Praying With Your Wife
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (NASU)
Why is it that if you asked me to pray publicly in front of a crazy crowd of 50 thousand people, I would happily go for it, but…?
I love to pray with my kids, and sometimes even friends. I have no problem praying with honest sincerity before any audience. I like to pray; I am not always the most disciplined about it… and I will, Lord willing, be sometime soon publishing an article about tough issues about prayer.***
Why is it that all of these things are true, but also true is that I find myself accepting almost any excuse to NOT pray with my wife?
I love my wife dearly, and am “well pleased” with her, with our marriage, etc. I also constantly experience her as my best friend; sometimes I feel like things aren’t real until we share it… so, I don’t think it is a breach in our intimacy that hinders. I really don’t know why.
Ok, so I already wrote an article about praying FOR your wife. (http://phalanxmen.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/pray-for-your-wife/) This time I want to talk about praying WITH your wife.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I don’t have any kind of deep insight into why it seems almost universally difficult for Christian men (and I assume men of other faiths too) to pray with our wives?
I have some guesses:
1. They know us too well to buy our press. 50K men in a football stadium aren’t quite so intimately aware of my shortcomings. Maybe I feel like a hypocrite when I talk to God with her… which of course, creates actually a great benefit, doesn’t it? If this is true, then the opportunities for true intimacy should be apparent.
2. It probably has 10x the impact in the spiritual realm that praying with 50K strangers does, so Satan is probably much more motivated to dissuade me from praying with my wife. Only God and the angels know the impact of hundreds of small prayers over the decades… but I know that praying with her certainly has 10x more impact on my daily spiritual life much more than praying with a crowd.
3. We hate feeling foolish, especially with the woman we want to desire us sexually. Many of us feel like we need to be clever, creative, etc. Others of us have some idea that only paid professional Christians, like priests, pastors and cult leaders are supposed to pray out loud, and in King James English too. These all are insecurity-based lies… and really just excuses.
There may be other reasons too, but these seem to be the most likely to me. However, these theories only highlight the potential gain of a husband praying with his wife. I have heard from dozens of women that they yearn for their husband to lead them in following Jesus.
I have heard close to an equal number of husbands tell me that they are never sure what to do. Not knowing what all to do and not knowing anything to do are different things. I am never confident that I know all that I should do to serve and lead, but I think we all know that whatever all it is, it includes this… pray together. It doesn’t have to be a prayer in the original Hebrew. It doesn’t need to and probably shouldn’t (most of the time) last 20 minutes.
Just pray… pray for your marriage, for your children, for key friends and people needed intercession… thank God for what you have and ask for Him to lead… just talk to Him, together.
I used to forget to pray at night often. Here is the deal I made: “God, if you will bring it to my mind, I will pray.” I have failed to always fulfill my end of the bargain, I admit… but, man, I remember nearly every night. God has been faithful to remind me. I recommend something like that for you – just pray… together.
Make the wife the gift of making it your idea and your responsibility to remember and your initiation every day.
Here is another way to do something you CAN do with your wife (if you can read): http://phalanxmen.wordpress.com/2010/08/26/read-to-your-wife/
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