"WARNING: THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR MARRIAGE!" (from the back cover)
The husband and wife team of Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt have written a marriage-strengthening, divorce-kicking book, Couples Who Pray, on the most intimate act between a man and woman - praying together. Written in a user-friendly style, Rushnell and DuArt challenge married couples to pray together just five minutes a day. Before this book was published they challenged two dozen couples - real people like you and me - to participate in the 40-Day Challenge. The Challenge required the couple to commit to praying together for 5 minutes every day for 40 days, even by telephone, if necessary. There is a brief survey that the husband and wife were asked to fill out before starting the Challenge. Rushnell and DuArt include a chapter on how to pray together because they discovered that many of the couples pray indvidually (some for years) but weren't comfortable and some didn't know how to pray together. At the end of the 40-Day Challenge, every couple reported drawing closer to each other and to God, better communication between each other, and better lovemaking. The authors interviewed celebrity couples, such as Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano and Gavid and Patti MacLeod, among others, who testified to the power of prayer in their marriage.
Rushnell and DuArt include statistics from a survey by Gallup and research by Baylor University that support the above claims and more. Surveyed couples reported having a better marriage; agreement on issues regarding their children; marriage is financially sound; communication is improved and disagreements are resolved easier; they have more respect for one another; their lovemaking is improved; 92% rate the stability of their marriage as "very good" and 93% said if they had to do it all over again, they'd marry the same person.
The authors also include chapters warning the couples about issues they believe will come up during the 40 Day Challenge and how to handle those issues.
I was so impressed by the first couple of chapters of this book, that my husband and I started the 40 Day Challenge immediately. We've been praying together every day for two weeks and I can state unequivocally it has changed our marriage. We already had a great marriage and we prayed - individually, not together. But when I heard Dave pray for God to strengthen me emotionally, physically and spiritually these last couple of weeks and for this coming week, I knew I had his full support. And when he heard me thanking God for him and for his leadership in our home, he knew how much I truly love and appreciate him. Even though we've told each other these things in conversations, it is totally different to tell God these things when the other one is listening.There's such a closeness between the three of us. It is an incredible time and the five minutes is expanding as we feel more comfortable to pray about more issues.
I recommend this book to every married couple. Even if you already pray together, the authors have included information that will improve your prayer life. If you don't pray together, this is the book you need to help you get started praying together. And if your marriage is on shaky ground, this book is a must. You and your spouse may still need counseling, but Couples Who Pray is a great place to start repairing what is broken.