“The people who don’t pray, don’t change. The people who do sincerely pray, end up changing for the better”

This was the advice I once told a man who was regretting how he has been treating his wife.

I told him how the biggest irony I have seen in many couples that I have counselled is that both husband and wife often claim to be right with God and prayerful and yet they don’t pray together as a couple.

Most of often, the only time married couples pray is when there are visitors or children around. These prayers often tend not to be sincere, they are only but a show.

Do you know you can be a professional at acting that you are prayerful and actually miss out on the power of prayer? There are those who have mastered the act of praying, when in front of people, they will pray long prayers, insert verses with a King James Bible accent, blab a bunch of words to show they are speaking in tongues, shed tears out of emotions and not conviction, clap their hands profusely, and speak with “authority”; but when they are by themselves, they don’t bother to pray.

You can entertain people with your acted out prayers and even come off us “spiritual”, but you cannot fool God. The problem with modern day spirituality is that we have classified acts of “power”. If somebody is eloquent and loud in prayer we have classified them as spiritual, when someone is well dressed we have classified them as serious about God, when someone shouts or sweats when preaching they must be powerful and anointed. Even praise and worship to many has become an exam where after each service; we analyze and classify how powerful the praise and worship was based on how many instruments were played and how professional the performance was. These are not the things God is looking for.

God is looking at the sincerity of our hearts. It is OK to give God excellence, but God has been worshiped and will keep on being worshiped even when there were and are no guitars, keyboards or drums. God is worshiped even when someone is singing off-key; to human beings you may be unprofessional, but to God, your unprofessional-ism is a sweet smelling fragrance if your heart is right.

The reason why many of us avoid prayer and the presence of the Holy Spirit is because we want to avoid accountability. Prayer keeps us accountable. If you have been hurting your spouse or those around you, when you approach God in prayer you will be convicted of your wrong. Most us don’t want to be convicted because that means accepting that we are wrong. Pride keeps us from praying, and so we lie to people we are prayerful but in private we want nothing to do with prayer. Have you numbed your conscience?

When prayer becomes a lifestyle, the Holy Spirit helps you to critic yourself. The presence of God reveals to you your true self.

Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes you and then through you, things change. Any prayer you are praying for, God wants to use you as the vessel through which He answers it. When God made the Earth, He gave human beings the authority over everything. That is why when God wants to do something great on Earth, he uses human beings as the vessel. Instead of praying God change my marriage, change the world, change my spouse, change my enemies; you should pray, “God use me to bring about change”

Prayer makes you selfless, it shows you your wrongs, it makes you think of others, it helps you appreciate others, it reveals to you solutions, it helps you see things through the eyes of God, it helps you know God’s will, it makes you stronger and gives you peace. You are missing out on all these when you don’t pray. That is why when you see a struggling couple, most likely they don’t pray together.

The benefits of praying together as a couple are great. When you pray as a couple, your prayers are not biased; we tend to make prayers that are self-centered and paint us in good light when we pray alone. When you pray alone, most of the times your prayers go like “God, help my spouse to see his/her wrong”, but when you pray as a couple, you think beyond you. When you pray as a couple, you grow together because you are in agreement.

You cannot sincerely pray for and with your spouse and cheat, insult, harm or mistreat your spouse. Whatever you pray for, you become more responsible with. Prayer makes you a better person.