It can be hard to pray as a couple, even when you know how good it is for your relationship with your spouse, with God, and for your own soul. When you’re first starting out, you might fear embarrassment or even low-key rejection. Prayer is intimate, and intimacy is vulnerable. It can feel a little awkward to initiate—and awkward to know exactly what to pray (unless you have an active crisis dominating your thoughts).
Or maybe you want to pray more as a couple but can’t wrap your mind around a time when you’re not too busy or tired.
So how do you find the time? And then, what do you even say?
Like any new habit, it helps to anchor it to something you’re already doing. Before we had kids, my husband and I made a habit of praying in the car. Anytime we drove somewhere together, we’d start the trip with prayer. Many couples pray together before they go to sleep or over morning coffee.
There’s no right or wrong when it comes to prayers for couples. You may have to experiment before you can land on a time that works consistently for you both.
Prayers for Couples
Again, there’s no one right way! You might like to follow a scripted prayer, shoot up short-sentence prayers, or get up an hour earlier together. You could do nightly prayer walks, car prayers, or type out your prayers and text them to each other during a busy season. Or you might follow a prayer calendar, pray through your church directory, or pick a family member to pray for each day.
There are about as many ways to pray as a couple as there are couples. The key is really to just pray! With that in mind, here are some prayers for couples to get you started.
1. Praise God for His character and His goodness toward you.
In marriage, like in life, it’s all too easy for our perspectives to get distorted, for our priorities to get misaligned. One of the most valuable parts of prayer is simply to reorient ourselves back to God. He is God: holy, good, powerful, in control, all-knowing. We are not. We are weak and needy before Him and that is good and right.
Heavenly Father, You are God Most High and You are good! You made the earth and everything in it, and You hold everything together with Your power. You made us in love and, in love, reconciled us to Yourself after our sin made us separate. We are Yours, Good Shepherd—the sheep of Your pasture. We praise You for your goodness, Your never-giving-up love, and Your forever faithfulness.
2. Thank God for your spouse and your marriage.
In Genesis, we learn “it is not good” for us to be alone. To solve this, God instituted the first marriage. A community of two that, together, more fully reflects God’s image than alone. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, if you are married, your spouse is God’s provision for you. To journey with, love, spur on to growth, and to work alongside for God’s glory and the good of others.
God, You are the Father of Lights. We change, our circumstances and world change, but You never do. You are good, true, and beautiful, and we are so grateful to be Yours. You provide everything we need and so many good gifts. Gifts that bring us happiness and, more importantly, holiness. Thank You for the good gift of our marriage and my spouse. We know You provided us with each other for a reason—we need each other’s gifts and strength. Help us to always receive each other as Your good gift.
3. Pray for God’s help to walk in humility to love your spouse sacrificially.
Our spouses eventually see all the best and worst in us. The worst in us (and the worst in our spouses) makes it extremely difficult to love them as Christ loves the church—sacrificially. We all desperately need God’s help to walk in humility in a way that counts others more significant than ourselves.
God, thank You that You see us and know us fully—and You still love us completely and unconditionally because of Jesus’ work on the Cross. Help us both to, day by day, walk in humility and be willing to serve each other more than we serve ourselves. Protect us from selfish ambition and conceit, pride and hard hearts toward you or each other. May we both be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Help us to love each other well, as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her.
4. Pray for your spouse to feel God’s love and to walk in the Spirit.
Living in and experiencing God’s love through the Holy Spirit is transformative and empowers us to love others. The Bible goes so far as to say that if don’t love your brother, you don’t really love God (1 John 4:20). If you want to love your spouse well, soak up God’s love and let it transform you—and pray the same for your spouse as well.
God, thank You for showing us what love is, for loving us in such soul-expanding, mind-blowing ways and for helping us to love others. Help us to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that Your love might sink deep into our hearts and overflow onto each other. May our lives also be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
5. Ask for God to protect your marriage, promote unity, and use you to build the kingdom.
Marriage can be hard (understatement, I know). Two imperfect people commit to love each other as they journey through an imperfect world with difficult circumstances and strains on their marriage. If that weren’t hard enough, we also have an enemy (Satan) who hates us and hates marriage. Marriage is meant to be a picture to the world of God’s faithfulness and sacrificial love. The enemy would love nothing more than to mar and warp that picture to tell a different story. God doesn’t leave us unprotected, though.
Prayer: (Inspired by Ephesians 6:10-18)
God, help us to be strong in Your mighty power. Dress us in Your full armor so we can stand up against our broken flesh in a broken world. Help us to stand, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness. And, as shoes for our feet, the readiness given by the gospel of peace. Help us to take up the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one, and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Help us to pray without ceasing to You, who fights alongside us. Use us, and our marriage, to show the world the amazing love You give through Christ. For Your great glory, our good, and the good of the world. Amen.
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Laura Way lives with her husband, Aubrey, and their two vibrant daughters in Orlando, Florida. After living in East Asia for five years, relocating back to the States translated to two joyous years as a writer for FamilyLife. She currently works for Thirdmill.org spreading awareness for the lack of theological resources for the global church, and she writes (when the mood strikes) on her blog at hopeforthesojourn.com.