Beginning to Pray Together

Here are eight suggestions for beginning to pray together that were given to us
by the couples who responded to our questionnaire. They come from their own
experiences and were developed through their own struggles to begin to pray

  1. Take the time needed to talk with each other about your
    thoughts and feelings about prayer and praying together. Do this without
    pressuring one another or trying to make the other feel guilty. See if you can
    agree that this is something you both want in your marriage. Talk about your
    fears in as open a way as possible. Talk also about your expectations up front,
    so they don’t undermine you later on.
  2. Pick a specific time and make a commitment to each other to
    begin praying together at that time. You’ll never get started praying together
    on a regular basis if you don’t make this definite commitment to a specific,
    agreed-upon time.
  3. Don’t be upset if you miss a day. It’s important, if you
    miss a day, to just start again the next day. Consistency will come over time.
    Let yourself off the hook here.
  4. Decide who will do what. For example, who decides where you
    will pray together? Who reminds the other that it is time to pray together?
    Couples reported that they couldn’t just make a commitment to a time and then
    assume both of them would remember. It helped for one person to take on the
    responsibility to say, "Hey, it’s time for us to pray together." It was
    interesting to note that for the couples who were successful, it was more often
    the husband who did the reminding.
  5. Start where you are both comfortable. This means that if
    only one of you is comfortable praying out loud, then you don’t start there, for
    both aren’t comfortable at that place. If one of you insists that you pray
    together silently, then both can be comfortable at that place and that’s where
    you begin.
  6. Set a time limit. It was surprising how many couples made
    this point. "No long-winded prayers," they said. One wife wrote, "No long
    monologues with fourteen items in them!" Another couple suggested, "First start
    small and grow from there. Anyone can pattern five or ten minutes into their
    lives, as opposed to one hour." Another couple said, "Start with five minutes
    and then gradually, over time, see what happens. Don’t try to take too much time
    as you begin."
  7. Agree at the beginning that neither one of you will preach in your
    . Nothing can stop the process like using the time to pray
    together as a way to preach to your spouse, or to make suggestions in your
    prayer. Sometimes just making this a rule will give a reluctant spouse the
    freedom to get started, for a common fear is that one’s spouse will use this
    time to preach rather than to pray.
  8. One husband suggested: "Start with a list of things you
    want to pray about. This could be done individually or together. Then pray
    individually about your time of praying together before you actually come
    together for prayer."