Are you looking for a way to strengthen your relationship? Consider praying together as a couple. It can be as simple as coming together to share a problem and quietly working to find a solution, or it can be an expression of gratitude to your partner for what they bring to you and your relationship.
“Some find it too personal to open up and become vulnerable in front of their partner or are too ashamed to admit fallibility or too proud to ask for help and guidance," says Reverend Kurt Winner. "But what earnest prayer provides is an open dialog between you about concerns in your lives. [It] develops greater intimacy and understanding as a couple and creates a sense of ease when speaking to your higher power."
Meet the Expert
Kurt Winner is an ordained, non-denominational wedding minister with the All-Faiths Church of the Pacific Northwest in Oregon. Reverend Winner has married hundreds of couples in over 20 years of service to the community. Based only on love, the ministry welcomes all people and was one of the first to perform legal same-sex marriages in Oregon.
Here, discover the benefits of praying as a couple, how to pray together, and 10 prayers to recite.
Benefits of Prayer
There are many reasons couples choose to pray together. You can pray to your higher power for a more profound commitment to each other, deepen your trust, offer forgiveness, and improve health. You might also want to repair a suffering relationship, bolster your finances, ask for help in raising your children, and a myriad of issues that pop up as you go through life together.
Prayer is not limited to a certain religion either. Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and other faiths as well as non-religious spiritual people pray.
How to Pray Together
There really are no rules when it comes to praying as a couple. Prayers can be said aloud, chanted, or in quiet meditation. Reverend Winner does, however, say the most beneficial way to begin to pray together is to establish a specific time each day for the action: “You can recite a formal prayer, or you may prefer to take turns talking to God out loud sharing what is on your mind. If you have a problem, say it. If you want to offer thanks, do it. If you need healing, ask it.”
He continues, “Your prayer doesn't have to be written by someone else; it's your conversation with God. Use your prayer for communicating with God as well as your partner or spouse. If you’d prefer to chant and meditate, include some ‘sharing time’ to express your intention for your meditation and talk about your immediate concerns with your spouse."
10 Prayers to Recite Together
Remember, prayer can be as simple as talking to God about what is in your heart at that moment. “When I write a wedding ceremony, I include a brief comment after the vows where I tell the couple to pause and appreciate the love they have for each other and recognize their commitment to their marriage,” says Reverend Winner. “I ask them to remember this powerful moment when the road gets rocky.”
If prayer is common in your relationship, consider selecting a reading for your wedding ceremony that you can recite later as a married couple.
Below, find an assortment of 10 prayers to try as a couple.
1. "Love Is" From 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Love is not rude or self-seeking. Love is not easily angered. It keeps no records of wrongs. Love delights and rejoices with the truth. Love never gives up or loses faith. It is always hopeful. Love never fails as it endures through every circumstance. Love lasts forever.
2. "Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha," the Buddhist Green Tara Mantra
“Om Ta Re-Tu Ta Re -Tu Re-Saw Ha” is the way Venerable Lama Karma Namgyel Rinpoche of Bhutan wrote this mantra out phonetically on a visit with Rev. Winner. Chant “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha” repeatedly in a quiet place with a clear mind and a set intention to release negative emotions and experience transformation. Here is what it means:
Om unites the body and mind with universal divinity. Tare releases fears and suffering. Tuttare protects against internal and external dangers like jealousy, greed, stubbornness, and hate. Ture generates peace and protects health and wellbeing. Soha underscores the declaration of this protection and establishes it in your heart.
3. "Just for Today/The 10 Resolutions" by Frank Crane
Several versions of this prayer evolved from an essay written by Frank Crane in 1921 in the Boston Globe newspaper. Dale Carnegie used it in one of his books and many 12-step programs offer it as a daily resolution.
Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a lifetime.
Just for Today, I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that "most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Happiness is from within; it is not a matter of externals.
Just for Today, I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.
Just for Today, I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it nor neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will.
Just for Today, I will try to strengthen my mind, I will study. I will learn something useful; I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.
Just for Today, I will exercise my soul. In three ways, to wit:
- I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count.
- I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests just for exercise.
- I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but Today I will not show it.
Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody.
Just for Today, I will have a Program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests Hurry and Indecision.
Just for Today, I will have a quiet half-hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half-hour, sometime, I will think of God, to get a little more perspective to my life.
Just for Today, I will be unafraid. I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.
You don’t have to start with a long prayer. Try an inspirational quote to open your prayer/sharing time like John Muir’s “between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”
4. "Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Niebuhr
God (or your high power), grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
5. Original Version of the "Serenity Prayer" by Reinhold Niebuhr
God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
6. "Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi" by Unknown
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury; pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; in the dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
7. "A Blessing for the Journey" by Sensei Wendy Egyoku Nakao
Let us vow to bear witness to the wholeness of life, realizing the completeness of each and everything. Embracing our differences, I shall know myself as you, and you as myself. May we serve each other for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.
Let us vow to open ourselves to the abundance of life. Freely giving and receiving, I shall care for you, for the trees and stars, as treasures of my very own. May we be grateful for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.
Let us vow to forgive all hurt, caused by ourselves and others, and to never condone hurtful ways. Being responsible for my actions, I shall free myself and you. Will you free me, too? May we be kind for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.
Let us vow to remember that all that appears will disappear. In the midst of uncertainty, I shall sow love. Here! Now! I call to you: Let us together live The Great Peace that we are. May we give no fear for all our days, here, there, and everywhere.
8. Adapted From the “Blessing of the Hands” by Unknown
These are the hands of my best friend that held mine on our wedding day, as we promised to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that work alongside mine as we build our future together.
These are the hands that passionately love me and will continue to cherish me through the years and, with the slightest touch, can comfort me like no other.
These are the hands that hold me when fear or grief fills my mind.
These are the hands that wipe the tears from my eyes, tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that (will) tenderly hold our children, the hands that join our family as one.
These are the hands that give me strength when I need it and continue to encourage me to pursue my dreams, and comfort me through difficult times.
Lastly, even when wrinkled and aged, these are the hands that will still be reaching for mine, still giving me the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
9. "The Cherokee Prayer" by Unknown
We look to the universe and ask for unity with those we love. We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together. We honor Mother Earth and ask for this marriage/our relationship to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.
We honor fire and ask that this union be warm and glowing with love in their hearts. We honor wind and ask to sail through life safe and calm as in loving arms. We honor water to clean and soothe our relationship - that it may never thirst for love. With all the forces of the universe, we pray for harmony and true happiness as we place these wishes on the wind with our hopes that we will forever grow in love together.
10. "Prayer to Strengthen Our Relationship" by Rev. K. Winner
(Father God/ Jesus/Higher Power/The Universe), we ask that you hear our prayer. We come before you as a couple in love. Our lives are busy and it seems that we are always doing something to stay afloat; ending up in different directions. Sometimes we don’t have enough time to spend together. We need your help to strengthen our relationship. Rekindle our love and help us to find ways to show that we care. Our love has always been strong, but we want to reach out to re-connect. We want to express our love to each other through our thoughts, words, and deeds. We want to affirm how grateful we are for our relationship. Please come into our hearts. We are listening for You.