This last weekend I led a Marriage Seminar for a church in Ohio. It had been quite a while since I had been asked to speak on marriage and I thoroughly enjoy leading the seminar.
One of the topics that we discussed at the marriage seminar was praying with your mate. I recently heard a teaching about “praying with family” and I was surprised to learn that research indicates that only 8% of Christian couples pray together regularly and only 3% of Christian couples pray together daily.
Another alarming statistic that I learned is that the divorce rate among Christians is 48%, which matches our culture’s divorce rate. It is hard for me to imagine that the two divorce rates are the same.
Research on marriages now confirms that the couples who pray together have a divorce rate of less than .01%. It turns out to be 1 divorce in 1105 marriages. Years ago at Promise Keepers, I heard that the divorce rate for couples who pray together is 1 in 1052 marriages. Regardless of the exact number, it is tremendously lower than 48%.
Here is my question. Why don’t Christian couples pray together? I don’t know all the reasons/excuses, but here are some that I know that are used:
1. It is intimidating because he/she knows all my flaws.
Excuse buster: It has never stopped me with praying to God and He certainly knows all my flaws.
2. It is awkward because we have never done it in the past.
Excuse buster: Most awkwardness is overcome by practice. I remember hearing Roy Weece say, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until we learn to do it well.” He was absolutely correct.
3. Our lifestyles are simply too busy and we don’t have the time.
Excuse buster: It is not that you don’t have time to pray together for 2 minutes, you choose not to take time.
4. It is just not a high priority.
Excuse buster: Change your priorities.
5. It is too much work.
Excuse buster: That is not a reason not to do it.
6. The husband will not lead in this adventure.
Excuse buster: Husbands, make it very short and very simple. Pray with your wife and ask God to give you both wisdom, ask God to bless your wife and children (if you have some), and ask God to teach you how to love each other. That should take about 20 seconds.
7. We pray with the kids. Isn’t that enough?
Excuse buster: We cannot justify the absence of an important activity because we do practice another important activity. Praying with your children and with your mate is equally important and necessary. Given the statistics, I’d say it is critical.
Don’t allow Satan to talk you out of praying with your mate. He is working hard to make your marriage one of the 48% that fail.