Can you honestly say that you pray regularly with your wife? If asked, what would your kids say? Do they see you depending upon and trusting God by “asking, seeking and knocking” (Matthew 7:7)? It has been my experience that Christian men have a hard time comfortably and confidently praying with their wives and kids.
I’ve been married for 42 years. I would say it has only been in the last 10 years that I’ve made intentional strides to compensate for this flaw, and I’m a pastor for goodness sakes!
Why do men struggle to pray at home? I believe there are five reasons:
- First of all, it’s a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12). If there is no prayer at home, then there will be no power at home, and Satan wins.
- Prayer is unproductive to an “outcome-driven” man, who considers it a waste of time.
- We still wrestle with our own weaknesses and wounds, and that immobilizes us with guilt and shame (2 Corinthians 12:9).
- We convince ourselves that we’re not good at it, so we avoid the potential failure.
- We’ve underestimated our influential role at home to model humility and desperation after God (Psalm 63:1).
You may have additional reasons for not praying, but I would plead with you to embrace God’s enabling grace to set you free from these lies and take one simple step to reinstate prayer in your home.
- What if your wife shared her troubled heart with you, and after listening, you held her hand and, with no formal announcement, asked Jesus for His help and comfort (Hebrews 13:6).
- Your 11-year-old daughter comes home distraught because of the rejection of a so-called friend, and you, without announcement and with eyes wide open, say, “Lord, comfort my daughter and be there for her. Provide her with friends who will build her up—not tear her down (Philippians 4:19).
- At the dinner table, your 8-year-old son tells the family that he was bullied at recess, and you immediately say to your family, “Let’s grab hands, pray, and ask God for wisdom” (James 1:5).
Your first step in turning your home into a house of prayer is spontaneous prayers. These are prayers for the moment. Prayers that “seek God first” before anxiety ensues. These spontaneous prayers are short (10 seconds), they are unannounced (just pray out loud), and they involve touch (hold a hand, shoulder, or even pray as you hug).
With the fast-paced world we live in, take advantage of your family’s “life needs,” and pray at the moment. These continuous short prayers can model the genuine and personable God we serve. I have found it has brought confidence, courage and consistency to my spiritual leadership. Rest assured, your wife will not complain that you have reclaimed your spiritual authority by praying at home.
It’s a good first step!
This article originally appeared here.