The Sweet Christian Bride

Praying Together

by admin on May 21, 2013 in Faith, Purity, Relationship with No Comments

“‘Til death do us part” can seem more like a traditional phrase than a moral conviction in marriages today.  Is marriage losing its sanctity within today’s culture?

According to a study by C. Ellison, A. Burdette, and W.B. Wilcox as part of the University of Virgina’s National Marriage Project, research has shown that the quality of a relationship increases within couples who share religious views.

Their study found that while other religious factors such as attending church service together did not significantly increase the quality of relationship as they had expected, shared in-home devotions such as prayer and Bible study did.

This conclusion made sense to me.  Granted, every study has its limitations, but there is undeniable truth about the effect of being in the presence of God.  People who come before the throne of grace either present their pride as the Pharisee in Luke 18:9-14 or confess their disgraceful sin as the tax collector in that same passage.  We are either hardened by sin or refined by grace depending on the condition of our hearts.

God is a mirror that reflects the true nature of who we are.  In seeing how broken and despicable we are, we are also confronted with how gracious and loving our magnificent God is.  Entering into His holy presence, whether through prayer or through reading His Word, is much more vulnerable than sitting in a congregation anonymously, entering into the emotion of high-powered worship and the intrigue of a well-articulated sermon.

Church service is a vital role of worship and of fellowship, but simply going to church does not reflect the condition of the heart.  And though people certainly can read and recite Scripture by rote, and people can pray in word without meaning it in their hearts, I believe the practice of praying and studying Scripture together will show you the condition of your hearts more readily than simply going to church on Sunday mornings.

Coming before the throne of grace together as a married couple will bring such blessing into your marriage.  When both people are individually confessing their sins and soaking up the awe of God’s presence, both people will begin to conform to the image of Christ.  And when both people in a marriage do that together, there is an un-replicated unity of authentic selves.

Praying is not a universal or even natural language for all people.  Some pray silently, others out loud.  Some pray with length, others with brevity.  Some pray in tongues, others through liturgy.  It is okay to pray differently from your spouse.  If you find the differences uncomfortable, then you can use “tricks” to help you bridge the gap.

Some “tricks” might be to pray silently together, to pray someone else’s written prayers, to sing a worship song together, or to pick a structural guide for the prayer such as “supplication, praise, struggle” or “past, present, future” or “self, relationship, others.”

Anything you can do to take the focus and pressure off yourself in order to put the focus on God and allow Him to breathe the prayer through you is worth the effort.  God knows your heart and doesn’t need your words, but because your spouse does not fully know your heart, you can greatly bless him by your presence and by your words in prayer.

Article originally published on April 8, 2011.

By Lindsay

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