Getting Started: Talking to God Together
Talking to God-even with your husband or wife listening
-should be as natural as talking to a friend on the telephone
or over a mocha at a coffee shop.
When our prayers are genuine, straightforward, and without
pretense, our approach to God is childlike. Richard Foster
explains it like this: "In the same way that a small child cannot
draw a bad picture, so a child of God cannot offer a bad prayer
Like children before a loving father, we open our hearts and make
our requests. We do not try to sort things out, the good from the
bad. We simply and unpretentiously share our concerns and make
Prayer is not a form of verbal gymnastics. One wife's description
of the simplicity of talking to God paints this picture well: "I
would encourage any couple to learn to pray together even if it
feels awkward at first. My husband often felt that he wasn't good
at praying, but I encouraged him to just talk to God like he talks
When we examine the Scriptures, we find that Jesus actually
insisted we abandon pretense in prayer: "When you pray, you are
not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the
synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by
men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you,
when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray
to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what
is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:5-6).
As we have pondered that passage and prayed together
faithfully, we have learned that the "inner room" for a couple is
the place of intimacy found when they share their hearts in
prayer together. When spouses pray together, it is about relationship
and intimacy-with God
andwith one another.
But even if praying together seems a bit awkward at first,
couples must still enter that "inner room" of praying together.
One veteran pray-er wrote, "Prayer is a tool we often carry
around but never put to work. It's like we're building a house
and keep walking around with a hammer in our hands, wondering
why the walls keep falling down. We expect that wishing
the walls would form a room will actually cause nails to sink into
the wood. But without a hammer and some effort, the walls will
keep falling down. God's not asking us to build our house, just
knock some nails in." Praying together is essential and must
occur regularly if our marriages are to stand strong.
What has kept us from praying together in the past? How can we
team together to be consistent in daily prayer?
Note:For the first ten entries in this devotional we have provided
suggested prayers. Launching into prayer together may be as
simple as focusing on God as you alternately read these prayers
for husband and wife aloud. Or you may want to begin there
and then continue in your own words. To help you develop a
habit of praying together each day, the next twenty days include
"Prayer Points" instead of suggested prayers. These points are
designed to give you ideas for praying in your own words.
[Husband] Dear heavenly Father, You are the awesome
King of all things, including my life and our marriage
and family. Thank You for making it possible for us to
have such a loving relationship with You that we can come
to You simply, like little children, knowing that You are
happy to hear what is on our hearts. In Jesus' name, amen.
[Wife] Dear God, as we begin praying together daily as a
couple, please protect us from distractions that would keep
us from joining our hearts in prayer. Help us to avoid any
pride, fear, lack of faith, or foolish thinking that would
hinder us from drawing closer to You. In Jesus' name we
Teach Us to Pray
Afollower of Jesus once said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray"
Jesus' answer was what has become known as the Lord's
Prayer. This model for prayer (found in Matthew 6:9-13) is easy
to understand and will also be easy to incorporate as you begin
your prayer times together.
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.We should
begin prayer by acknowledging God's place of authority over our
lives. He is mighty and holy. Even though our words may be simple
and conversational, His person and name are to be honored.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven.These phrases declare what and who is most important in
the grand scheme of life.
Give us this day our daily bread.God provides for His children.
Bread represents everything we need in a given day-food
and drink, work, relationships . everything.
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.Forgiveness is at the core of God's heart. He was willing to sacrifice
His only Son so that we could be completely cleansed and forgiven
of our sins. He wants us to also be proactive in forgiving our
spouse and others.
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.God wants us to obey Him. He wants us to depend on Him and
to choose good instead of evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
Amen.This sentence is a repetition of our sincere affirmation
that life is about God and what He wants for our lives.
Many Christians pray the Lord's Prayer word for word.
Other believers use the prayer as a guide. How you use it is
your choice. However, if either of you is uncomfortable praying
aloud, simply reciting the Lord's Prayer together may be a
wonderful way to start the daily prayer habit.
Discuss any discomfort you may have about praying aloud in front
of others. What can each of you do to raise the comfort level of praying
Refer to Matthew 6:9-13 in your Bibles, and take turns praying
the phrases of the Lord's Prayer.