"Couples Who Pray" by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, is a booked aimed at strengthening marriages through the act and discipline of husbands and wives praying together. This in and of itself is a good thing. No, a great thing. Couples should pray together and the research presented in this book shows that most couples don't. It is highly commendable that the authors, who are husband and wife themselves, desire to encourage others in this practice. They list a multitude of benefits to be gained from these times of intimate prayer, with a better sex life being the first and most frequently mentioned. Yes, they sought a way to get the husband to read and participate and, well the promise of better and more frequent sex is probably the surest. (I finished the book!)
This book is not a theological treatise on prayer. Not by a long shot. The aim is more to demonstrate the effects of prayer on a marriage relationship. Many couples, and celebrity couples at that, are featured sharing how prayer has affected their marriages. Much of the book is made up of these stories, which I found to be entertaining and encouraging. It is always nice to hear of others who have struggled and overcame. The rest of the book deals with the authors' advice on how to interact in a relationship, summed up in the acronym LAUGHS. You'll have to read the book to learn what each letter represents. I can't give everything away!
The next goal the authors have in mind, is for couples to participate in the 40 day prayer challenge. Basically, it is a pledge to pray at least 5 minutes a day with your spouse and record the results. In the back of the book, is a questionnaire for each participant to take before undertaking the challenge and information is included for a website that you can register at to track your results and receive weekly pep talks. Take note: enrollment in the web based program is not free.
So what do I think? Overall I enjoyed, "Couples Who Pray." It was easy to read, fast paced, and did include some helpful information. They did explain many of the benefits that typically result from implementing times of prayer. It is reasonable to expect to see improvements in conversations, respect, and intimacy. As I said before, to encourage couples to pray together is always a good thing and the book is to be commended for trying to do just that. I would have liked to have seen a little more of the focus placed on who it is that we are to be praying to. Also noticeably absent, was teaching on how to approach God in prayer. Maybe this know-how was just assumed or was meant to be sought else where. The spiritual side things definitely could have been explored more thoroughly.
Would I recommend it? If you're looking for a book to motivate and encourage you and your spouse to undertake times of praying together, then yes, this would serve you nicely. If you're looking for a more substantial teaching on prayer, then you may want to look else where.
I'd like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for sending me this free copy for review as part of their BookSneeze program.