Soon after, a huge sandstorm swept over us. I couldn’t see ahead or behind us. I slowed the car to a crawl, aware that the 18-wheeler wasn’t far behind us. Trying to keep our own fears in check, Kim and I worked to calm our panicked kids.
Most memorably, my wife and I cried out to God for help.
If you’re like me, the most natural times to pray with your spouse are in times of crisis: when you get a late-night phone call, doctor’s diagnosis or sudden urge to say, “Jesus, take the wheel!”
But praying together can be so much more than that. Christian couples nd greater joy in their relationship with God and each other when they intentionally take time to pray together. As Kim and I have made this a regular practice, we’ve been better able to see each other’s hearts, gently realize our own flaws, receive and extend forgiveness, and grow in intimacy.
In the process, we’ve discovered three important, biblically based prayers to pray together with your spouse:
“Lord, help us to seek You first”
WE BELIEVE that a couple’s most important prayer is to ask God to help them seek Him first and foremost, individually and as a couple. An essential prayer to pray with your spouse .
Kim and I start by thanking God for our marriage and each other. We ask the Lord to show us how to honor each other as individuals uniquely created in His image. We also ask God to help each of us thrive in an abiding relationship with Him.
Then we adapt Paul’s prayers for early church believers. Paul’s words provide a wonderful template for praying that God would give our spouse wisdom and revelation so our spouse might know Him better (Ephesians 1:17), that he or she would be filled to the measure of the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19), that good works would bear fruit as our spouse grows in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10), and much more.
Finally, in light of challenges of the week ahead, we always ask God to help us cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
“Lord, we pray for our family”
IF YOU’RE A PARENT, praying for your children’s well-being is probably second nature. These are sometimes easy to pray with your spouse. The following topics and verses can help direct those prayers:
- Kim and I pray for our children’s personal relationships with God through Jesus Christ. Keeping in mind Joshua’s call to “choose this day whom you will serve,” we declare as he did, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
- We also pray that God would be at the center of our children’s lives. This leads us to think about what’s going on in their world—at home, school or work. We also talk to God about our children’s friends and acquaintances, especially those who have influence on their lives.
- Finally, we adapt the words found in Deuteronomy 6:5-9. In these verses, Moses encourages parents to impress God’s commandments on the hearts of their children all throughout the day: sitting at home, walking along the road, preparing for bed and rising in the morning. This Scripture feels as relevant today as it did when it was written. We ask God to help us live out these words before our children.
In addition to praying for our kids, we pray together for our extended families. The idea of embracing each other’s extended families is so important that, whenever I officiate a wedding, I remind people of Ruth’s beautiful words in Ruth 1:16: “Your people shall be my people.” Ruth made this promise to her mother-in-law; how much more important it is for a bride and groom to embrace each other’s extended families.
As you pray for the salvation and spiritual growth of members of your extended families, you’ll draw closer together as a couple as well.
“Lord, show us how to love our neighbors”
THE TWO GREATEST COMMANDMENTS are to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39). Praying together for your community is a wonderful way to put these commandments in action.
Kim and I pray for the lost and hurting in our community, and as the Lord leads, we invite them into our home (Luke 14:13-14).
We also pray as we walk through our neighborhood, letting each house remind us of the precious lives within. When we aren’t aware of specific needs among our neighbors, we pray for their spiritual health, physical well-being and their relationships with Jesus and each other. And when God brings a Bible passage to mind, we base our prayers on it.
Finally, we keep the names of our immediate neighbors written on the inside of one of our cabinet doors. Every time we welcome new neighbors with fresh-baked goodies, we add their names to the list. The more we reach out to our neighbors in the day to day, the more they share their lives with us, which helps us pray specifically for their needs.
Now it’s your turn
In case you’re wondering, my family and I made it safely through the sandstorm. It took a while for the trembling to stop—but you can imagine how grateful to God we were as we settled into our hotel room that night.
There’s another reason I share this story. Like driving through a sandstorm, praying with your spouse can feel unfamiliar, challenging, even scary.
Let me encourage you to give it a go anyway.
Scripture tells us that when we pray together, God is present, He cares, and He hears and answers our prayers. What’s more, the prayers you say with your spouse can draw you both closer to God’s heart and to each other.