FRIDAY FIVE: Prayer Challenge

Isn't it funny that one of the simplest things we're called to do as Christians is to pray, yet we find that one of the most challenging to do as a couple?

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We love some of the resources we use in our prayer lives- Power of a Praying Husband and Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martian and Two Hearts Praying as One by Dennis Rainey- they have been weapons for the battle, empowering us, equipping us, encouraging us in our daily prayer time separately and together.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. - Romans 12:12

Being intentional about prayer first as individuals, then as a couple, takes away some of the challenge. Like choosing to change, it's a daily decision to do something differently. We've found that weaving our prayer lives into our daily routine is the best place to start and let it grow from there! Here's how we continue to grow our prayer time:

Keep It Simple: Don't make it more complicated than it's meant to be. What routines do you have in place that are ripe to become times to pray together? I'm an early riser, so when I wake up, I pray out loud over Scott, as he's still sleepy and snuggled down. Does he always hear me? No, not that he remembers, but it changes his day when I do that for him. Scott's a night owl, so before he falls asleep, he prays outloud over me. I feel so safe when I'm cognizant of him doing that!! When I first started praying outloud, it's easier when my eyes are closed...and when the other person's eyes are closed, too. So what better time than in the morning and at night?

Word Up: Scott and I read a daily bible. **TRANSPARENCY WARNING!!** We keep it in our bathroom, so we always read the same scriptures on the same days. We also keep an In Touch magazine in there from Charles Stanley. Our son has a daily bible in his bathroom, too. SO, we're all always on the same page, so to speak. This makes it easy for us to share responses to it during...

Couch time:  In warmer weather, it's deck swing time. The past week, it's been kitchen table time. It's that time in the morning when we sit together, chat, talk, enjoy silence...wherever God leads us. Often we talk about what we read that morning or the day before. We just got through with Jeremiah and are now headlong into Lamentations- WOW. It's an intimate time for us.  And when I can, I get deck swing time after school with our teenaged son, Steven. It's amazing how he opens up when watching the dogs play on the deck.

Devotion: A great one we really enjoyed and looked forward to is Intimacy Ignited. It's a study of Song of Solomon. *wink* It will bring you closer in LOTS of ways!! Another great one is Moments with You. We get the daily email from FamilyLife (or you can buy the book)'s a short devotion from Dennis and Barbara Rainey, a question and a scripture. We have AMAZING conversations from those, and from other marriage focused blogs we get. I love Moments with You because it encompasses all aspects of marriage, from praying together, in-laws, parenting, finances, submission, name it.

Don't Wait: There are lots of time in the midst of our conversations/discussions/arguments, or when one of us is angry/upset/disappointed about something, when one of us will just start praying out loud. We'll just go before the Father right then and there on the other's behalf. Awkward? When we started doing it, yes. But I tell you, if we as Christians were to stop offering what we think, and start with praying in our daily conversations, they would look a lot different, wouldn't they?

I challenge you as a man or woman of influence, that when someone comes to you and shares something they are struggling with in their lives, that you seize the moment and pray with them right then and there. And then I challenge you as a husband or wife to do the same with your spouse!

Share your special prayer time with us, we'd love to hear about it. And we challenge you to seize the opportunity to pray with someone today in the midst of a conversation. Then tell us about it!