Hubs and I started our marriage off with prayer. During our pre-marital counseling, one of the things that our friend and pastor, Kevin, told us was that praying together would be the glue that held our marriage together. We prayed together every night for the first two years of our marriage. And people frequently commented on the strength of our marriage and our love for each other. I don’t recall a single argument during those first two years. We KNOW the power of praying together.
But, somewhere after Mister being born, and the sleepless nights, and then Sister’s adoption and more sleepless nights… somewhere along the way, we
fell walked right out of the habit of praying together. That isn’t to say that we never pray together. We just don’t do it all the time, like we used to.
So, when I had the opportunity to review Couples Who Pray, I thought it would be a great way to challenge us to get back into the habit of praying together nightly.
In this entertaining, highly readable book, couples learn that a fabulous marriage can be the outcome of learning to pray together, causing a 20 to 30% increase in romance, conversation and happiness.
Best-selling author Squire Rushnell and his wife, entertainer and talk show host, Louise DuArt take readers step by step through The 40 Day Prayer Challenge™ in which couples commit to praying together five minutes a day for forty days. Backed by compelling research from Baylor University and Gallup Poll, the true-life experiences of 24 test couples, including Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano, Scott and Tracie Hamilton, reveal that daily prayer is a “life changing experience” in which most couples report positive outcomes in less than two weeks.
Couples Who Pray includes an easy questionnaire prepared by Baylor University to help couples to chart their own progress during The 40 Day Prayer Challenge™.
Hubs and I agreed to take the 40 Day Prayer Challenge issued by the book. During our forty days, Hubs had to travel to Saudi Arabia. He took the lead and made out a list of things that we could both be praying about while he was gone, since the time difference wouldn’t allow us to physically pray together, and I added a few things to it. We figured being of one mind in prayer would lend itself toward being in one spirit.
That little experiment worked beautifully. We reached several decisions regarding family life that we had both been waffling on for a while.
Overall, the premise of the book is good. Couples who pray together stay together. The book itself? I’d give it three of five stars. It’s a bit like Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. A bit dry, not my favorite, but certainly worth the read.
This book may not change your marriage, but praying together RIGHTLY will. Here’s the thing. Praying together IS the most intimate act between a man and a woman. But it is not some utilitarian equation, or quick fix, in which you can simply put in your 200 minutes (five minutes x forty days) and expect everything to be all roses and rainbows. The reason praying together is the most intimate act between a man and a woman is because it is the most intimate act between a man (or woman) and God. Prayer requires allowing oneself to be vulnerable. When your mate witnesses your vulnerability, it softens his (or her) heart toward you. It lends to a desire to provide for, protect, and serve one’s mate. But, if your heart isn’t in it, you will reap nothing. If you put your heart into it, you reap far more than you could sow. There is just something about hearing your mate pour out their heart to God in prayer. It lends an intimacy that would otherwise not exist, and puts you in tune with each others hearts. That intimacy leads to greater understanding of each other, easier conversation, and strengthens the bonds of marriage. It really does help the two become one.
I’d like to say that we pray together every night again. But that would be dishonest. We don’t. We willingly walk into the trap of not putting first things first because of time, skewed priorities, and a hundred and two other excuses.
Perhaps we need to take the challenge again.
Want to take it with us?
I received a review copy from Book Sneeze and was not otherwise compensated.