How To Pray With Your Wife
  By Donald D. Schaeffer

    A recent survey suggests that only one percent of married couples have any meaningful prayer time together. No wonder our homes are in such trouble and our families breaking up!

    Peter implies that a significant purpose of marriage is praying together – the husband and wife a prayer team – and warns us to permit nothing to hinder that (see 1 Peter 3:7).

    Here are some suggestions for overcoming the numberless hindrances to regularly and effectively praying with your life mate.

    1. The husband, as spiritual leader of the home, should initiate such a regular prayer time. Do not wait for your wife to suggest or request this.

    2. Begin today to pray together. A newborn Christian can do this, and so can you. Do not delay with, "I will do it when...."

    3. Pray together daily, without fail. This should be as much a part of your daily routine as breakfast or brushing your teeth.

    4. Keep it brief. Even a minute or two, at the beginning, will do. This is not a substitute for your private prayers and devotions, so do not attempt to dump your neglect of other prayer time into this one. As you both warm up to such a partnership in prayer, the time will become longer, deeper and more meaningful.

    5. Pray "conversationally." By this I mean each of you should pray back and forth for a topic, need or person. Then do the same as you move on to a new subject. No long soliloquies! As you each pray briefly five or six times for various needs, neither of you will be bored or passive.

    6. Be natural. Pray about everyday needs and problems. About things at work, at home, or concerning the children – things you probably have already discussed. Pray concerning decisions you must make about finances, vacations, gifts. Pray specifically for your children (see Job 1:5). Give thanks for victories and blessings you have had.

    7. Do not preach in prayer. Do not try to get at your mate with things you do not have the nerve to say to her face. No "Help my wife not to be so extravagant and wasteful"!

    8. Clear the air before you pray. If you have been annoyed with each other or if you have had a misunderstanding, clear the air first with confession and reconciliation. You cannot pray meaningfully when you are feuding (see 1 Timothy 2:8).

    9. Share Scripture that has helped you. It is those in whom God’s Word abides who enjoy answered prayers (John 15:7). Mention very briefly what may have been especially meaningful or helpful to you from your personal quiet time. This can be a great incentive to prayer.

    10. Do not limit prayer to the set times. Certain times and places are naturals for prayer together – mealtimes, bedtime. But anytime a crisis or specific need arises, pray. Whenever your wife is burdened, worried, depressed, confused or weary, pray with her. Pray on the telephone, in the car – whenever and wherever there is a peaceful interlude.

    Jesus’ prayer admonition and His promise that prayer agreed on by "two of you" will be answered (Matt. 18:19-20), though not exclusively aimed at husbands and wives, certainly includes marriage partners.

    What a privilege it is to pray together! What power it generates! "A threefold cord is not quickly broken" (Ecc. 4:12). So when husband, wife and the Lord intertwine in believing prayer, there is strength and stability.

    Reprinted from an earlier edition of Herald of His Coming. Used by permission of Alliance Life.