Before our wedding a short time ago, my husband and I knew the importance of praying together as a married couple.
However, I wasn’t incredibly aware of how intentional we would need to be to make time for it. I thought it would be easy to make time in the morning before Joe left for work, before bed or even to stop and pray during a conflict…my expectations were not met for a few reasons: Joe has a lot of responsibility at his job and has to be at the office early. In the morning, his mind is on getting to the office.
At night, sometimes we were tired and prayer felt forced. Additionally, we found that it was quite difficult to switch our mindsets to prayer in the midst of a conflict. Joe is incredibly consistent at praying before meals, but my mind is usually distracted by what I needed to do to prepare and serve the food.
So how could we make time to talk to God together on a regular basis, and in a focused and intimate way?
Our solution: The 20-Minute Prayer Meeting, which we like to affectionately call the Kim Family 20. Here’s how it works:
1. One of us will read a Bible passage. (about 2 minutes)
2. We will each take a few minutes to share about how that Scripture speaks to us. (about 10 minutes)
3. We will either pray through the Scripture or pray about a specific topic, like our marriage. (about 10 minutes)
A note: Consider your posture. For example, we like to hold hands and sometimes pray on our knees. Another suggestion is to sit separately with your hands folded. There are many postures of prayer and it may take a few times to find which ones work best for you as a couple. Keep in mind that you and your spouse may have different postures, or perhaps your spouse doesn’t have one yet.
We find this method helpful for us because when one of us asks, “Want to have a Kim Family Prayer Meeting?” the other knows exactly what that means: the structure, the time (it’s okay if it is longer or shorter but the time limit provides some common ground), and what is expected of each of us.
While we find that before bed, as well as on Saturday afternoons the best time for our prayer meetings, you could try having a prayer meeting in the mornings or even over a lunch break. If your spouse travels for work, try having a meeting via Skype.
For husband and wives that are intimidated by prayer, this is a great way for you to start. If one is stronger in prayer than the other, perhaps one of you can read the Scripture and the other can do the praying at first. For husband and wives that are both comfortable with prayer but perhaps have different expectations for praying together, this is a great way to establish some common ground. Of course, you can tweak your family prayer meeting however you would like. You could also try giving your prayer meeting a name to make it fun and unique to your family.
Learning to pray together is an intimate way for you to connect with your heavenly Father as a couple.
It helps establish intimacy with God and with each other.
I’m learning that I can serve my husband through laying down my expectations for our prayer life. Praying together and buildings spiritual intimacy together will be a journey that is ever changing.
Lord, thank you for the gift of marriage and for the unique individual you made our spouse to be. Teach us all how to pray and to put the others’ interests before our own. Help us to surrender this area of our lives to you. In Jesus name, amen.
With a BA in Public Communication and certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute, Shannon has worked in book publishing and currently works at Park Community Church. She is grateful for devotional time, coffee dates with friends, laughing over kids’ books with her teacher mom, and early morning “urban hikes.” She lives with her husband on Chicago’s north side and loves being a new wife. Follow Shannon on Facebook.
[Photo: Megan Isaacson, CreationSwap.com]