If I had one thing to tell couples that would improve their marriage and keep it strong, it would be this: You have to pray together and trust God together.
In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus says, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Jesus is reemphasizing a point He just made a few verses earlier about the authority God gives believers through prayer. The phrase “if two of you agree,” comes from the Greek word sumphoneo. This is where we get the English word symphony.
A symphony makes beautiful music when different instruments play together in harmony. Jesus is saying that if two people synchronize their faith in agreement toward something, God will do it—and Jesus will be present.
That’s an incredible promise, but it’s one He makes not to an individual but to two or three people. Why? Because God doesn’t want us to be alone. He wants us to come together as a couple or as a family. The more we join our faith with other people, the more miracles God performs.
The devil wants us by ourselves. The wolf always goes for the stray sheep. When we are isolated, we get discouraged. But when we join with a fellow believer—with our spouse—we enjoy the power of God and the presence of Jesus.
Beyond this promise in Matthew, why does praying together keep a marriage strong? Consider another promise. This one is from Philippians 4:6-7.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Paul says people who pray will have better emotional health. When you pray, you don’t worry. You don’t have anxiety. Did you know the number-one marriage killer on earth is stress? It’s also the top reason for doctor’s visits and medication. God didn’t design the human body to operate well under long-term stress.
Stress depletes us emotionally and robs us of the energy to love each other. Anxious individuals tend to end up fighting and having disagreements within their marriage.
“Be anxious for nothing” is a command, and the Bible would never command us to do something we are not equipped to do. So the next part of that passage tells us how to follow that command: We have to pray. We have to give our requests to God.
If you’re worried about money, about your kids, about your health, about your parents, about your job, about your marriage—that’s your new prayer list. Let those worries be known to God, and do it with thanksgiving that He will hear and answer your prayer.
When you do, He will give you peace. He will guard your heart and your mind. He will bring you to emotional health.
Karen and I were several years into our marriage before we prayed together for the first time, but it changed everything. Today, we don’t worry. We don’t allow anxiety into our home. Because of our agreement in prayer, God has filled our home with His peace and protects the emotional health of our marriage.
Every single couple can access that same promise. All you have to do is pray.