When one studies divorce rates, it is often said that Christians divorce at a similar rate as the world; however, when you study more in depth into Christians who are more devoted and attend church frequently (as well as other factors) that statistic drops. This shows that those who are dedicated to living out their Christian walk also have more drive to work out and progress their marriage. Years ago, there was a study that came out that said those who are married and pray together daily have a 1 out of 1,152 chance of getting divorce. This is the strongest study that correlates a strong marriage with a strong spiritual walk. It is important to note that this does not just focus on the individual’s spiritual walk, but rather their walk together. The study was about those who pray TOGETHER daily. We hope that as you plan your resolutions that you implement praying together daily as part of your daily routine.
Some people have trouble praying with their spouse because they are not comfortable opening up about that part of their life. In fact many are self-conscious that they do not pray “correctly.” The most important part of prayer is that it is communicative. Prayer builds relationship and prayer with your spouse encounters the vertical relationship with God and the horizontal relationship with your spouse. When you communicate (pray) with what should be your two top priorities and closest relationships, you will grow both horizontally and vertically—creating a close knit spiritual bond. When you entered into your marriage, you entered into a covenant. A covenant is a promise (not to be broken) with God and man. A marital covenant is a promise to remain in union with God and spouse until death do you part, not to be broken. Yes, it is vital to communicate with your spouse; most people know that. It is also vital to the integrity of a strong marriage to communicate with BOTH parts of your covenant—God is a part of your marriage! If you acknowledge and communicate to God, the third part of your marital covenant, the bonds will be so much stronger and much more divorce-proof. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b NIV)
When it comes to the style in which you pray with your spouse, there is no right or correct style, but we do have some non-stylistic suggestions. First, make sure you both have a chance to vocalize prayer. Men, listen to your wife’s prayer. You can still be the spiritual leader of your home while allowing your wife room to express to God and you in a way that affirms her spiritual worth in your home. Second, it is not the time to ask the Lord that your spouse might be more patient, understanding or kinder. Prayer should not be a dreaded time where the spouse is worried they will be chastised in the name of prayer. If you are hoping your husband/wife will improve in some area, don’t bring that up in the joint prayer. Those types of prayers should be saved for the private and personal prayers. Third, this is a great time to thank the Lord for all of the wonderful qualities in your spouse. You can pay a complement while simultaneously thanking the Lord for the blessing you have. Fourth, joint prayer opens up good opportunity to show your spouse that you do want to be a better spouse to them. Genuinely ask and approach the Lord for more of a fruit of the spirit or a spiritual quality that will help you be a better spouse. Your spouse will feel comforted and assured that you are still leaning on the Lord for help and still striving to be a better lover and husband/wife.
We desperately hope that we have convinced you how vitally important and transformational it will be to pray daily together as a couple. Make 2013 the year that you pursue your marital covenant relationship with more fervor—enhancing your marital and spiritual relationship simultaneously.