The Benefits and Challenges of Praying with Your Husband
Years ago before we were married, someone challenged my husband to pray with me every single day of our married life. Being engaged with stars in our eyes, we thought that sounded like a “no brainer.”
It wasn’t long before we learned that this was one of the wisest pieces of pre-marital advice we received but also one of the most difficult to maintain.
It was wise because praying together brings God into the center of your marriage.
It becomes the glue that holds you together in the good times and the bad. Praying together is an act of humility. It demonstrates that we need help. We can’t do this “marriage thing” by ourselves. We can’t raise our children without God’s help. And we, sinful women, can’t live in a close relationship with a sinful man without God’s grace, power, and forgiveness. Oh, how desperately we need His help to build strong marriages.
Praying together with our husband is an act of deep intimacy. We are stripped bare emotionally. There is little room for pretense. John and I agreed that we would never go to bed angry. Praying together at bedtime forces us to get our relationship straight. It does not mean we sort everything out or that hurts are healed. It does mean that we give ourselves to God and each other once again, even if we don’t feel like it. Usually John prays a very brief, honest prayer over us, and we fall into bed. (If one is staying up later, simply pray before the first goes to bed or if one is traveling, try to pray sometime via phone during the day.)
Sometimes wives want to pray with their husbands but are afraid it will be awkward or that their husbands won’t want to. Or they wait because they feel the husbands should initiate this.
Then it’s easy to become critical because he doesn’t! I have found that men often need a proposal offered in a wise, gentle manner. Here’s one many have found helpful:
Ask your husband if he would be willing to try a 10-day experiment that will take four minutes each day. Choose a time during the day or evening that will be best for both of you. Have him share one thing that is on his mind. It may be a situation at work, a project that’s overdue, a difficult relationship. Then you share one thing — perhaps a concern about a child, a colleague, or a fear.
Do not discuss the other’s concern. Simply listen. Then holding hands, have the husband pray a two-sentence prayer for the wife’s concern and the wife do the same for the husband’s concern, and then pray the Lord’s prayer together.
No matter how many years you have been married, I suspect that this will take you to a deeper level in your relationship.
Thanks for these encouraging words, Susan!
I was very touched by this post.
I have a friend who testified during a Bridal Shower that praying with her husband helped them a lot. His job requires him to travel very often and in every part of this world, and sometimes unexpectedly. She is also an accomplished businesswoman who sometimes has also her share of travelling. Needless to say they go through an ordeal of stress, with 2 toddlers daughters! I admire them a lot.
On my side, I am a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys (4 and 2) and my husband also has quite some travelling to do per month, and for as long as 3 weeks sometimes. It does put a strain on us, but for the last 5 yrs we've been married, we are quite used to it, or maybe are making the best out of it. Anyways, I am Christian and he isn't. I'm very scared about asking him to pray with me, not so much the rejection that I am kind of expecting, but the level of intimacy this wil bring. Coming from a Catholic upbringing, where prayers are personal, it is quite difficult to just switch. For sure it is in my mind to one day ask him, I wish it wasn't this hard….
Take care all
Thank you so much for sharing so honestly your situation. I know you are encouraging many othe women who are in similar situations. Let me suggest that given your Catholic backgrounds you might simply ask your husband at the right time if the 2 of you could hold hands and pray the Lord's prayer together. This is a good place to begin and I know God will bless this. You can also begin to ask him how you can be praying for him during the day or while he's traveling. . Even non-believers appreciate being prayed for.by someone. God does have greater levels of intimacy for you and He will bring you closer through prayer. You need not be afraid. His love is greater and more powerful than any of our fears.
Hey, look at it this way. It’s “harder” if he’s praying with someone else. Don’t ever wait on doing the right thing. Another woman will do your job if you don’t. Always be your best and have courage. Life’s blessing come through challenging your fears. You will be surprised of the many blessings you receive as a result of not letting your fears overcome your purpose. Love him today! Pray with him today!
My husband and I are in the process of trying to do this- sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But when we do pray together, it always helps. We have very different schedules- he's up at 5, while I'm not up until 8. I have been going up to pray with him when he goes to bed. We connect and are able to talk over the day at this time. So good for us.
Olivia, I will pray that God will give you the courage to ask. My Grammy spent years married to an unbeliever, and it wasn't until long after she passed away that my Grampa finally accepted Jesus. I believe her witness made a huge difference in his life…
Thank you Rebecca!That's great news about your Grampa and a story for you to tell your kids about God's faithful answers to prayer!
Years ago, I initiated the divorce proceedings for my 1st and 2nd marriages. Sadly, I was not a Christian woman during either time. Rather, daily I discovered my needs were not met. Once again, sadly, I realize now that it wasn't strictly about me. I knew nothing of glorifying God, but only knew hurt/anger in my situation. Never once did I seek help, just sought to 'get out' of both marriages. I weep as I type this. My first husband was murdered, and my second attempted suicide right in front of me. These horrible feelings of regret may not ever leave me, but the Lord has rescued me from my selfish, stubborn opposition, and granted me mercy without ceasing.
If I would give one suggestion, for which I am not qualified to offer by experience, but rather as a Divine Inner Prompting, this is the only real answer to a married person's 'difficulties'. O that Our Father would open the eyes and ears of the hardened hearts such as mine was, to 'listen' and heed this prayer time together. My tears and heartache have not escaped the attention of the Creator of the universe, but I ask only one thing, that it is His perfect will that I meet these two men in Paradise. When I learn of relational breakdown, I suffer in prayer for the couple. Please pray for me. I shall continue to bring Family Life Radio before our Savior Jesus Christ to intercede to the Father to reap a huge harvest .
You are amazing and God has done a great work in your life. Thank you so much for letting the rest of us in on it. I wish we could sit for coffee and hear the whole story. Thank you for encouraging every one of us who reads this. May God richly comfort and bless you and give you a hope and a mission.
My husband and I are both believers and have been married 14 years but we never pray together and this has always been a touchy subject for us because I want it so badly! The last time I asked was about a year ago when we were making some very important decisions as a family concerning selling our house and moving, etc and he very blatantly told me he doesn't feel comfortable praying with me and to drop it. He prays on occasion with his friends but he says praying with me is different. It actually really hurts my feelings! I like the idea of the 10 day experiment–it sounds less threatening so I will pray and see if I can muster up the courage to humbly ask again!
Don give up! Ask him again in a non threatening way at a non threatening time and if he refuses simply say, Could you tell me some specific ways that I can pray for you today, i.e. something at work, a project, a relationship with a colleague, a dream. -Then pray for him. God will soften His heart in His time. Just love him and pray for him and pray for the guys he is meeting with.
I ditto Susan’s reply, don’t give up and I hope you haven’t. If things are still the same, you can also try praying in bed once both of you are there. Pray out loud for your husband in an uplifting way, about any situations he concerned over, about how grateful you are to God for him and in all the ways you admire and love him.
This is fantastic. My husband and I don't pray together daily and now I will ask that we start. He has led prayers during family dinners, and said the most beautiful prayer at my Mom's birthday dinner that even surprised me. I've always felt that prayer is personal…unless we are sharing a meal. But a marriage is about as personal as you can get so this should only work to make us stronger. Thank you!
[…] 5. Pray- No, I don’t mean before a meal. I mean sit down, close your eyes, hold hands and pray with your spouse. This is a goal my husband and I are working on together. It does not happen as often as we would want but when we do it is the sweetest time and we feel close, intimate and are bonding together. God brought you two together, thank Him and pray together. It doesn’t have to be a long prayer or anything spectacular. If you want keep it short and simple! Check out these 2 posts for encouragement – When Two Pray and Benefits and Challenges of Praying with Your Husband . […]