I have never really been one of those people who pray out loud well--you know, the ones who seemed to be blessed with giftedness of the spoken word? Well, that's not me! My mind always goes blank or I stutter or make some ridiculous grammatical error.
When I first became a Christian, I avoided praying aloud -- always looking down or away when the leader of sunday school asked if someone would like to close in prayer. Now if you wanted me to stand up and recite "The Lord's Prayer" or "The Apostle's Creed", I'm your gal. I've got the entire Catholic mass memorized. But spontaneous prayer, not easy for me! Through the years, I have realized that God wants me to vocalize my prayers to Him, even if it makes me uncomfortable. So I do it, and I am getting a little more eloquent now. A friend gave me good advice-she said just speak from your heart and God will make the words come. Maybe not in any order that makes perfect sense, but God loves you and your prayer regardless.
So when it came to praying with my family, I was determined to start out on the right foot. "God, I am going to teach the kids to pray before they eat and before they go to bed. I want them to grow up praying out loud so they feel confident in their prayers." As I continued on my spiritual walk over the past few years, I came to understand that it is important to teach my kids that we should pray not just before meals and bed, but anytime (before school, after getting disciplined, when sad about something)-Relying on God in our everyday routines and activities.
This brings me to praying with my husband---Over the past 14 years we have both grown a great deal in our relationship with our Lord. It has been an awesome experience to see him morph into a real disciple of Christ. But we have not often prayed together just as a couple.
A few weeks ago, God spoke to me in His quiet way during my study time. I knew that it was time for Jason and me to routinely pray together, and our relationship, as good as it is now, would only get better. We have some family decisions to make over the next year or so that will require faith, and I am sure that our prayer time will give us insight and peace as we follow God's will for our lives.
So two days ago, right after we turned the lights out, I suggested that we pray together every night. So we started that night. And it was great! I just let my thoughts flow naturally and spoke what was on my heart. And so did he. It really gave me a peek into what he is feeling and his concerns that otherwise I may not know.
I will keep you updated on how this "couple's prayer" time is working for us. I encourage you to pray with your spouse, signifcant other, or even a good friend. I believe that when "two or more are gathered in His name", God will bless us with feeling His presence and peace.