I have to admit something to you. When I saw that the next Happy Husband Habit was prayer I was a little alarmed. I knew when I started this series on habits that since they are modeled after Jesus’ habits that I would definitely fall short of the goal on some of them. With prayer, while I do pray and pray often, I cannot make the case that I pray enough and as often as I should. Even more so, I cannot make the case that I pray with my wife as much as I should. I don’t have a hard time praying at meal times and in public settings, but somehow praying with my wife is a bit scary and I feel awkward.
I think much of the anxiety that husbands face can be whittled down to a few reasons explaining why it is difficult for Christian men to pray with their wives.
When you are praying with your wife you know that she knows you better than anyone else, so there is no hiding in front of God. You also know that your wife knows all of your faults and selfish actions in the past, so you feel very vulnerable in coming before God. You have a fear of sounding like a hypocrite when you pray with your wife.
It’s Spoken Words
We can pray all day silently, but when it comes to praying with someone audibly hearing our words we tend to freeze up. I think I have said that husbands have a hard time with words before, but I think it is not words as much as emotional words. Those are the scary ones. Also, a husband may fear that his prayers aren’t deep enough or contain enough “churchy” sounding words. He may feel foolish.
I Am Inferior
There aren’t a lot of Christian husbands that I have seen that would not say that their spouse is a spiritual giant compared to them. Your wife was really built with a wonderful skill set for prayer, so it is no wonder that women excel in this arena. A husband’s logic says that if his wife is looking at him to be the spiritual leader and head of the family, talking to God together seems like an adventure that he is ill-equipped for. How can a husband be a leader of the family if his wife can see how shallow his faith really is?
Satan Doesn’t Want You To
Satan probably doesn’t spend a whole lot of effort dissuading you from thanking God for the green beans, but the idea of you praying with your wife probably sets off a whole frontal assault by him. Praying with your wife has an immeasurable impact on your daily spiritual life and the unity that can be obtained would have to strike fear in Satan’s mind. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” That doesn’t sound like a place that Satan would want to be to me.
Why Pray With Your Wife Anyway
So, as I prepared to write this post, acknowledging that I am not as good in this area as I should be, I looked up some other resources to see what they might say about the topic. To my surprise, I found out that I am hardly alone. It seems that most Christian men struggle with this and by Christian men I mean from the pulpits on down. Research has shown that less than 10% of Christian married couples pray together regularly. My first reaction to this statistic in all honesty was a little bit of relief. I am not saying that I am not going to try to improve in this area, but there is some comfort in knowing that I am not the only one who struggles in this area.
The reason I think it is important for me as a husband to improve in this area can be contributed to the next couple of statistics I found.
- About one-third of all marriages between active Christian couples who attend a church at least once a week end in divorce.
The divorce rate of active Christian couples who regularly pray together is less than 1 percent.
Your wife may be a spiritual prayer warrior and you may struggle, but your wife knows and craves the feeling of closeness and unity that would come out of the two of you praying together. She doesn’t expect you to be a Bible scholar or something you are not. She expects you to be you. She expects minutes together in prayer and not hours. She really just wants you to be a part of her journey with God. Letting your wife hear you pray for her will give her the reassurance that you are caring for her mind, body, and soul. When your wife hears you praying for yourself, she will have peace and security that allows her to trust you with her all.
How Do We Pray Together
There are many ways that you can pray with your wife and this is in no way will be exhaustive, but making the prayers conversational as possible is a good start. You can pray alternating turns, each one pray separately, or just have one of you pray when you pray together. Here is a list of some key items that you can pray about together that will always be relevant and benefit from prayer.
Thanks, Praise, and Blessings – Thank God for his unconditional love for the two of you. Thank him for blessing you with your marriage, your wife, and your family.
Pray for Today – Ask God to be with you today and His guidance, strength, and protection each day.
Pray for Your Marriage – Ask God for peace and harmony in your marriage. Ask for oneness that becomes stronger each day. Pray that each of you will make your marriage a priority and stay free from conflict and strife.
Pray for God to Make You a Good Husband – Ask for God to help you be the presence of Christ in your marriage. Ask God to allow you to connect emotionally with your wife. Ask God to help you bring stability, calmness, joy, and love in to your family and marriage.
Pray for Your Wife – Pray that you will love your wife, cherish her, and take care of her needs above your own. Ask that God fulfils the desires in her heart and guides as she pursues her interests. Pray for your wife’s emotions and ask for God to protect your wife from thoughts that make her feel depressed, sad, angry, resentful, anxious, or that would fill her with self-doubt. Ask God to help her grow as a wife and mother in a way that brings her more joy and fulfillment.
Pray for Your Children – Ask God to watch over your children and keep your relationship with them strong and loving. Ask God to keep them out of harm’s way and bring Godly people into their lives. Ask that God help you be an example of wisdom, patience, and love to them. Ask God to help you make your family your top priority.
I found one quote on www.awesomehusbands.org that I think really hits on the importance of the prayer time that you spend together, “Whatever you don’t pray about in your life you leave up to chance. And that’s not good enough when it comes to your marriage and family. So there is virtually nothing that you shouldn’t consider praying for and praying about. ”
Back a few months ago, the news media proudly covered a group that went by the name of Occupy ________. One of their most popular slogans was “We are the 99%” When it comes to praying with our wives we need to be able to count ourselves in the 10%. Wouldn’t it be great and wouldn’t we see an unbelievable change in our nation if we could raise our banners high and say “We are the 99%” with our spiritual unity with our wives.