The first time I ever asked Star to pray with me before we went to bed, she looked at me with a deer in the headlight look, cracked a little smirk, and quickly put her head underneath the pillow.
We had only been married less than a year, so not knowing exactly what this meant, I closed my eyes and started praying. When I was done, I quietly whispered, “…your turn…”… Nothing.
Five seconds later….still nothing.
I whispered again, “…Star, I’m done. Your turn.” Still nothing.
I opened my eyes slightly and peeked at her, sneaking a peak back at me from underneath the pillow.
I asked her, “Are you going to pray?”
I don’t remember exactly if she prayed that night or not, but what I do remember is that the first several times Star did pray with me, I didn’t understand a word she was saying since it was coming from her head buried underneath a pillow!We’ve grown since then and now pray together frequently. But, it’s not always easy. In fact, it’s quite difficult. I think it’s difficult because it’s one of the most vulnerable, spiritually significant, and potentially one the most intimate things you can do with each other. There is great power when a husband and wife come together and pray. Praying together as a husband and wife is probably the most significant thing you can do together.
Yes, communication, resolving conflict, understanding needs, etc…are all important in marriage, but perfecting these important areas of marriage separate from pursuing spiritual intimacy with God will only result in temporary fruit at best – see John 15:1-17. If you’re just getting started praying with your spouse, or if you’ve gotten away from praying together, sometimes it can be difficult to figure out (or remember) what praying together looks like. I have found one of the most helpful patterns for prayer is the ACTS acrostic. It goes like this…
- A – Adore Christ. Worship him for who he is. Think of words that describe who God is and praise him. “You are awesome, beautiful, compassionate, my defender, excellent, etc…
- C – Confess, or admit, your sins to God and each other. “My heart was selfish when I responded to you in anger last night.”
- T – Thank God for his provision in your life. “Thank you Lord for my marriage, my kids, etc…”
- S – Supplication, or present your requests to God. “Lord, please help us to love each other as you love us.”
There you go. It’s that simple…in theory. Now the hard work is to put this into practice. Why don’t you create 5 minutes with your spouse tonight, then take them by the hands, and pray together. You won’t regret it!
Want to take it to the next level in praying with and for each other? Check out my next post.
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.