This morning I’ve been reading about prayer life, specifically how to pray with your spouse. While the information I found online was mildly helpful I am still struggling. I’ve read posts about folding your hands and bowing your head, about praying for patience, thanking God for the blessings in your life, etc. Obviously these things are important, however, I sense an emptiness in the posts I’ve read.
Whatever happened to letting The Holy Spirit lead your life? Wouldn’t that include prayer life?
I searched ways to pray with your spouse because admittedly, the idea makes me nervous. This struggle is more common than I imagined, and it shocks me to be one of the bunch. I am not ashamed to pray. I am not timid in prayer. I am not shy about The Spirit. I pray with people ALL THE TIME. I pray with people I don’t know. My husband and I even pray TOGETHER with people we don’t know.
This post is not going to address my own hinderance on the subject of prayer, but rather the suffocating patterns I’ve noticed within the majority of spiritual Christian relationships, and what should change.
We can all agree on this: Couples who pray together stay together.
But what does it mean to pray together? What does it look like? What does it sound like?
Like myself, I know a number of believers who pray intimately to God. I see The Spirit at work in their lives, same as I see Him at work in my own life. When we pray, we get into a quiet space with God. We open The Word, seek His face and His Truth in the scriptures. There is no doubt that we have been connected with The Spirit and allowed Him to lead our lives… at least to a certain degree. We pray with people at church, or on the streets, or in both places. We are leaders. We are teachers, speakers, and prayer warriors.
And then there is our relationship with our spouse. We freeze. We pray the common prayer: “Lord, thank you for my spouse. I pray that you would lead him and help him to follow you in everything. Lord, help me be patient and kind to him. Be the center of our relationship.”
What are we really saying here? Also, for us spiritual people, is this really what we want our prayer life to look like with our spouse? A few simple requests, followed by an Amen? I’m not implying that we shouldn’t thank God for our spouse, in fact, I would say we should do it more often. Yes, Lord, lead our lives and help us be patient and kind. Yes, be the center of our relationships.
BUT DON’T STOP THERE.
Don’t just ask. BELIEVE.
Don’t just speak. LISTEN.
Don’t just pray. ACT.
Don’t just bow your head. WORSHIP.
Your personal prayer life should not be wildly different than your prayer life with your spouse. I remember a few years ago when God spoke to me about prayer and worship. He said these words to me: Honest worship begins with complete surrender. Isn’t that the truth? Isn’t it also true that honest prayer begins with complete surrender? Where is our surrendering heart with our spouses? Where is our repentant heart, or our honest worshipping heart? When we pray with our spouse it shouldn’t be a quick bowing of the head or folding of the hands. It should be intimate. I would even challenge the simple prayer life by this bible verse: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20
There is HE among us. When we pray together, GOD IS THERE. His Spirit is present with us, and with The Spirit among us, shouldn’t our prayer lives look vastly different then they do? The Spirit comes to change things. The Bible instructs us to be drunk in His Spirit. He works miracles, signs, and wonders when He is made manifest. He is not a quiet God, He is speaking.
With all this in mind, I would say the most beneficial things to add to our relational prayer lives are these:
Seek. Listen. Believe. Act. Worship.