Couples That Pray Together

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For decades, the old saying, "The family that prays together stays together" was viewed as one of the foundations of a happy marriage.

Click on the video player to view an interview with Squire and Louise Duart about the power of praying with your spouse for just five minutes a day.

For Tom and Liz, their faith made the difference in their marriage.

"It was very dark. There was no love there. Alcohol had come in," Liz said.

Tom added, "I think it was bringing the Lord into our lives." 

A Disturbing Statistic

But a 2004 Barna survey rocked the Christian community when it found no difference in the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians.

However, today researchers say that's not the whole story. They found that for couples who attend church regularly, the divorce rate drops by 35 percent.

"Folks who are going to church are more likely to be praying regularly - in some kind of fellowship with people who take their marriage vows seriously. They're more likely to get the support they need - the emotional support, the social support to navigate the shoals of married life," said Dr. Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia.

That doesn't surprise Bill Techanchuk, pastor of Wave Church. His counseling ministry helps couples from all backgrounds. And Techanchuk finds most of those seeking help are only marginally involved in church. 

Recipe for Marital Success

"We've seen the best or the most success - in terms of people who have successful happy marriages - are those who are consistently involved in the full life of the church," Techanchuk said.

He believes that commitment - plus reading the Bible and praying together - is the best way to build strong marriages.

"You know, one of the old sayings that I remember growing up is that 'The couple who prays together stays together' and I really believe that," Techanchuk said.

While there's no hard information measuring the effect of prayer on marriage, Wilcox has found a connection.

"When couples pray together, when they have a sense that God is present in their marriages, it's strongly associated with having happier marriages, more fulfilling marriages among American couples," he said.

Surveys also show that couples are happier when they attend religious services regularly, showing that the best way to spend Valentine's may be to head out to church - or get down on your knees.

*Originally aired February 14, 2008.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

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