Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Praying Together - Part I

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; and give heed to the voice of my supplications!
Psalm 86:6 NASB

In a recent FamilyLife Moments for You, Dennis Rainy shared on praying together as a couple can be a particularly enriching experience. He wrote:

I heard a wife talking about how prayer had enhanced her relationship with her husband. "When we pray together," she said, "we are communicating with God, but we are also communicating with each other and sharing our common love for our Savior."

I hope this doesn't sound either irreverent or intrusive to you. I hope it doesn't make you feel threatened or bashful to know that part of what is happening when you're praying together is this: Your spouse is listening to you and gaining a deeper understanding for what's going on in your heart.

The truth is, when you actively listen to each other in prayer, you are able to empathize at the deepest, most honest level. You are putting yourself in your spouse's shoes. Prayer becomes a much more significant experience when you are listening carefully to the burdens your spouse is repeatedly bringing to the Lord so that you can join him or her in praying for those same things, as well.

This can only happen, of course, when each of you is willing to honestly verbalize what's on your heart, when prayer is not a routine exercise devoid of real-life substance and content, when prayer becomes your heart's genuine cry before the Father. Only then can you go to the Lord God almighty together--with both humility and confidence--asking the Lord to encourage your wife when she feels like a failure as a mom or asking God to grant your husband increased wisdom when he struggles to be the leader of your family.

From our own experience, Barbara and I can assure you that your times of prayer together will be greatly enriched and more productive if you communicate openly and listen attentively.

Statistics indicate that only half of one percent of couples who pray together get divorced, however only seven percent of evangelicals pray together. These figures would tell me that praying together has huge benefits but must be difficult for most couples to do.

We blame our busy lives for not having the time to pray together. That is a bunch of malarkey; we always find time to do that which matters most to us. The reality is that one or both of the partners is uncomfortable praying together. Don’t expect to achieve the level of intimacy Dennis has outlined until this has become an ingrained habit. Start slowly, and set the bar low.

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