Have a Prayer Date - Here's how...
“How beautiful is the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice. . .They pray together, instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.”
Tertullian - Second Century
Have you ever had a prayer date? Paul Tournier in To Understand Each Other says that praying together is the highest tie binding a couple:
“Happy are the couples who do recognize and understand that their happiness is a gift of God, who can kneel together to express their thanks not only for the love which he has put in their hearts, the children he has given them or all of life’s joys, but also for the progress in their marriage which he brings about through the hard school of mutual understanding.”
Praying together is one of our most important disciplines. But it hasn’t always been easy to do. Frankly, when we first tried, it was a disaster! One of us was more verbal than the other--okay, it was Claudia. She would get “on a roll” and pray about this and then pray about that and by the time she finished, all Dave could say was “Amen.” Not a great couple prayer experience.
However, we were determined so we didn’t give up. Soon we learned to make a prayer list and to take turns praying short prayers. From time to time we have more extended times of prayer which we call our “prayer dates.” Since this is a habit you might want to start, let us give your some tips:
· Start by reading a devotion or a few verses together. This will help you get in tune with God and with each other. Share your favorite passages.
· Talk about how God has answered prayers in the past and evidence of his leading in your life, your family, and your marriage.
· Make a prayer list and note specific requests. You may even want to start a prayer log where you can later write in the answers!
· Make a list of things you both agree to pray for each other and for each of your children. Keep this list in your Bible as a daily reminder.
· And then remember to pray with each other.
Maybe you are thinking, “I’d love to have a prayer date but my spouse is just not that far along in his or her spiritual journey.” Then consider starting with the Quaker model of prayer—shared silence. This would allow you to worship God separately and privately, yet knowing that you are sharing the experience together. It’s an easy first step in praying and worshipping together. Now according to the Quaker tradition, you end your devotional time with a kiss of peace!
Take the risk. Developing the habit of prayer whether actually praying out loud together, sharing silence, or simply praying for each other will result in great and unsearchable things as your Heavenly Father hears and answers!
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3