Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.-Colossians 4:2
You’ve likely heard all about how prayer is important in your spiritual life and in your personal walk with Christ. But prayer is not only a way to strengthen your relationship with God; it is also a way to strengthen your relationship with others.
Prayer does not always have to be a solo activity; in fact, we are encouraged to pray with others as a means of developing a God-centered relationship with them. And of course, the most important and sacred human relationship of all is marriage.
So what does the Bible say about praying together with your husband or wife?
1 Corinthians 7:5 says, “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
Here, mutual prayer is given as the only excuse for sexual deprivation.
In fact, this verse implies that mutual prayer is actually more important than sex, the ultimate union of husband and wife.
The key to a godly relationship is not always love for each other, but a shared love for Jesus Christ.
Mutual prayer is more than an exercise of faith, though. It has many practical benefits.
It allows both of you to vent your frustrations and surrender all of your worries to God before they get in the way of your marriage.
It also allows both of you to constantly thank God for all He has blessed you with so that you can never forget the many reasons you have to rejoice in Him. A good marriage is built on faith through both suffering and joy.
Prayer will help you to grow closer to Christ so that no matter what circumstance you find yourselves in, you will be prepared to deal with it in a godly manner.
Furthermore, if you haven’t already started a family, mutual prayer will prepare you for a time when you will.
When you have children, you should be bringing them up in the Lord and teaching them to be obedient and faithful, as well.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
That means teaching them about prayer and praying with them on a regular basis. Even if kids are still a distant thought, it’s never too early to get in the selfless mindset of a spiritual mentor.
Perhaps the most obvious advantage to praying with your husband or wife is this: you will never forget about God. It may sound absurd, but how often do we get caught up in our daily lives, shoving God to the back of our minds?
In life, you are bound to be hit with stress, and that doesn’t change simply because you are married.
In fact, marriage likely brings new stress of its own. In the beginning, you may swear to keep your marriage focused on God, but you have to take steps to ensure that you don’t drift from that promise in the tumultuous current of the world.
Prayer keeps you both rooted in the love and presence of God; how could you possibly forget that the Creator of the Universe exists, when you spend so much time talking to Him on an intimate level?
Praying with your spouse is an invaluable way to solidify the bond that you have with each other and also your bond with the God who ordains your marriage.
Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that prayer has to be a private ordeal.
It is good to pray privately, to reveal your innermost secrets to God when no one else is around, but it is also good to pray with your husband or wife, to come to God as the joint union He brought you together to be.
It may not always be easy to find time to pray together, but it is also not easy to go through this life burdened and distracted.
Make time, and you will find that with prayer comes peace.