NIV Devotions for Couples, Bible Devotional

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NIV Devotions for Couples - Week of June 19

Praying Together

Verse: Acts 1:12-26

They all joined together constantly in prayer.
Acts 1:14

I don’t remember when Dan and I started praying together, but I do recall that our first attempts felt awkward. For a long time we only prayed the Lord’s Prayer out loud together. This was safe because we both knew the words to it.

Over time, and as each of us felt more comfortable being emotionally and spiritually naked with each other, we began to talk out loud to God as if he was the third person in our relationship. Now we try to pray out loud together daily. It’s no longer awkward, and it has promoted spiritual intimacy. That was an unexpected bonus of being married to each other. No one had ever told us we could experience this kind of intimacy in our relationship.

Sometimes at night before we fall asleep, we pray out loud. In the darkness, I can listen to Dan’s prayers and get a glimpse into the things he’s grateful for as well as the issues that are troubling him. Hearing him pray reminds me that he’s a work in progress, just as I am. It reminds me that my role in his life is to come alongside him, encourage him and support him. When I hear what’s on his heart, I am reminded again and again of the reasons why I married him. Praying together sets us on the same track with each other and with God.

I met a couple once who were remarkably powerful and effective in their prayer life together. Like the disciples and other believers who joined together constantly in prayer, this couple brought all their needs, praises and requests to God, trusting that he would lead and guide them. They then patiently waited for God’s answers.

In time God blessed this couple with a powerful ministry to special-needs orphans in China. The work keeps growing. This couple trusted God for everything, and, in turn, God entrusted them with the important work of caring for the least, which they are doing with all of their hearts.

It’s one thing to say to your spouse, “I’ll pray for your presentation today,” as you grab your coffee and run out the door to work. It’s another thing to grab your husband by the hand and say, “Let me pray with you before you go.” Jesus promises us that whenever two or three come together in his name, he will also be there (see Matthew 18:20). Why not invite him into your marriage today through prayer?
—Marian V. Liautaud

Let’s Talk

• How regularly do we pray together? In what ways does our frequency of praying together affect our marriage?

• Why is praying together so important? What does it offer that we wouldn’t gain by praying alone? Are there times when praying privately is better than praying together? When and why?

• What grace must we extend to each other when we pray? How can we encourage and affirm each other in prayer?

This devotion is from the Couples' Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Used with permission.

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