our prayer life. Yes, coffee! One of us (mostly Tammy) will get the coffee pot ready the night before. This way, all we have to do in the morning is hit the button on the coffee pot to start the brewing process. It is an amazing feeling to wake up when the alarm goes off and know that one of us (oftentimes Tammy) has already hit the button and the coffee is ready. Ah, the smell of bold roast coffee wafting through the air. Sometimes one of us (usually Tammy) will bring it upstairs.
Early morning is our time to connect, and it’s a time where we verbally process and bring our praise, gratitude, and requests before the Lord. Over the years God has so richly blessed our mornings together, and it is easily one of the best parts of the day.
Prayer is a Conversation
Scripture has much to say about prayer. There are easily over 100 verses on prayer in the Bible. I Thessalonians 5:17 says that we should, “Pray without ceasing.” Yes, we should set aside uninterrupted times of prayer where we eliminate distractions and enter into a posture of prayer. But, we should also understand that prayer is about our communication and conversation with our Heavenly Father. It’s more about the posture of our heart rather than the position of our head and hands. If prayer is conversation with the Lord, then with coffee in hand you can call out your praises to God and verbally acknowledge the things for which you both are thankful. You can also communicate your concerns and together surrender those to the Lord.
Prayer is a Weapon
Paul writes to the church in Ephesus about spiritual battle. One weapon of our warfare is prayer. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:18) This is written after we are reminded that our battle is not against flesh and blood and that we are to put on the whole armor of God. If we are prioritizing praying together we are less likely to see our spouse as an obstacle to our fulfillment. When we are not aligned spiritually, we open the door to tension and division in our marriage. This leads to blaming each other for the feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, resentment, frustration, and distance in your relationship. We can overcome spiritual strongholds together and do spiritual battle together in marriage. It’s one way we can fulfill God’s third purpose in marriage: to “Reign” in spiritual warfare. Might be time for a warm up on the coffee.
Pray to Confess
Prayer is also a great time to confess your faults to one another. The Psalmist writes, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened, he has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!” (Psalm 66:18-20) If we hold on to bitterness, resentment, or any other negative feeling towards our spouse, it hinders our prayers. God wants us to confess our faults one to another (James 5). Such healing and closeness in your marriage can be experienced through prayers of confession.
The Model of Prayer
Lastly, we’d share that we can be confident that Scripture teaches us to pray. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” I John 5:14-15 We can by faith come boldly to God’s throne and He is concerned for us and hears our prayers. It may be that you are not sure what to say in prayer. Remember two things. One, read through prayers in Scripture. Those prayers teach us how to pray. An example is when Jesus taught his disciples how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer (See Luke 11:1-13). Secondly, you are having a conversation with God Himself. He delights in our praises and tells us to “cast our cares on Him for he cares for us” (I Peter 5:7).
Get that coffee brewing and pray together!
Keep these things in mind when you do:
- Set aside time daily to come together as a couple to pray.
- Remember, prayer is one of your weapons of spiritual warfare. Fight that battle together.
- Confession should be part of your prayer including ways you may have let each other down.
- While reading the Bible, look for the prayers. Even Google search “prayers in scripture”. Scripture teaches you how to pray.
- Finally, God will listen with delight when you pray together with your spouse.