Although it’s not by any means perfect, Craig and I have a very good relationship. We have our moments when we are grumpy, gruff, and thoughtless. We can irritate each other over our vastly different styles of doing things. Yet, overall, we choose to show each other a lot of grace, patience, and affection. We seek ways to connect and encourage each other. And we choose and desire moments to join our hearts and pray together. By the way, can I just tell you that you don’t have to be married to pray together? Whether you’re single, dating, engaged, or married, your relationships will become stronger as you add prayer.
Prayer is something Craig and I both individually live out. When we’re together and when we’re apart, we are people who pray. Craig actually wrote out an example prayer that you can pray with anyone. As you read it, I hope it will inspire you to add prayer to your most important relationships. Feel free to use it to start praying together today. Keep reading for three simple examples of how Craig and I pray together.
Give us wisdom and clear direction in all we do today.
Help us to show Your love to each other and to shine Your light into the world.
Keep us close to You, away from temptation, and always in Your will.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Here are 3 simple examples of how Craig and I pray together.
1. We pray together before our meals.
Super simple, right? Just pray! Before you brush past meal-praying as just a cultural, Christian ritual, consider and remember why this is really important. Praying before our meals is an ideal way to regularly acknowledge the goodness of God and give Him thanks. Our heavenly Father is such a good and gracious provider. I know it pleases Him when we pause together with sincere gratitude in our hearts and recognize His blessings. To me, the personal key for any prayer of thanksgiving is that our hearts connect to Him in that brief moment: to truly taste, relish, delight, see, understand, and praise our God.
2. We pray together before going into different situations.
Craig and I strongly desire to pray together before he does certain things, like: leave for the office, preach, travel, make an important phone call, or go to a meeting. He prays with me before I do things like: start another week of homeschooling, teach a Bible study, lead a meeting, or minister to someone. These are brief moments of prayer, but they greatly help us support each other and focus our attention on our need to depend on the Holy Spirit. Your situations may be totally different, but the principle is the same. If it’s important to you, pray together about it.
3. We pray together when we hear of a pressing need.
When Craig and I discover a need, we will often stop and pray for someone. This usually happens while we are sharing about someone we’ve recently encountered or heard about. Sometimes it becomes clear to us while we are talking that we need wisdom and help to know how to handle a certain situation. Prayer opportunities like this happen because we take time regularly to open up and share about our lives with each other.
If I could place a one-word description on our almost 28 years of marriage, it would be the word “peace.” The peace of Christ Jesus reigns over our relationship. This peace exists because we continually choose to trust and follow Christ Jesus through the gift of prayer.
A note to the discouraged spouse …
If reading this post made you feel a bit discouraged because you’re married but you and your spouse do not pray together, I want to share some encouragement. Please remember not to look down on your spouse for where they are spiritually. Just love them where they are. Pray for them. Pray for them to know and love Jesus as Lord with all their heart. Don’t reduce your prayers to whines or complaints about what your spouse is not, and what you think they should be. The kindness of God leads us to repentance. The love of God never fails. Love them where they are, pray for, and speak blessings over them. Show them the same grace, patience, and affection that God has for them. Maybe they will end up praying with you; maybe they won’t. But you will have loved well, and that is very pleasing to God.
A note from Pastor Craig …
Almost every time I post a photo with Amy, someone will inevitably comment with #relationshipgoals. In some ways, I like this because it shows that people are praying and believing for meaningful relationships. But it also makes me pause, because what you see on social media is often a highlight reel and only part of a much larger story.
What people don’t see is the hard work, sacrifice, perseverance, and blood, sweat, and tears that go into a relationship that honors God. If you like what you see in a photo, I’d like to remind you of what you don’t see in everyday life. Amy can be stubborn. And I can be demanding. We are two very imperfect people who have to choose to die to ourselves every day.
If our images ever look easy to achieve, I’d like to apologize. We honestly do have a very strong marriage. Amy is my best friend. She means more to me than I can describe. But just like any good relationship, it takes work. For us to have a growing spiritual bond, we have to pray together, apologize often, overlook annoyances, and be loving when we’d rather be right. So if you feel discouraged when you see #relationshipgoals, I hope you will remember, it’s never easy. But it’s always worth it.