Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Couples Who Pray Review

Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between A Man and a Woman

Authors:  Squire Rushnell & Louise DuArt

I’m really on the fence about Couples Who Pray. There are certainly some aspects of the book that I find uplifting and helpful. However, there are other aspects of the book and the authors’ approach that left me wondering. The book is encouragement for starting the 40-Day Prayer Challenge with your spouse. I think the challenge itself is a good idea. Praying together can be very powerful as well as intimate, as the book tells us.

What I did like about the book was the encouragement for marital connection in the area of prayer. As Christians, we often consider our prayer time to be a solitary time, but the Bible tells us that “wherever two or more are gathered”, God is. Rushnell and DuArt engage in discussion about forgiveness, money, and defending against the attacks of evil on a marriage. All of these topics I found to be relevant and helpful.

What I didn’t like, however, was the approach taken when writing Couples Who Pray. The book begins by espousing how “satisfaction in lovemaking will soar” when couples pray. While I appreciate this advantage, I felt like they were trying to hook the audience (especially males) with the prospect of better lovemaking. There are so many other benefits of prayer that this gain seems to be highlighted early on unnecessarily. Additionally, while I really enjoyed the stories by the couples included, I found it interesting that they used popular media figures. Again, this read more like a hook than an authentic assessment of the power of prayer for couples.

Further, the outcome of prayer, with one exception at the end, was very pie-in-the-sky. Every example ends with magnificent rewards for prayer. While this does happen, not all prayers are answered with a “yes” or with bounty. Finally, I have to question some of the statistics. Not because I believe they are invalid, but because they don’t seem thorough enough. The authors took a Gallup Poll survey conducted in 1991 and asked a person at Baylor University to do a comparison on couples who said they prayed together “sometimes” and those who prayed together “a lot”. The authors mention wishing they knew how these compared to those that didn’t pray together. They had the survey – why wasn’t this assessed?

All this being said, I’m not sorry I read it. I can see where committing to praying together as a couple would be a healthy addition to my marriage, especially since we attend separate churches. If a couple commits to prayer time together, then the book has been worth the read.

***  I received this book free of charge from BookSneeze for my honest review.

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