Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Why Most Couples Don't Pray Together

As my wife and I did our devotions together last night, I was shocked to discover that less than 6% of Christian couples pray together. That is quite the revelation as to where marriages are these days. Couples take on tremendous battles together. They have to face financial challenges, balance schedules, train children, earn money, be aware of spiritual attacks and create intimacy. The home is under so much attack that it requires a couple who understand how to fight shoulder to shoulder to protect the family for which they are responsible. At the same time, they have a responsibility to each other to continue building intimacy with each other daily.

There is no more intimate moment then when we expose ourselves to God in prayer. This is when we really open up and reveal ourselves. All day long we have probably protected ourselves with our walls, allowing people in only so far but always having our limits. What an incredible privilege to sit in the presence of God and hear the heart of our partner as he/she pours out their intimacy to God. This is also probably why many don't pray together.

Unfortunately many people do not practice repentance and forgiveness in their marriage. Instead we use our hurt and pain to build walls against our spouse. "They hurt us once but we aren't going to let them do it a second time." Unfortunately healthy marriages don't work that way. We don't work on a "don't ask, don't tell" policy either. Secrets, lies, hurts, unforgiveness, lack of repentance, all contribute to our lack of desire to pray with each other because we don't want to be revealed.

My wife and I do not have a perfect marriage but one thing we have gotten good at is honesty, saying "I was wrong", forgiveness and forgetting. Really, we forget our offences against each other. We can remember that there were times we were upset at each other, even that we had fought but because we forgave and did not mark it on our "list", we can't remember the details. I believe the Spirit assists us with this, helping such things to be forgotten as we cover each other in the love of Jesus. It is because we are already honest and forgiving with each other that we do not have a problem praying with each other.

When my wife and I have failed to pray it has been due to periods of laziness. Some would call it tiredness but it is laziness. This flesh does not dictate to my spirit but my spirit to this flesh. I can give in to the flesh, say I am too tired, roll over and turn off the light, but that is in direct opposition to the desire of my spirit. I have to decide to allow my spirit to lead. Prayer is important so my wife and I make sure that prayer and the Word are the first and last activities of the day. We have the privilege to share in this activity together at the end of each day and it is the most intimate moment of our day.

Prayer is not an option. We have to stop treating it as an option. It must be a priority that we look forward to each day. Yes, I pray without ceasing every day. I have conversations with Jesus throughout my day. I discuss everything with him. I intercede for others throughout my day but the time I really look forward to is when I get to curl up with my wife and come into the presence of our Father together. It is hard not to love my wife who I pray for constantly. It keeps Jesus the center of all we do.

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