The Secret to a Better Marriage: Pray Together!
Couples who pray together are more likely to enjoy a stronger, more long lasting, and healthier marriage.
Dozens of surveys over the past twenty years have revealed the positive effect of vital Christianity on marital happiness. For example, one very recent survey found that couples who pray together “hold hands more often. . .make love more often. . .respect each other more, compliment more, and bicker less.”1
Commenting on the findings of a 1989–1990 Gallup poll of marital happiness in America, author Andrew Greeley writes, “Religion is by far the most powerful correlate of marital attitudes and behavior. . . . Prayer, it is worth noting, is a much more powerful predictor of marital satisfaction than frequency of sexual intercourse.”2
Couples who prayed together and who went to church had significantly happier marriages.
Another study showed that “couples who frequently pray together are twice as likely as those who pray less often to describe their marriages as being highly romantic. They also report considerably higher sexual satisfaction and more sexual ecstasy!”3
Worship Together, Stay Together
Another recent survey concluded that for couples who attend church regularly, the divorce rate drops by 35 percent. Most tellingly, with a national divorce rate of one out of two marriages, of those couples who were married in a church, attended regularly, and prayed together as a couple, the divorce rate was only 1 out of 1,105!4
Common sense tells us that couples who go to church and pray together are in close fellowship with other people who take their marriage vows seriously. They are more likely to get the emotional, social, and spiritual support they need from others. But they will especially be aided by God as they navigate the stresses and storms of married life.
If both Cathy and I were to tell you about the best years of our marriage, they would correspond to the years we worked most closely together. During the first few years, while I finished seminary, we served together on weekends in a little church, doing visitation, leading children’s church, directing the choir, and overseeing the youth ministry. It was a lot of hard work, usually fun; and best of all, it drew our marriage very close.
The next two years, I served as campus pastor for a Christian college, and Cathy worked with me several nights a week. We later started a new church and went visiting together three or four nights a week. Even when we weren’t actually serving together, we had many shared experiences and relationships to talk about, laugh about, and pray about. Serving together has drawn our lives together, which has made us not only more effective teammates, but also better soul mates.
Run to God. . .on Your Knees
God takes His part in the threefold covenant of marriage very seriously. No matter what marriage issues we face, God is committed to help us. He promises that, if we will come to Him, He will give us the grace we need.
Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
From the book Biblical Marriage. Order Here.
1. Quoted in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “Praying Together Means More Than Just Staying Together, Authors Say,” February 14, 2008. 2. Andrew Greeley, Faithful Attraction: Discovering Intimacy, Love and Fidelity in American Marriage(New York: Tor, 1991), 221, 230.
3. Les and Leslie Parrot, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry(Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1995), 150.
4. This statistic is quoted in Building a Foundation for the Family, an audio series by Dr. John C. Maxwell (Injoy, 1992).