I admit. Before saying “I do”, I had a naive and idealistic idea of what prayer in marriage looked like. I thought we exchanged rings, then all at once we lived beautifully unified in the Spirit. I assumed it happened effortlessly, as if we were two happy lovers, running through a field of fragrant wildflowers, boldly forging ahead with the warm sunshine at our backs. Right…?
Soon after we returned from our honeymoon, and settled down into the grind of real life, my vision of perfected effortless prayer and seamless spiritual unity was revealed for what it is: imaginary.
With the backdrop of real life, we were literally ships passing in the night. He was working nights. I was a student in the day. When it came to prayer, we were in different camps. He prayed best when he paced back and forth along the straight wooden floorboards of our kitchen. I prayed best as I sat still and quietly at my desk. He prayed with a fierce warrior-like heart. I prayed like a daughter sitting in her Daddy’s lap.
In the first few months of being married, we would try to pray and all I could think about was how distracted and dizzied I felt by his pacing, and intensity. He probably felt alone in prayer, hoping I would find more energy and bigger faith to join with his.
These days brought frustration boiling to the surface of my heart at the way we were operating like two planets spinning in different orbits. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
It was as if we were pulling heaven in two different directions with our differing personalities and approaches to prayer. I was tempted to give up on the whole idea of praying together and settle for life in our own spiritual orbits.
But something deep in my soul believed that unity is not only something we work for, but something we were created to enjoy in marriage. –> click to tweet.
We held to the belief that God designed us as a married couple to experience and thrive with spiritual oneness. So, we pressed on and prayed forward, even when it was hard.
Over time, we’ve both softened and have come to see our differences as valuable assets for each of our spiritual growth. Iron sharpening differences.
Our differences challenge each other, pull out the best in each other, and keep things interesting. I now adore, crave and ask for his bold prayers of faith. And He cherishes and honors the way I connect with God in a place of stillness.
We’ve realized that in fact, our gifts and differences are here to bless, strengthen and develop the other. Our differences become our collective strength as we press forward in prayer. –> click to tweet
As we pursue deeper spiritual connection through prayer, we firmly rely on God to invade our imperfect marriage with His unmatched grace. He’s so faithful.
Is it wild-flowers and warm sunshine every time? No. It’s better than that.
It’s authentic communion.
It’s real life lived before God’s throne.
It’s a connection that is likened to a chord of three strands, not easily broken.
Has prayer been a natural thing for you in marriage? If so, what does that look like? If not, what is a small step you can take to begin enjoying more of a spiritual connection? (one idea…if praying outloud is a stretch for your marriage, consider writing a prayer on an index card for each other, or sending texts that offer encouragement and prayer.)
In a coming post, I will share a PRAYER GUIDE FOR COUPLES.