If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father. – Matthew 18:19
If someone told you that by changing one thing about your marriage, you could guarantee with near 100 percent assurance that your life together would significantly improve, you would at least want to know what it was. And for many godly couples, that “one thing” is the daily practice of praying together.
To someone who tends to devalue spiritual matters, this sounds fairly ridiculous. And if told that shared prayer is a key ingredient in marital longevity and leads to a heightened sense of sexual intimacy, they would think you had really gone too far. But the unity that grows between a man and woman who regularly pray together forms an intense and powerful connection. Within the sanctuary of your marriage, praying together can work wonders on every level of your relationship.
When you were joined together as husband and wife, God gave you a wedding gift – a permanent prayer partner for life. When you need wisdom on a certain decision, you and your prayer partner can seek God together for the answer. When you’re struggling with your own fears and insecurities, your prayer partner can hold your hand and intercede on your behalf. When you and your spouse are not getting along and can’t get past a particular argument or sticking point, you can call a time out, drop your weapons, and go with your partner into emergency prayer. It should become your automatic reflex action when you don’t know what else to do.
It’s hard to stay angry long with someone for whom you’re praying. It’s hard not to back down when you’re hearing your mate humbly cry out to God and beg Him for mercy in the midst of your heated crisis. In prayer, two people remember that God has made them one. And in the grip of His uniting presence, disharmony blends into beauty.
Praying for your spouse leads your heart to care more deeply about them. But more importantly, God is pleased when He sees you both humbling yourselves and seeking His face together. His blessing falls on you when you agree in prayer.
The word Jesus used when He talked about “agreeing” in prayer has the idea of harmonic symphony. Two separate notes, played one at a time, sound different. They’re opposed to each other. But play them at the same time – in agreement – and they can create a pleasing sense of harmony. Together they give a fuller, more complete sound than either of them can make on its own.
Agreeing in prayer is like that – even in the midst of disagreeing. It pulls you both back toward your real center. It places you on common ground, face-to-face before the Father. It restores harmony in the midst of contention.
The church – which in Scripture has a marriage connotation with Christ – can sometimes be a place where conflict rules. The disharmony that can flare up over various matters can derail the church from its mission and disrupt the free flow of worship and unity. At times godly church leaders will see what is taking place, break off discussions, and call the people of God to prayer. Instead of continuing the discord and allowing more feelings to be hurt, they will seek unity by turning their hearts back to God and appealing to Him for help.
The same thing happens in our homes when there is an intervention of prayer, even at high points of disagreement. It stops the bleeding. It quiets the loud voices. It pauses you as you realize whose presence you’re in.
But prayer is for a lot more than breaking up fights. Prayer is a privilege to be enjoyed on a consistent, daily basis. When you know that prayer time awaits you before going to bed, it will change the way you spend your evening. Even if your prayers together are typically short and to the point, this will become a standing appointment that you can orbit your day around, keeping God in the middle of everything.
It’s true that beginning a habit like this can initially feel awkward and uncomfortable. Anything this powerful will surprise you with its weight and responsibility when you actually try doing it. But bear in mind that God wants you to engage with Him – invites you, in fact – and He will grow you as you take it seriously and push past those times when you don’t know what to say.
You’ll look back at this common thread that ran through everything from average Mondays to major decisions and be so thankful for this “one thing” that changed everything. This is one area where it’s imperative that you agree to agree.
Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this -- whether it’s in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.
In the morning my prayer comes before You. (Psalm 88:13)