10 Ways to Initiate Prayer with Your Spouse

Praying as a Couple: 10 Ways to Intiiate Prayer to make it more natural

Praying as a couple can be challenging. Many of us aren’t comfortable praying out loud, and so we’re not sure how to bring prayer into our marriage. In fact, I had a man email recently saying, “you have lots of articles on initiating sex, but how do I initiate prayer?”

Great question! Physical intimacy, after all, is wonderful, but spiritual intimacy is the glue that holds everything together. Couples who pray together feel closer in other ways, too.

Top Ten
So today, on Top 10 Tuesday, I thought I’d share 10 ideas on praying as a couple. Prayer is intimidating, I think, because it’s vulnerable. You’re baring your soul before God, but you’re also baring it before your husband when you pray together. That’s what can make it awkward. There can’t really be pretentions. But that’s also what makes it intimate! So here goes.

Remember our Top 10 philosophy: Find 2-3 tips that will work for you, write them down, and start implementing them today! Don’t think you have to do all 10; think of this more as a brainstorming list so that you can find the ones that speak most to your situation.

Before I start talking about how to initiate praying, just one more thing: remember that praying doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out thing. In fact, sometimes “sentence prayers” are more effective, because when people feel awkward or nervous, understanding that it doesn’t have to be a big, flowery prayer can take the pressure off. So model this–just use a few sentences to start, and go back and forth. Even if it’s just a minute or two together, it helps remind you that there are THREE of you in this marriage (you, your husband, and God), and God wants to be a part of it with you.

I also firmly believe that prayer is more likely to happen if it’s routine (it tends to happen at the same time everyday), if it’s for a specific purpose, and if it’s relatively easy to do.

So most of these suggestions may sound “trite” to people who already pray a lot. But remember: if prayer is already a big part of your life, you may not need these suggestions as much! Most people just need ideas to get going, so here are some that can help start your prayer life well.

1. Pray Over Your Children’s Beds

Maybe you can bend over the baby’s crib at night and say a prayer for the baby, or stand over the older children’s beds once they’re asleep and before you go to bed. Just say to your husband (or wife), “I’d like if we prayed quickly for our kids at night. Will you come do that with me?”

2. Pray As You Part in the Morning

Here’s another idea: ask your husband before you part in the morning, “Can I pray for your day today?” And go to the door with him and hold his hands and just pray a really quick prayer for him at work today. Then kiss him and say good bye. It doesn’t need to be a big thing (and if often is better if it isn’t!)

3. Think of New Ways to Say Grace

Grace can get really old. And I firmly believe that there is nothing wrong with memorizing prayers, or saying pre-written ones, as long as you mean them. We have this idea that all prayer needs to be spontaneous, but some people have written beautiful prayers in the past that sum things up perfectly, and if your heart agrees, I think that’s fine. It can also be a lot less intimidating to people.

You can write out a number of graces onto cards, and put them in a “Grace” Bowl. Then have a different person pick a card and lead in grace each night.

Here’s a website with a few ideas, and the book 100 Meal Graces is also awesome!

4. Read Prayers at Other Times

What about reading a longer prayer after the dinner hour together? Again, if people are uncomfortable praying out loud, or aren’t used to it, reading a prayer can be freeing. I love Stormie Omartian’s Little Book of Powerful Prayers, but there are others. You can pick up the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which has lots of prayers and “collects” mixed in with orders of service, or my family has used the Celtic Benediction (celtic prayers for morning and night) while we’ve been camping.

5. Pray for a Need Right Then

My assistant Holly told me this story recently.

I called my husband, asking for prayer for something stressful that happened, and he said, well can I pray over you right now? And it happened to be a time that I had my hands full with taking out the neighbor’s dogs and don’t have a hands’ free for my cell, so I asked if I could call him back in a few minutes. I did and he prayed. It helped so much!

If it feels like a good time to pray, then just offer to right then and there. If your husband is sharing a concern, just ask, “can I pray for you?” And put your hand on his shoulder and pray a quick but heartfelt prayer for God to intervene. If you get in the habit of doing it right then and there, then it becomes a more regular part of your day and a more regular part of your routine. And then it can feel more comfortable for him, too!

6. Pray During a Conflict

This one’s important! When you’re really mad at each other, before you start really discussing the issues, ask, “can we just pray together?” And then pray something like this:

God, we’re really angry now and we need you. Help us to find the win-win solution here. Let us both be open to what you have to say. Bring your peace to your children. Amen.

My husband’s really good at suggesting we do this (I’m often too angry!), and it’s amazing how much it helps to bring God in early.

7. Take His Hand First Thing in the Morning, While Lying in Bed

I like to say a quick prayer every morning as I wake up, “Lord, today I pray that I will glorify you in all I do. May you use me and help me to be a blessing to others.” It’s quite simple. You could take his hand and pray that, or ask, “can we say a prayer together in the morning? I’ll say a sentence, and you say a sentence, and we’ll make it our ‘thing’ .”

8. Put your Hand on his Shoulder in Bed and Pray

You can do this out loud, or you can tell him that you’re doing it but do it silently.

9. Write an “I Need Prayer For…” Whiteboard on the Fridge

Put a little box for everybody in the family, and encourage people to write their needs on it. Then people can spontaneously pray throughout the day when they see it, and people know their own needs are getting prayed for!

10. Plan an Extended Prayer Time Once a Week

If you are comfortable praying together, then once a week, say on a Sunday night before bed, or on a Saturday morning when you get up, pray for a longer time about all your needs as a family and for other concerns you have. Remember to include times that you praise God for who He is, and thank Him for what He’s done! Again, if this is a regular, standing date that you have together, it’s more likely to become a part of your routine.

There you go! Ten ways to bring “little” prayers into your day. Tell me in the comments: which ones have you tried? Which ones have become regular for you? Or do you have something different that you do? Let me know!

Comments

  1. Excellent suggestions! (We sometimes pray in the shower — because it’s a private place where we’re alone together.)

    I also think many wives tend to wait for their husband and then get frustrated that he isn’t leading this charge to pray more. (Okay, yes, that was me in the past.) But I’ve come to believe that it isn’t usurping my husband’s leadership to grab his hand or hug him and say a quick prayer. Or being the one to suggest praying, and then he says the prayer. I think I spent too long stressing over the whole leadership-roles-in-marriage thing and ended up neglecting our prayer time together. Now when one of us wants to pray, we just do.
    J (Hot, Holy & Humorous) recently posted…5 (Random) Analogies for Sex in MarriageMy Profile

    • That’s so true, J! I think many women are missing out on prayer or Bible reading because they’re waiting for their husbands to suggest it. But often when we suggest it, they go along with it fine.

  2. This one was very good and helpful Sheila. Prayer is a powerful thing, all of our marriages would be better off with more of it! Good tips on getting started.
    thankfulhusband recently posted…He is more than enoughMy Profile

  3. We’ve been married 5 years in August and one thing that really sticks in my mind about our premarital counseling was pray everyday together. We started before we were married and have continued since. Asking what the other wants prayer for and praying before bedtime. If we miss a night we pray the next morning and we’ve prayed on the phone when apart. We also pray before family dinner, and when we get in the car for long trips.

  4. This is awesome!! So many great and practical suggestions! We must pray together to keep our marriages strong. Thank you for sharing!! :)
    Ashani Mfuko recently posted…25 Priceless Lessons I Learned As A Business Owner, Plus 1 Hard Truth Everyone Needs To KnowMy Profile

  5. This is great! Thanks!
    Megan G. recently posted…smoothie time!My Profile

  6. We pray for our marriage and family almost every day, usually in bed just before we say “Good night” and, of course, “I love you”. The only time we do not pray together is if one or the other goes to bed early.

  7. One of the pivotal moments in our marriage was when we began praying together consistently, out loud. It helped all aspects of our marriage, even my libido. These are great suggestions to incorporate the absolute essential aspect of prayer in our busy lives. Like Lori Byerly, I love your white board idea! My white board sits on the fridge and doesn’t get used as much now that the kids are adults. It will now have a new function!
    Bonny @oysterbed7 recently posted…What Spurred My Thaw?My Profile

  8. Sheila, you’ve done it again…and again. Great post with loads of practical, useful, realistic tips to incorporate prayer in your marriage AND change it up a bit too. Love it and will be sharing with our readers! Thank you!

  9. nicolthepickle says:

    I would really like to hear a man’s perspective on this, because I’m curious.

  10. Elsie Bouwman says:

    5. Pray for a need right then. That one has become a regular one for us as we live and work on a dairy farm; and even as we each spend time on the laptop and you get to see the needs of people near and far; and some request prayer on Facebook or the inbox! Throughout the years, good weather for harvesting has often been requested in prayer as we go through our day. Health needs and wisdom concerning a sick or down cow; help finding and buying a needed cow or equipment repair or replacement are prayed for “right then”. These past few years, more and more often; strategies and wisdom, patience, faith, endurance, health and healing is asked for in prayer of agreement, when natural and spiritual family members experience illness.
    “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”(Psalm 119:105) Deepening our hearts in the Lord, are times of intercession. Holy Spirit quickens prayer in us individually, while working in the house, the barn or wherever. We get to tell one another what it is that the Lord has been showing, saying or doing. We abide in Him and His words abide in us and we ask what we will according to His will and He answers us. “Call unto Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”

  11. Thank you very much for this post. Such great suggestions that I can’t wait to incorporate in my husband and I’s daily routine.
    Iris recently posted…“Do you deserve Grace?”My Profile

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