In part two of this post, we take an honest look at some of the struggles couples who want to pray together have. Some just find it so hard and often feel bad because we think it should be easy. So let’s look at some practical steps to making it happen. Namely: Have a rule, See it as a discipline, and Have a plan.
In the last post, we looked at why some dating couples hesitate to pray together. However, we saw why we shouldn’t let that stop us (Read Part 1 here).
This post will look at why some couples find it hard to get into a rhythm of prayer, and some practical tips to getting there too. Namely:
- Have a rule.
- See it as a discipline.
- Have a plan.
(The following extract is taken from page 146-148 of The Dating Dilemma book, read the introduction for free.)
Most Couples Struggle
It’s inspiring to meet couples who support each other in God’s call for their lives. But this only happens because the people involved are seeking God for themselves, as well as together.
They’re responding to Christ’s call to ‘take up their cross and follow me’ (Mark 8:34). If you’re not dating, you have a great opportunity to do this before you meet someone, but it’s never too late to start if you’re in a relationship now.
Imagine sharing this purity of focus with the person you’re dating!
Spending time with God as a couple and as individuals can feel like a habit that’s difficult to get into. If you’re like us, you will probably find it hard to maintain. We all have our periods of struggle, but we know that, through it all, God’s unchanging desire is to draw us close to him.
The Almighty, drawing close to you and me! Making space for this kind of interaction with God should become our priority, not because we’re told to do it or we are trying to earn Jesus-points, but because we crave God. Imagine sharing this purity of focus with the person you’re dating!
Most Couples Think It’s Strange
Many people we know find this strange. They tell us that they don’t want to pray together, or find it hard to initiate. Justin wrestled for ages over how to get him and his girlfriend praying together.
If you make it a barrier, it will be a barrier
In desperation, he sought out his youth leader: ‘How do we start praying? What do I say?’ His youth leader paused for a bit, and then said, ‘Justin, you simply say, “Let’s pray”!’ They did, and it transformed their relationship.
So many couples never quite get round to praying and reading the Bible together. What should be a natural activity feels strange. This is where being single brings another advantage. If you can get into the habit now of establishing a good rhythm of prayer, you’ll find it easier to keep it going.
If you’re in a relationship and don’t yet pray together, you can still start. If you make it a barrier, it will be a barrier.
Most Couples Just Need To Do It
Praying is something everyone finds easier to do by doing it. One of you will need to suggest it, and then you will both need the commitment to explore this new and powerful area of your relationship together.
In our view, there is nothing more powerful for a couple to do than pray together, for each other and for the people in their lives. Tasha and Joe found that praying together each time they met up really helped them focus on keeping God at the heart of all they got up to, especially when they spent time together on their own. (Read Marriage Isn’t Really About ‘Us’)
To me, there’s nothing more attractive than when I see my girlfriend praying and prophesying after the service, knowing we’re doing God’s work together. (Paul)
Why would I spend all my time with him?! We would suffocate the relationship. Besides, he needs time to serve at church and home group, and to mentor people. (Cerry)
There are great charities, blogs, and books out there which are far more qualified to offer up support for prayer than this one. And no one rule will work for everyone, but here are some things I personally have found helpful:
- Have a rule. My wife and I have finally established a rhythm after many years of struggle. We simply pray and read our Bible together every day as soon as we can. So it’s often after we get back from work, or after we get back in the evening after going out. But the first time during the day that we have spare time together, we pray. Before the TV comes on or anything else. Having a rule or set time helps in the busyness and ups and downs of life.
- See it as a discipline. Until we see it as a discipline, we won’t do it. If we wait until we feel like it, or when we feel close to God, rather than something we have to do no matter what, we won’t do it. For me, switching mindsets helped me make it a priority.
- Have a plan. I know a couple who get a daily devotional magazine, others have a set Bible reading, others keep a prayer list. Whatever works for you, so you can just do it, rather than sitting there worrying what to read or say.
Imagine if we prayed more with the people we loved, how much of an impact would that have?
Have a Rule, See it as a discipline, Have a plan. How can you start doing at least one of these things today?
What has worked for you in regards to praying more? Comments welcomed below.