15 Tips to Developing a Prayer Life with Your Spouse
No couple stands at the altar on their wedding day and thinks, “maybe we will get divorced.” However, over 50% of marriages end in divorce. When you have a disability or raise a child with a disability, the divorce rate is even higher. While church attendance alone is not a foolproof method of staying together during difficult times, it does lower the divorce rate. One simple act can be the most powerful predictor of marital happiness. Only 1% of couples that pray together end up divorced. Couples that pray together, stay together.
My husband and I were recently asked, “How do you begin to pray as a couple?” This is a question many wives (and some husbands) have difficulty with. Beginning to pray together is a hard thing. I believe that married couples have a more difficult time developing spiritual intimacy than sexual intimacy. While intimacy in our spiritual life has been more challenging than physical intimacy, working on our prayer life is a rewarding experience. And I know that you can develop a great prayer life with your spouse with practice, communication, and Holy Spirit’s help. Additionally, you can ensure that you almost divorce-proof your marriage, and instead of having a good relationship, you can have a great marriage.
15 Tips for Making Prayer Time with You Spouse Easier (In No Particular Order)
1) Lower Your Expectations
Sometimes we have ideas in our head about how “prayer” with your spouse should look. While I believe in miracles, I also know we need to be realistic. We each have different ways of talking to God. My prayers in my head sound much different than the prayers that come out of my mouth. It is hard to say a vocal prayer. We are so afraid of our words being judged as “not holy enough” or “spiritual enough.” The first step in beginning a prayer life with your husband or wife is to lower your expectations.
2) Talk to Your Spouse
If you have been married a long time, it may seem almost impossible to bring up praying together. It seems like bringing up this subject will rock your marriage relationship. I am here to say that if you have never prayed together, this will be the beginning of your world being “rocked” in a good way. Invite your spouse to pray with you today.
3) Begin by Praying “Easy Prayers”
Start with praying at dinner time. If you don’t already say “grace,” this is an easy way to transition into beginning to pray together. Developing this new habit is a good first step to getting comfortable praying together. While I grew up in a house that always said mealtime prayers, my husband did not. When he began dating me, he ate dinner at my house regularly. He became used to praying during mealtimes, so we just continued mealtime prayers when we got married.
4) Pray at Night or In The Morning
If you are already praying at meals, add a beginning of the day or nighttime prayers. If you are having a hard time deciding what to pray or how to pray, read a passage from the Bible. The Lord’s Prayer is a great way to “learn how to pray.” These words of Jesus show us how we are to pray.
Matthew 6:6-9 (ESV) gives us instructions to pray.
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
And Matthew 6:9-13 tells us how to come to God:
Pray then like this:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. (Praise God)
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.(You are asking God to usher in His kingdom here on earth)
Gives us this day our daily bread, (bless us with what we need)
and forgives us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgive us to the extent we have forgiven others)
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Help keep us from the temptation of satan)
5) Pray During the Good Times
When things are strained or difficult or when you have financial setbacks, it becomes much harder to ask for “God’s help.” However, don’t wait if you are in the midst of tough times. The best time to start praying together as a couple is now!
6) Hold Hands While You Pray
You probably held hands during your dating days. Holding hands gives you a connection and feels good too. If you hold hands during dinner time, it becomes a great thing to do during other prayer times.
7) Think of Prayer as Talking with God
If you think of prayer as just talking with God about what you are thankful for, your own needs, and asking for help for others, it just becomes easier to say those prayers with others. Another thing to consider is that God is present here and now. He is not some far off being that we cannot have a personal relationship with.
8) Silent Prayer
Are you already praying silently? If you and your spouse are praying separately to God, talk about what you each pray for. Be careful not to judge your spouse’s prayers as “less spiritual” than yours or be critical about how or what they pray. Discussing what you pray for may make it easier to begin praying together.
9) Get in the Habit of Praying
If you do not have regular prayer time yourself, get in the habit of praying. Establishing regular devotions helps you become comfortable talking with God. Learning the goodness of God and how He is a loving Father will help give you an intimate experience with our Creator.
During your prayer time, ask God to give you the courage, strength or conviction to approach prayer time with your spouse.
9) What is Your Relationship Like With Your Earthly Father?
Many times, people have trouble talking with God because of their past experiences and relationship with their father. If your father was not a kind or generous father, you might find that talking with God is harder. Understanding the difficulties you have with why prayer may be difficult is one step toward getting comfortable with spoken prayer.
10) Set a Prayer Date
Ask your spouse on a prayer date. Visit a local park and take a walk holding hands. Use this time to “talk” with God about what your goals, hopes, dreams, and desires are as a couple. Talk with your spouse and talk with God!
11) Don’t Use Prayers With Your Spouse to Get Them to Change Behavior
If you are looking for help with how to pray as a couple only to change the other person, you probably need to devote some time to changing yourself. There is nothing worse than hearing your spouse say, “Dear Heavenly Father: Change my husband.” This will not change behavior and will only cause more distance between you.
12) Do Use Prayers to Help Affirm Each Other and Your Marriage
Thank God for the wonderful qualities in your spouse. Words of affirmation help foster great feelings between the two of you. If you want your husband to be a better husband, encouraging words help him to feel better about himself. If he is a loving father or speaks kindly about you, thanking God for those qualities is a nice thing, but it also tells him you see his great qualities and not just the things he does wrong. (This also applies to husbands speaking great words over their wives too).
13) Find a Church Where You Can Worship Together
If you are not already in a church together, find one where you both can worship. Pastors are used to helping couples in personal relationships. Finding a good church that offers Bible studies and marriage classes is a way to find other couples who want to work on their marriage relationship.
14) Create a Visible Prayer List
Put a list of people and situations you are praying for in a visible location such as a bathroom mirror or the refrigerator. As you walk by the list, say a quick prayer out loud. Your spouse and children will be watching as prayer becomes important in your life and in the household.
15) How to Pray as a Couple: Find a Devotional or Book to Work Through
Below I have listed some resources that you can use as a springboard to getting started. Working through a devotional or prayer book helps to give you the framework you need to get started!
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My hope and prayer for you is that your marriage prayers are beautiful and filled with God’s presence. I ask God to take away any painful experience you may have had with prayer and replace it with a fresh perspective. I ask for spiritual growth to occur supernaturally and by God’s divine power! In Jesus’ Name!
Homeschooling mom – 26 years and counting
Movie reviewer/Travel blogger