Source: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/ferguweb

Source: http://www.morguefile.com/creative/ferguweb

Praying together as a couple is as important to the relationship as kissing and hugging.

Knowing we’re going to be conversing with God means we must keep short balances on the marital squabbles and conflicts that are part of any growing relationship. The desire to pray is easily squelched by conflict.

Shawn and I have developed a morning habit of clearing away the breakfast dishes then reading a passage of Scripture followed by a time of prayer. This appointment does not happen every morning, but the practice is such that we miss it when we skip it.

Prayer is hard work, and the urgency of the day’s upcoming events can sidetrack our thoughts, especially if the one we are praying with morphs into the Pray-ergizer bunny and keeps praying and praying.

I have a multi-threaded mind with scads of thoughts colliding for attention at any given moment. I’m never bored because the ride never stops. I guess if I were still in elementary school they would medicate me?

An over-active mind can be a dangerous liability in couple prayer, though, as I sit with my eyes closed and listen to the sound of Shawn’s lilting voice butterfly kissing my ears. The express train of Deep Thinking coasts to a complete stop at the station of Sound Asleep.

Source: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141027/GZ01/141029237

Source: http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141027/GZ01/141029237

We’ve developed a workaround called the Ping Method. I begin by giving thanks and praising God for the portion of Scripture we just read. After a short time I’ll say, “Ping”, and that’s Shawn’s cue to pray. We go back and forth praying in blocks as long as either of us has a thanks to pass to God or a request to bring before Him.

The ping keeps us on track and forces me to pay attention. After we have prayed for a while (usually determined by a whispered, “Do you have anything else to add?”) I close out my last round with “In Jesus’ name, Amen!” And that’s a wrap for the day.

Shawn violated our rules of prayer. I already said amen and she picked up and started praying again. I could not believe it. In my best Gomer Pyle voice I remarked,

“You can’t do that! I already 10-4’d you.”

It was a perfect illustration of grace versus law. I tossed a penalty flag because my tradition was broken while she skipped along enjoying her time with the Father. Ouch! I was quick to apologize and step out of the play. God only knows the mess I’d be in without a wife who loves talking to Him.

Have you discovered the value of praying together? If not, why not start today?

Sit side by side and invest a few minutes with God. Keep the conversation spontaneous rather that aiming for a certain quantity of time or the completion of a long list.

Thank God for the blessings around you and name them specifically, especially the one praying with you. Tell Him the pressing needs in your life. Call out the name of a friend or family member who is in the need of a few prayers.

What method of praying as a couple works in your relationship?