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Ethics & Religion
May 26, 2021
Column #2,076
The Value of Couples Praying Together
By Mike McManus

In a nation with the world's highest divorce rate, it is important for husbands and wives to build a lasting spiritual marriage.

How can that be accomplished?

My wife, Harriet, and I have found the best way to build a strong inspiring marriage is to begin each day with a reading from Scripture and from a daily Christian commentary on that passage, "Encounter with God" (800 621-5267), followed by prayer.

What matters most is tapping into the Lord's wisdom, which can be found in the Bible. We are currently reading from Acts (of the Apostles) written by Luke. It begins after the Resurrection of Jesus. The Apostles ask him, "Lord, at this time are you going to restore the kingdom of Israel?" In other words, will Jews be free - or liberated from their Roman oppressors?

Jesus replied..."You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight."

In our time, "We are called to further God's kingdom in a world that still resists God's ways. This is a tough calling, so let's not be surprised if we find it hard," writes Encounter with God on that passage of Acts.

My wife, Harriet, and I pray together after we read Scripture and commentary. Most couples do not do so, and it is a mistake. They are not connecting together spiritually though they are likely to attend the same church. Praying for one another bonds couples. Harriet says, "It is the most important way of listening when you know that God and your spouse is listening to you. It is the most intimate way of sharing. It makes me feel closer to you. And it gives a person hope."

"If you pray together, your husband is your greatest cheerleader. He is at your side, walking along with you. In the midst of darkness, you see light. In the midst of major difficulties, you see solace and hope."

One book we read together is the Couples Devotional Bible. In a section targeting Acts 1:12-28, a wife writes that her initial attempts to pray with her husband, Dan, "felt awkward." Initially they only prayed the Lord's Prayer, since they both knew the words.

"Over time, and as each of us felt comfortable being emotionally and spiritually naked with each other, we began to talk out loud to God as if He were the third person in our relationship. Now we try to pray out loud together daily. It's no longer awkward and it has promoted spiritual intimacy."

When I pray, I ask for God's help in my writing. Harriet often prays for "ailing beloveds," friends of ours who are suffering from various diseases and infirmities, which she briefly mentions.

I thank God for the wonderful woman whose life I have shared for more than 55 years of marriage, for our three sons who are still married to their original wives and for our nine delightful grandchildren, one of whom is a junior in college.

One couple who regularly prayed together trusting that God would lead them. They patiently waited for God's answers. "In time God blessed this couple with a powerful ministry to special-needs orphans in China. This couple trusted God for everything, and in turn, God trusted them with the important work for caring for the least, which they are doing with all their hearts."

If your husband or wife is going out to serve God in some special way, grab him or her by the hand and pray for their success. Jesus promises us that whenever two or three come together in his name, he will also be there. (See Matthew 18:20). A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

One couple friend of ours, Dave and Claudia Arp, "pray together when we hike," Claudia told me. "We feel closer to God when we are enjoying nature together."

She suggests that couples make a list of prayer requests. "Guys like to pray when they are doing something. Girls just like to talk."

Why not invite God into your marriage on a regular basis?

_________________________

Copyright (c)2021 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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