Did you know that the divorce rate for couples that pray together every day is 1 out of approx. 1150?? Does that not blow your mind? Who of us husbands would not want to find ways to divorce-proof our marriage? Who of us husbands would not want to find a way to make our marriage more vibrant, meaningful, and lasting? I think it is time all of us began to take God and His word seriously and be very intentional about our application of it.
In approximately 7 months, I will have been married to Kathy for 40 years! I am astounded how fast time has gone by. I remember like it was yesterday, the first time I laid eyes on her, and spoke with her at Twin Lakes Bible camp in the fall of 1976. I was amazed at the story she shared with me about her choice to follow Jesus Christ. She was the answer to my prayers to God. There were very specific things I had prayed and asked God for in the woman I would marry during the previous year and God answered them all in this precious woman.
We married in May of 1979. I was thrilled, I was filled with hope for our future, and confident that our love would carry us through and that every day would be close to bliss!
My goodness did I get a rude awakening. Marriage it seemed was a crucible and it brought to the surface deep seeded things in my life that needed to be changed. There were many good times, but there were also many, many very difficult times. At times, I felt hopeless, and I am sure Kathy felt hopeless as well. We were going through so many difficult, stressful circumstances and tremendous challenges. I would think to myself, “Lord God, this stuff in me is never going to change!”
I believed in God, I believed in the Bible, I read it daily, I even had a daily time of prayer myself, as I knew God answers prayer. However, there was one thing I seldom, if ever did. I rarely took the time with my wife, in our home, and prayed with her, out loud. In fact, Kathy would ask me too many times and I refused. I refused because to me it seemed silly, foolish, uncomfortable, and made me feel very weird. I can’t really explain it, I am just telling it like it was.
Today, I would tell you the single most important thing I do with Kathy, every single day of my life, is this:
I pray with her, out loud, every single day.
I have done this for decades now. The impact it has had on our relationship is hard to quantify.
The last 9 months of our life have been without a doubt, the most stressful, traumatic, gut-wrenchingly painful, devastating, emotional, and difficult time in our lives together. We have, at times, felt we could not go on another moment. There has not been one day I have missed praying with my wife, often with both of us in tears.
Almost every day, when I finish praying, Kathy will say to me, “Mark, I am carried, sustained, and strengthened by your prayers with me. it means so, so much to me, that you pray with me every day.”
Brothers, please hear me on this. Please, please don’t let this wisdom go. Nothing is more important to your marriage than you praying with your wife, out loud, every single day.
I would like to help you understand why. We are men and we need to understand the whys, and the real, tangible reasons and impact this action will have. Your wife longs for you to lead her spiritually. She longs to see your faith in action. She longs to lean on your vibrant, strong, emotional, connected to God, spiritual life.
When I pray with my wife, she sees and hears me trusting God. she sees an outward, tangible, demonstration of my faith. She can see and experience with me that I really, truly believe there is a living God who is worth praying to, and bringing our request to, because I believe He will answer us, and give us what we seek!
Praying with my wife allows me to express in front of her my gratitude to God for her. She hears me express my needs before God, she sees my humility and dependence upon God, in front of her, and it causes her to trust me more, and feel much closer to me.
As she sees my trust in God, as I ask Him for things, and talk about my needs to God with her listening, it causes her trust and respect in me to grow tremendously. She sees in living color my submission to God as my ultimate authority. When I pray with my wife, she hears me pray for her, asking God’s blessing on her, she hears me articulate the needs she has, of the things that concern her and our children, to our loving heavenly Father. She can see that I really am paying attention and she is on my mind and heart. This gives her confidence, strength, comfort, and helps her see I truly believe God hears our prayers and will answer. It demonstrates to her that I am living in humble submission to God!
When I pray honestly and authentically to God, with her listening to me, it allows her to hear my emotional expression to God, as I reveal my needs, my hurts, my pain, to our mighty, Wonderful Counselor, and loving heavenly Father. She sees me casting all my cares and burdens on God, as I dump on God, in front of her. Praying with Kathy causes our intimacy and unity to grow. Literally, it makes her feel closer to my heart.
Men, you may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, that all sounds so great, I wish I could do that. I wish I could be like Mark.”
Men, you can succeed
in praying with your wife
every single day.
Every one of you can do this, every single one of you. I will share with you how. I used this exact same way myself.
Helpful Tip 1
Start by praying approx. 2-3 minutes a day. Do this for several weeks, or a month, until you feel (and you will) the need to go longer. Start small and consistent and build on that. I did this many years ago and today, my prayer time with Kathy is approx. 20 minutes a day. When I travel, I call her on the phone and pray with her over the phone from my motel room.
Helpful Tip 2
Find a consistent time that works for you both. I am always sensitive to what works for Kathy. I have worked from home for years. I get up very, very early, however my wife does not. I have found the best time for her is approx. 9 am. I come in from my office and ask if we can pray together. Find what works and stick with it. Many of you have small children, so you will need to find a time that works when it is just you and your wife, or of course with a small nursing infant present.
Helpful Tip 3
Men, turn off the smartphone, the cell phones, etc. Tune out, turn off, or put away all distractions. Seriously, this is a must. Put her phone in another room also, or turn it off.
Helpful Tip 4
Find the right place in your home to do this. We pray in our living room/kitchen. It is all one big room. Kathy sits in a chair in the living room, and I pace the kitchen floor, praying out loud for Kathy, bringing her right into the presence of God with me.
Helpful Tip 5
When I pray, I usually start with specific things to thank God for. I thank God for our home, for the new paint on the walls, for the reliable cars He has given us, for the clean water He has given us to drink, for the life in Jesus He has given us, for all the promises and wisdom of His word. I thank god for her, and I mention out loud what some of the special things about Kathy I am thankful for. I pray for her health, I pray for her comfort, I pray to be a better, more loving, kind, and considerate husband. I pray for things we need, I pray for each of our children and their spouses by name, I pray for each of the 11 grandchildren by name, asking for specific things for their lives. I pray over our kid’s marriages, and jobs. I pray, and pray, and pray.
And you know what? GOD HEARS AND GOD ANSWERS.
I keep track of so many of God’s answers and our God stories in real life.
Men, the greatest privilege we have in this life, is that the living God loves us, cares deeply for us, and has invited us to come to him, to talk to him, to ask him for anything, and he bends down to listen to and to answer our prayers. God hears and answers our prayers! Show your wife you really believe this!
Helping you become a strong disciple,
because of Jesus,