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Getting Your Mate To Pray With You?

It only takes one partner to begin.

Some spouses have approached their partner this way: “Honey, will you sit with me and hold my hand while I pray for us? You don’t need to say a thing, unless you want to.”

Starting to pray together may seem like a vast, scary, unfamiliar bridge to cross. Yet by taking that first step—holding your partner’s hand and just listening—it becomes merely a foot-bridge. And you can’t imagine the joy that awaits you on the other side.

This is Leslie’s Story

I was so proud of my husband Erick on Father’s Day. Tears streamed down his face as he stood before my parents and our seven children, pouring his heart out.

“I didn’t expect to live to thirty, not forty, and never to see my two grandchildren,” he said.

What an amazing journey our marriage has taken.

I’d fallen away from the church after my first marriage ended in divorce. Then Erick and I met in a bar. Not the greatest of starts.

We struggled to hold things together. I knew Erick had a drinking problem but over the next five years, he began to disappear, not coming home for long periods.

Only when his business partner told me Erick had been making one-hundred-dollar withdrawals from their company did I learn I was living with a crack cocaine addict.

Drugs and alcohol were robbing us. We lost just about everything. Our business, home, and friends. And, it nearly cost us our marriage.

That summer we found a Recovery for Life ministry, and although Erick tried to leave during the first three or four meetings, he finally stopped drugs and alcohol and stayed sober.

We began a twelve-step recovery program, attending church, and step-by-step Erick and I began to rebuild our marriage.

We began reading the Word each day. But, at the end, whenever I asked Erick to pray with me, he’d say, “I’m good.”

I knew the power of a husband and wife praying together. As a child I had watched Dad pray with Mom.

I asked if he would listen while I prayed out loud. He did. At the end he’d say “Amen,” and that was it.

Our study group undertook the Couples Who Pray Prayer Challenge … 5 minutes a day for 40 days.

One week into our routine I again asked if he would pray with me. He replied, “How many days do I have to say, ‘I’m good’?”

So, grateful for where we’d come, I just continued praying aloud, with him listening. Then, one morning

I heard my husband say: “Dear Jesus . . .”.

About three weeks into The Prayer Challenge I was sitting on the couch reading the Word as he sat at the kitchen table. I prayed, and this time, he added “amen” to his “Dear Jesus”!

The next week my husband, each day, seemed to be moving his kitchen chair closer to the couch. Eventually he was sitting beside me!

I was overjoyed and began seeing a softening of our relationship and an increase in open communication.

Next Erick astonished me. He began getting up ahead of me every morning, opening the Bible to that day’s devotion. Before I came out of the bedroom, both cups of coffee were poured and we were ready to read the Word, ending with my prayer.

Then one morning it happened!

I had been really struggling with something and, more than anything, I just wanted my husband to put his arms around me and pray for me, not just with me.

Perhaps he sensed that. When I finishing our devotional reading I looked at him, expecting, “Dear Jesus” and “Amen.”

Instead, he began to pray!

Tears streaming down my cheeks, I felt the burden lifting instantly. And that day was my day to just say … “Amen!”

I thanked him. We embraced. And I wept.


Rushnell/DuArt; 40 Day Prayer Challenge; p.58