I came into our relationship slightly intimidated by Micah's relationship with Jesus. I was a BRAND NEW Christian and the whole "praying out loud with others" thing was still new and intimidating to me. But Micah was a true man of God and never made me feel less than for how I prayed.
When we were dating we usually only prayed for meals together but as our relationship grew, so did our prayer life. We tried to pray more often together and after we were married we found we liked to pray together before bed, usually taking a turn each night. I've been known to fall asleep before we pray and he ends up doing a couple nights in a row but God knows I'm praying along in my dreams.
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If you aren't comfortable praying aloud with your spouse, perhaps you can pray together silently or write your prayers down in a shared journal. I really encourage you to find a way to share a prayer life with your spouse as it has so many benefits. It's a wonderful way to connect together, share concerns and praises, and grow in your relationships with Christ.
If you need some ideas on where to start with praying for your relationship here are the seven areas we pray about regarding our marriage every night:
1. Thank God for our spouse
I don't think I will ever be able to put into words how immensely grateful I am to God for bringing Micah and I together but I thank Him every day. I like to say thank you for a few specific things when I'm praying but you can choose how you want to thank God for your spouse.
2. For God to bless our marriage
I feel like this is almost a no-brainer but that doesn't mean we shouldn't pray about it! We ask God to bless the food we eat and the people around us so of course we should ask Him to bless our most important earthly relationship.
3. For God to strengthen our relationship
No matter how long you have been with your spouse and no matter how amazing your relationship is, it can always be stronger. You are both always changing and growing which can sometimes cause a little drifting. Ask God to help draw you together and make the bond as strong as possible.
4. For us to find time to connect each day
We live busy lives. Work, school, activities, friends, family, etc. All these things are great but they can easily get in the way of connecting with your spouse. We make a point of connecting (a kiss, a hug, cuddles during tv, sharing a meal, butt grab, ha!) at least once per day. Just something to make sure we aren't passing each other by as life goes on. But sometimes we need a reminder so pray that God would keep the importance of connection at the front of your mind.
5. That we would be an example to our kids
A child's attitude about marriage and spouses can definitely be learned by parents. No surprise there. We want to make sure that everything we do as husband and wife is an example we want our kids to see. We want them to see that marriage is a wonderful gift from God and to grow up wanting to have the same.
6. That we would be an example to the world around us
Have you ever noticed how terribly marriage is portrayed on TV and in movies most of the time? The husband is usually an idiot and the wife is a stressed ball of crazy. While it might provide some entertainment on occasion it is not the picture we want of our relationship! We want people to see the good side of marriage. The healthy, loving, hilarious (in our case) partnership that is created and that can last a lifetime.
7. That we would be a Christ focused couple
All the above is great but if we aren't putting Jesus in the center then it's all for nothing. He is the glue that will keep us connected and strong. We as individuals are empty without Christ so it's only natural that our marriages would be empty without Him as well.
I know there are many other aspects of your relationship that you might be praying about but these are our core prayers. We add to them as we feel led and based on what is going on in our lives. I strongly believe in the power of prayer when it comes to marriage so if you are struggling would you email me so I can pray for you?
If you are interested in other tips about building a strong marriage I highly recommend The Generous Wife and The Generous Husband. Micah and I each receive these tips daily and we really enjoy discussing them.