I want to start by saying, just because you don't see him pray doesn't mean he isn't praying. Really. For many years I thought my husband never prayed. He prays out loud at church or at meal time or bed time with the kids, but I never saw him have a prayer time on his own. Just him and God. So I thought he didn't pray. It hurt my heart but I had no idea how to make him pray! Truth be told, I can't make him pray. Then several years ago he started occasionally telling me things God was speaking to him about in his prayer time. I realized then that he was indeed praying. He just had his time with God in his truck to and from work each day. So ladies, just because we don't see him praying doesn't mean he isn't.
But what about our husbands who won't pray at meal time or bedtime or won't lead a family devotion or avoid praying out loud at church?
The fact is, dear friend, you cannot make him do this. You are not his Holy Spirit. You are his wife. You are not called to tell him what to do. You are called to be his helpmate. You are not called to change him. You are called to change your own thoughts and ideas to line up with God's will.
What you can do, however, is encourage him in a supportive way and pray for him.
- Pray daily that God would enrich your husband's walk with Him and draw him into a deep and passionate relationship.
- Never, ever laugh at your husband's prayers. I am dead serious here. Just don't do it ever. You should be your husband's biggest encourager. He looks to you for support and respect. The first time you laugh at his words is the time he will stop praying out loud. His words do not have to be eloquent. He does not have to sound like a pastor. He simply needs to say his own words, from his own heart to God. Don't laugh or make fun of him. Period.
- Start small. Ask him, away from the kids, if he'd like to pray over dinner. If he says no, respect his wishes and don't bug him about it. Pray over it some more then maybe in a few weeks or months, ask again. If he says yes, don't jump up and down acting excited, after all you don't want to put pressure on him. Simply say, thank you dear. The next night, ask again.
- Once he feels comfortable praying at a meal, and this may take him some time so do not rush him, ask him, again away from the kids, if he'd like to pray at bedtime. Approach this the same as above.
- Later on, this could even be a year or two later, ask him if he'd like to lead a small family devotion with you.
- Ask your husband to pray when it is just the two of you. Maybe he feels more comfortable praying with just you, his wife, and not in front of the kids or other people. When you are sick, ask him to pray for you. When the two of you go to bed, ask him to pray for you. If he doesn't pray for you right then and there, trust that he is most likely praying for you in his own heart and mind or when he is alone.
Everyone matures in their relationship with God in different ways and at different times. Every person is different. Some outgoing, some not. Your husband will pray out loud in his time when his walk with God is there. Don't nag him. Don't but pressure on him. Don't expect things of him that he is not ready for. Instead, be his supportive, loving, and encouraging wife always standing by his side.
What are other ways you can encourage and support your husband to pray with your family without nagging or pressuring him?