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Couples Who Pray™ and The 40 Day Prayer Challenge™ are trademarks of SQuire Rushnell.
Honestly, can you think of any act more intimate than joining together in a quiet place, holding hands in prayer, and allowing your soul to be bare naked before God?
This is our pledge: entering into this act of intimacy on a daily basis with the one person you love more than any other will take you to a level of joy and satisfaction that you simply will not believe.
Your love life will be better, your communication better. Your whole life will be so much better.
You'll find yourself beginning every prayer session saying "thank you" for this new life-changing experience.
Research Revealed-Then, Step-by-Step
In section two of this book, we'll take you step-by-step through the process of The 40 Day Prayer Challenge-asking you to commit to praying together for a minimum of five minutes a day for forty days.
For the moment, though, we want to reveal some very rare but incredible research on what happens to couples who pray, exemplified through true-life stories about couples just like you who have experienced the ecstasy that we've been talking about. We start with the two areas of primary interest for men and women-the effect of prayer on lovemaking, addressed in this chapter, and its effect on spousal communication, addressed in the next chapter.
Since they have been praying together, "Lovemaking is better," say Mari and Bill almost simultaneously.
"It has to be," adds Mari enthusiastically. "It's all about intimacy. I've never felt greater closeness to God than when Bill and I pray."
"When we're in communication with God," adds Bill, "God is in communication with us. And when you submit yourselves to God as a couple, you really see the difference."
Mari Falcone-the spirited, redheaded conductor for Donna Summer and many others-and Bill Cantos, Mari's handsome, bearded husband-a composer, singer, and keyboard artist in his own right-had been madly in love and married nearly fifteen years.
Before taking The 40 Day Prayer Challenge, they had occasionally prayed together but not with regularity. "We weren't committed to daily prayer," admits Bill.
By the end of the challenge, Mari's excitement was uncontainable: "We couldn't imagine that praying together would be so life changing. What an incredible experience!"
"When you're with God you're being as honest and unguarded as you ever get-you're being the best person you can be," deduces Bill. "And when you're with God together, you experience each other in that intimate, unguarded way. It allows you to have more of a heart for each other ..."
"And that affects lovemaking," continues Mari. "When you pray, you are vulnerable. A man thinks he always needs to show a woman his strength-that he has it all together-but when I hear Bill asking God for help, I actually feel more secure. As a woman, I know if he asks for God's help, he'll receive it, and that makes me more secure."
"It's interesting ... what a man perceives as weakness, the woman sees as strength," interprets Bill.
"Prayer definitely affects lovemaking," reaffirms Mari, as Bill nods in agreement. "The man says 'whoopee,' but the woman sees a different side of her husband that takes lovemaking to a whole other level."
Bill sums up their feelings about The 40 Day Prayer Challenge: "I was surprised by the effect. I thought it would be positive, but never imagined how God would keep on blessing us."
"When the forty days were over, we stopped praying for a few days," confesses Mari, "and we noticed our bickering level went back up. During the forty days, bickering had been nonexistent."
"Praying together is a daily discipline," concludes Bill.
"But who knew that it would be so incredibly life changing," repeats Mari excitedly.
Donna and Bruce on Intimacy
"Praying together bonds us," says Donna Summer. "I can't really explain the way it bonds us ... it's so deep and healthy ... I can't imagine living without it."
Donna and her husband, Bruce Sudano-who has a long history in the music business as a singer, songwriter, and producer-have been married for twenty-seven years. Bruce has cowritten some of Donna's most memorable songs. He travels with her as part of the touring show and oversees the day-to-day family business. Donna and Bruce have been praying together from the very beginning of their marriage. "We were attracted to each other because of our faith," says Bruce.
Prayer is the spiritual glue in their marriage. "Telltale signs will creep in, and one of us will say, 'We need to pray,'" he adds.
"I don't know how couples survive when they don't have this common ground," continues Donna, "this little room they can slide into and hide away with each other. It is a different thing than sex."
"Praying with your husband lets him into your inner sanctum, and when he can dwell there, he gets to really know you. That's what prayer does for me and my husband: it enables me to know him."
Bruce agrees. "When you are in prayer, you talk to God about things and let your true heart come through ... almost subliminal communication between husband and wife."
Donna remains in thought about prayer being a special place for a couple. "It's a place of arbitration. I know he doesn't want to go into that place with any sense of untruth. When we enter that space together, we are both putting down our weapons and standing there spiritually and emotionally naked. We say, 'God, this is what I need ... this is what I feel insecure about.'"
As with most couples, Donna and Bruce have found that joint prayer is such an intimate act that all feelings become transparent.
"It is a humbling thing to know if my husband feels insecure about something," says Donna. "As a woman, it makes me want to nurture that place. Vice versa, when he knows something is a deep wound for me, then he doesn't trample on that place in me anymore. He prays for that place in me."
"It is so healing and so healthy," they agree in unison.
I recommend You look at the word intimacy in a new way. Think of the word as: Into-me-see. -PENNY BANUCHI
The Research That Surprised the Researchers
In the late 1980s there was a flurry of publishing activity on human sexuality, ignited in part by the popularity of The Hite Report on Male and Female Sexuality and by the rising concerns about promiscuity and the spread of AIDS. As a result, the prestigious magazine Psychology Today decided to commission its own study on marriage to see if there had been a major shift in martial fidelity.
Called "Love and Marriage," the study was carried out by Gallup Poll, one of the nation's most prominent research firms. The results were then published in a 1991 book by Andrew Greeley called Faithful Attraction.
Greeley wrote, "I can only say at the end of this research I am pleasantly surprised at how much resilience and vitality there is in American marriage."
Although that may have been an outcome that was unanticipated by Gallup and Psychology Today editors, the most astonishing aspect of the Love and Marriage study was buried within-the revelation about couples who pray: "Whether they pray often together is a very powerful correlate of marital happiness," said Greeley, "the most powerful we have yet discovered."
For the purposes of writing this book, we asked Byron Johnson, who heads up Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, to reevaluate the Gallup study's findings on couples who pray. His report with Jerry Park, assistant professor of sociology at Baylor, was indeed astonishing.
Byron Johnson advises readers to "please keep in mind that the comparisons in this study are among respondents who said they pray together with their spouses 'a lot' versus those who pray 'sometimes.' Considering that the following data between those two groups is so distinct, imagine what the results would be if we were able to compare the pray-a-lot respondents with the vast segment of the general population which 'never' pray together."
According to Jerry Park, "People who pray with their spouses a lot, compared to people who pray with their spouses sometimes, find that their lives and marriages improve, often with astonishing results."
The following data provides the evidence-couples who pray sometimes versus those who pray a lot:
60% vs. 78% are likely to say their "marriage is happy" -a difference of 18%.
73% vs. 92% who are "satisfied with sex a great deal" report they are "very happy with their marriage." That's a 19% distinction.
59% vs. 72% say they are "very happy" in general.
74% vs. 91% say, "My spouse is my best friend."
Family and Children
64% vs. 75% say they "agree on how children should be raised."
38% vs. 54% are satisfied with their family life "a very great deal."
58% vs. 69% rate their agreement on financial matters as "very good."
72% vs. 83% say agreement with their spouse on basic values is "very good."
66% vs. 75% have a "very good" ability to disagree with their partner without threatening their relationship-an elevation of 9%.
35% vs. 57% say, "My spouse is a good compromiser."
65% vs. 86% "try to make their marriage better"-a significant 21% distinction.
42% vs. 53% of these couples say they "try to talk together without interruption."
59% vs. 77% say, "My spouse makes me feel important."
56% vs. 75% conversely report that "my spouse would say I make him/her feel important."
39% vs. 69%-a huge 30% difference-agree that "my spouse delights in me."
67% vs. 82%-an elevation of 15%-say they are "satisfied with their sex life" a "very great deal" or a "great deal."
52% vs. 72%-20% more-say the "quantity and quality of lovemaking is very good."
69% vs. 78% apply the term "ecstasy" to lovemaking.
42% vs. 63% say, "My spouse is romantic."
48% vs. 65% contend "my spouse is a skillful lover."
49% vs. 68% say they "feel spiritual joy after lovemaking." That's an increase of 19% as a direct correlation to praying together.
Stability of Marriage
76% vs. 92% rate their confidence in the stability of their marriage as "very good."
81% vs. 93% agree if they had to do it all over again, they "would marry the same person."
0% vs. 0% is the fear of divorce-virtually eliminated in both groups-among couples who are "satisfied with sex a great deal."
4% vs. 2% is the fear of divorce among people who are "satisfied less than a very great deal with their sex lives."
The Gallup data uncovered by Baylor University's analysis is nothing short of extraordinary in our view.
Virtually every one of the categories measuring marital bliss escalated significantly when couples simply prayed together a lot versus sometimes. In some cases the swing was 15 to 30 percent.
Here's another astonishing factor to consider: this study is the only one we've been able to locate in which the merits of couples praying together have been measured. Our friends at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion have not researched this before nor have those at Barna Research or any other firm insofar as we've been able to determine.
Small Act-Huge Change
As Byron Johnson mentioned earlier, imagine if this study had compared couples who pray a lot with those who never pray together. The fact is most couples do not pray together. Even most Christian couples do not pray together often-only 4 percent, by one informal account. More surprising, many pastors and their wives fail to practice the habit of daily prayer.
"Most couples tell me that they very rarely pray together, with the exception of meal-time," says Steve Carr, marital advisor with the Covenant Keepers.
Yet we can see from the results of the foregoing studies that a very small investment-as little as five minutes a day-can deliver huge dividends for your marriage, drastically improving its course and, as a result, changing your life.
Greeley's analysis of the Gallup study concluded: "Prayer ... is a much more powerful predictor of marital satisfaction than frequency of sexual intercourse-though the combination of sex and prayer correlates with very, very high levels of marital fulfillment."
A Personal Postscript on Lovemaking
The only time you will find the three-letter word s-e-x in this book is when it is quoted from other sources. Our perception is that sex is a physical act that may or may not involve love. Lovemaking, on the other hand, is a total experience, which is exquisite because love is what it's all about.
Lovemaking and Marriage
In his "Ten Tips for Making Marriage Fun," Dr. Robert Schuller says lovemaking "was meant by God, our Creator, to be life's greatest pleasure. Nobody has ever enjoyed sex more than those who have kept it within the confines of the marriage commitment."
While research on the outcome of couples praying together is very rare, there is ample discussion on the connection between marital satisfaction and a couple's commitment before God to be faithful to each other.
This boils down to the value that the two of you have placed on the covenant of marriage into which you have entered.
Covenant Versus Marriage Certificate
What's the difference between a covenant and a marriage certificate? The latter can be acquired from town hall. It's an impersonal series of words and signatures on a piece of paper, as routine as getting a driver's license. But a marriage covenant is an agreement between you and your partner and God. The town clerk may forget all about you the next day. God won't.
Famed Hollywood pastor Jack Hayford emphasizes the seriousness of the expression of promises between two people by making this big statement: "The covenant of marriage is the single most important human bond that holds all of God's work on the planet together." He goes on to say, "No wonder the Lord is passionate about the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the home. This covenant of marriage is based on the covenant God has made with us."
The Expression of Love
"The first time we had a real long prayer together we made love and it was really different ... and it has been ever since," says Tiffany as she and her husband, Matt, approach their second anniversary.
"When we give ourselves to each other as husband and wife, it's as if God rewards us," she concludes.
Matt agrees, adding that their overall communication was aided by their daily prayer together ... that they discovered things about each other that they had not clearly comprehended before.
"I knew she wanted a baby," says Matt, "but as I heard her pouring her heart out to God ... and how serious she was ... it became real to me."
Tiffany, in turn, notes that things she had not known Matt was concerned about emerged in their prayer time. "Matt came from a background where feelings were not expressed openly. But when he is speaking directly to the Lord, I feel that he's deeply sincere. It's nice to see that side of him ... and that contributes to our expressions to each other during lovemaking."
Prayer and Contentment
"Do I think there's a connection between lovemaking and prayer? Of course I do," says Robin earnestly. "Dave is more selfless in his whole demeanor-there's an authenticity in his manner; he wants to make me happy and I find that very sexy."
With a modest rejoinder, Dave says, "Unfortunately I had surgery during our forty days, but, no question, prayer definitely made a difference. We'll keep it going."
Dave's surgical procedure to remove a cyst unfortunately injured a nerve, thereby protracting his recovery.
"We're still not as physical because he's still in pain, but I'm very content," affirms Robin.
Excerpted from COUPLES WHO PRAY by Squire Rushnell Louise DuArt Copyright © 2007 by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted January 5, 2012
You've heard the saying, "Couples who pray together, stay together." It's definitely true. We live in a time where there are so many couples who aren't staying together, aren't even trying to make it. It's so disappointing to me. It's so important to keep God at the center of your relationship and pray together as often as possible. Marriage is definitely hard work, and the only way you're going to make it work is by sticking together through thick and thin with GOD'S help. I loved this book and continue to remind myself that my husband and I need to be praying together and praying individually in order to keep our marriage alive. Definitely pick this book up and give it a try, it's worth your time!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 6, 2011
Couples Who Pray by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt (a married couple) was a fairly easy read. The basic premise was a challenge for couples of any age and any length of relationship to spend a few minutes praying together daily. Several different couples' experiences were shared - many whose names are easily recognizeable - and that really helped to personalize and give different perspectives on what can happen when a couple commits to praying together. My husband and I do pray regularly together, so I don't have a life changing type story to relate after reading this book. However, I definitely agree with the authors that prayer with your spouse daily does bring you closer relationally and spiritually. Prayer unifies me and my husband as we strive to move in one direction together, it helps me to know what is on his heart, and it helps me to understand that he hears and knows what's on my heart. There were a few ideas in this book I didn't feel 100% on board with, but my biggest struggle overall with the book is that I don't think that prayer is the magical medicine to heal all relational issues and solve all interpersonal struggles. Praying together is one HUGE step in the right direction, but sometimes there are other steps also necessary in order to establish relational peace and intimacy. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 10, 2011
Couples Who Pray by SQuire Rushnell & Louise DuArt describes the benefits of married couples having the discipline to pray daily. By incorporating interesting and lively stories of celebrity couples, they are able to show us how praying together with your spouse can really be the most intimate act between husband and wife. Research done by Baylor University about couples who prayed sometimes versus couples who prayed daily confirms the various benefits of praying together. The book encourages couples to take part in The 40 Day Prayer Challenge that is already being participated in by couples around the world. Along with this are important helps and factors that you can expect in your marriage as you pray together. The book ends with the Six Steps to a Happy Marriage and two surveys that you and your spouse will take just before you begin The 40 Day Prayer Challenge. It also includes 40 suggested Bible verses for the couple to meditate on during their daily prayer. MY THOUGHTS: Before I read this book, I have already read several neutral reviews about it. Therefore, I wasn't expecting much from it when I began reading it. Now that I have finished the entire book in just a few days, I have to say that I enjoyed reading the book. The different stories of the couples who participated in the challenge kept the book very interesting making the benefits of praying together something to look forward to. Their explanation about the factors that may affect you during the 40 Day Prayer Challenge is something that I find to be true and applicable to a couple's married life. It is not hard to read because the writing style is very entertaining. They also have a website that a couple can register with for free and take the survey online, then follow The 40 Day Prayer Challenge online. SQuire and Louise encourages married couples to pray together daily to God in order to strengthen their marriage. My husband and I have been praying together for years but not in a disciplined, daily manner. When I began reading this, I also started inviting him to pray daily. In just a week, I've already noticed changes in the two of us! To end with, Couples Who Pray is a book worth taking the time to read through. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2011
Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between A Man and a Woman
This book intrigued me because it listed quite a few celebrity couples such as Denzel & Pauletta Washington, Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano as well as Scott and Tracie Hamilton. The reason for my intrigue was two-fold. I wanted to know how and why these people were involved in this book and secondly, and maybe even a little skeptically, I wanted to know if this book was just an attempt to cash in on the wave of pseudo spirituality that Oprah's camp seems to capitalize on. Do you want to know my thoughts? Read on.
The book plain and simply makes a good case of the need for prayer in a marriage. I wholeheartedly agree. Although often repetitive, the book makes a good argument that not many could argue with even if you were looking at this from a purely "Spiritual" or worldly meditative perspective. At the very root of it all, the act of prayer is intimate; involving your marital partner in honest and heartfelt prayer can only improve your relationship.
If I have any issues with this book it would be that there were times I couldn't relate to some of the stories from the couples. In particular, a story comes to mind where one couple talks about a discussion they had in a casino while they were on vacation. This bothered me slightly, as a born-again Christian, I was always taught that gambling is wrong so I left this story a little confused. My only other complaint about this book would be that it comes off just a little too watered down for my tastes. I understand the need to appeal to a mainstream audience, but I'm afraid there's not enough meat for the Christian audience and quite possibly just a little too much for a complete non-Christian to stay engaged until the end.
The perfect audience for this book would be an engaged or newly wed couple with a background in the church. Maybe they've slipped away during their college years or haven't really committed themselves to their faith. For those who have been married and grown up in the church, there are probably better places to spend your money.
Posted April 27, 2011
Couples Who Pray (E-BOOK) By Squire Rushnell, Louise DuArt Posted on April 27, 2011 by kraziboy this was a very helpful book from a spiritual standpoint. a great help guide for couples whether it's boyfriend/girlfriend or husband /wife. this book will help better your relationship in god but also show you how to pray the way god wants you to pray. i would recommend this book to all relationships. it will truly make your relationship stronger in all areas.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2011
Couples Who Pray
SQuire Rushell and Louise DuArt
Thomas Nelson Publishing
Yes, it's true. The most intimate act between a man and a woman is prayer. And praying daily with the one person you love more than any other takes you to a level of joy and satisfaction that you simply will not believe until you try it.
Author of the bestseller When God Winks At You, SQuire Rushnell, and his wife, entertainer and talk-show host Louise DuArt, know first-hand what praying together as a couple can do. They were amazed at the happiness and harmony this simple act brought to their relationship. Couples Who Pray has everything you and your partner need to begin a more intimate, rewarding relationship, including simple tips that can make your marriage the best it's ever been!
When my wife and I got married, we decided to get some marriage books -- not because our marriage was off to a bad start, but we realized that any good thing can still be better. Fast forward five years and our marriage is better than ever, but we still look for marriage books that can help us improve in areas that we may have never even thought about. Couples Who Pray is a book that touches on an area that we never really developed in our marriage (much to my wife's chagrin), so I thought thatthis would be a good book to review.
Cracking it open, I found that the authors are quite adept at Public Relations. Much of the book is telling you how great your marriage will be and can be as long as you get the principles they are going to tell you. They even appeal to the baser insincts of men by assuring men that once they start the 40 day prayer challenge, they will find that their sex lives even improve. When they finally do get to the point, it isn't anywhere near as sensational as the prevous chapters make it out to be -- which is the way of all truth: it isn't sensational, it's just true. I can break it all down to some very simple paragraphs:
Men, when you pray with your wives, you are opening up to them in ways that your wives need. As you pray, you talk to God as your best friend (which He is), and your wife gets to listen in. This is exactly what she needs to feel connected to you. She is hearing your most intimate thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and she is sharing in your struggles. Just five minutes a day is all you need. Just pray with her for five minutes a day and your marriage will change - guaranteed.
Women, gently suggest that your husbands read this book. Don't shove it at them and tell them to read it, simply suggest that they might want to take a look at it. You should read it as well, even if they don't want to. You will understand the dynamics of your relationship in a whole different light after reading Couples Who Pray.
As for the writing itself, well, I already mentioned that the husband and wife author team are great PR people. It's easy to read, and the premise catches your attention. I recommend this book to anyone who has issues praying as a couple, or anyone who wants to better their relationship. The thing is, as with everything else in marriage, both people have to want it. You cannot push a prayer life onto anyone, so don't even try. But you can suggest this book and make it available if they want to check it out.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
Posted April 5, 2011
Was very helpful and interesting. Very quick and easy writing to keep you interested.The only thing is wish is that would have gone the next step with the 5 minutes for 40days... thats my only complaint.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Sneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted March 7, 2011
"Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between A Man and A Woman" by Squire Rushnell and Louise Duart shares how prayer brings couples closer together, especially intimately and physically. This book challenges couples to pray together for at least 5 minutes a day for 40 days. It shows examples of ordinary and celebrity couples who have tried this and have been successful at praying together.
The concept of the book, which is praying together, is a much needed in marriages, but this book seemed to be more of an advertisement to get what you want by praying. It left me a little skeptical of their goal. I believe every couple should pray together, but this book made it seem like if you pray together then your marriage would be fine. Many celebrity couples who pray together are used as examples in this book, but many of their accounts seem unrealistic. I felt like they focused more on the wealth and "physical" intimacy they gained than on how it brought them closer to God and each other. Again, I think the concept is right on, but it fell a little short.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Book Sneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Posted March 3, 2011
With all marriages being under serious attack, it is clear that we are in great need of prayer. Christian marriages are no exception and the authors laid out an excellent plan by challenging couples to pray together for 40 days and to witness God's hand as He moves in their marriages. The authors penned: "All marriages start out striving to create an environment of happiness. Joint prayers will contribute to your success as you continue in that pursuit." A number of couples from various walks of life shared their experiences with praying together and the results are remarkable. The authors suggest that couples spend only 5 minutes together praying. Many reported it was somewhat awkward at first and they grew increasingly closer as they bare their hearts out to God and as a result their spouses are able to join them and consequently pray for each other.
I enjoy reading the conversations the authors (Rushnell & Louise DuArt) had and how they complement each other. It's a challenging book that any couple could benefit from reading. If praying together is not part of their life - it is a great way to start. The book is well laid out as it shows the readers how to go about taking the challenge together and hopefully it becomes a norm for the rest of their lives together. As one engaged to be married, I am planning to put to use the principles learned in the book. Only starts with 5 minutes and as the author puts it 'it is the most intimate act' in a marriage and I wouldn't want to miss out on that. I would highly recommend the book to any couples as they stand to benefit greatly and improve their marriages.
BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for my review and it has in no way influenced my opinion of the book.
Posted February 28, 2011
Prayer is essential. It's essential for singles, for married people, and even for kids who still believe in coodies. And as intensely personal as prayer truly is, it can prove even more effective when performed in groups of two or more (note Christ's own words in Matthew 18:20). I love uncovering new ways to improve my prayer life, and I love even more uncovering ways to improve my marriage. This is what initially drew me to Couples Who Pray.
As I delved into the book, however, it was far less than I had expected. Using several celebrity and non-celebrity couples as case studies, the book felt to me more like a whole morning of non-stop Ricki Lake episodes (the dated, intensely off-putting reference intended) than a life-changing guide to greater communion with our Creator God. Nothing against Denzel Washington (or Frank Gifford for that matter)---two of the celebrity husbands showcased in this book---but I wish I had picked up nearly any other book on prayer than this one. I attempt to avoid fluff Christian reading at all turns, but my blinders tricked me on this one.
Save yourself the trouble of strengthening you relationship with this cotton candy, and beef it up with a marriage book that contains some real doctrinal meat.
[Note: I received this book free for review from Thomas Nelson]
Posted February 25, 2011
A book-lover and husband-lover, my idea of time well-spent is reading a good book that builds marriage. So I was optimistic about Couples Who Pray, but disappointed after a few pages. I agree with the premise of the book, I'm just not sold on the book itself. Writing style is humorous and conversational, divided into quick-read short sections, using a he said/she said style that reads more like a script than a book. While this style engages many people, it bores me fast. But more importantly--content is bothersome. The book lists reasons for couples to try prayer, specifically the 40-day prayer challenge. The first reason is increased intimacy. While this is a good reason, to me, putting it on top of the list (and touting it significantly throughout) signals mixed-up priorities. The rest of the book showcases too much couples' testimonies and too little Scripture and insight. The core of Couples Who Pray is to get you take on the challenge to pray together 5 minutes a day for 40 days, but it provides little, if any, guidance for it. Couples who truly want to experience the power of prayer in their marriage will not need to be set back by this book-all they need is to start today.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2011
I received a copy of the book, "Couples Who Pray: The Most Intimate Act Between A Man And A Woman" written by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt from the publisher and was asked to provide a review. Reading the synopsis of the book, I was very excited to accept the offer and looked forward to receiving the book. The book is divided into three sections: "Major Benefits of Couples Praying Together", "Taking the 40 Day Prayer Challenge" and "Factors During Your Forty Days". The first section provides testimonies from several couples including a few well-known celebrities. Each couple comments on how praying together keeps their marriage strong. The content was relevant to the topic and interesting at first, but I found that as I read through the section it was almost repetitious. The second section issues a challenge to pray with your spouse every day over a period of 40 days. These chapters continue with the primary theme of the previous section as the authors try to narrow the focus from other marriages to the readers own. The variety of individual marriages makes it difficult to provide a step-by-step process of how the reader can pray with their spouse and many readers may find this frustrating. The final section reviews "traps" that can distract the reader from focusing on prayer in their marriage, including temptation, pornography and finances. Several pages are also devoted to helping the reader with forgiveness as well as providing pointers for maintaining a happy marriage. As a whole, the book provides some thought provoking challenges for the reader to discuss with their partner. I believe the synopsis is a little misleading as the reader builds the impression that this is a small group study book instead of an overall read for the individual marriage partners. Perhaps this book would have been a better read if the authors restructured the content to fit the synopsis a little better. If each chapter were written as a weekly small group study with questions to be discussed amongst members of the group, the reader would gain greater value from the knowledge of the authors. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2011
I guess when we started reading Couples Who Pray, I expected something else. More Bible verses, more concrete suggestions. It's more theory and sales (selling you on the idea of prayer) than it is a Bible study or devotional book.
The book starts out with a somewhat lengthy introduction of the (mostly famous) couples who were the original "testers" of the program. The next chapter talks about how praying together improves relationships and actually gives statistics from research. For example, we learn that 92% of couples who pray together rate their marriage as "very good" versus the 76% from the no prayer group.
The authors make reference in the book to the "40 Day Prayer Challenge," but unlike other books with similar programs, the 40 Day Challenge isn't gone over in great detail. They give you the basics for the 40 Day Challenge, which are things like "Make time to pray," "Pray out loud with your spouse," and "Keep it short."
Reading what was my favorite chapter, "Six Steps to a Healthy Marriage," I realized that our marriage probably works so well because Tim and I have the things listed, at least most of the time. They give the acronymn LAUGHS- for Laughter, Appreciation, Understanding, God, Honor and Support. I think a big part of the reason that we've been married for almost ten years is that we do laugh together, appreciate each other and do those other things.
As far as the challenge goes, we have not embarked on the 40 Days. For the past couple of years, we've had the evening routine of Tim reading the Bible to the family before bed and us all praying together. We did pray together when we were reading the book, and we might do so more in the future, but we'll probably stick with our old routine.
Posted February 20, 2011
Couples Who Pray by SQuire Rushnell and Louise Duart is a book about praying together as a couple and the benefits praying together can have on a marriage. The authors call prayer the most intimate act between a man and a woman. Together they present many facts on the benefits prayer can have on lovemaking and communication between a couple. In my opinion the book is well written and their points are well supported but they could have used couples that are easier to identify with. I had trouble identifying because most of the couples were celebritie couples. I do think they do a good job going over how prayer can help you with the most common problems anybody single and married face day to day. They really show how prayer can be the most intimate act. I would reccomend this book to any couple who wants to strengthen their marriage and grow closer to Christ through praying together. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 16, 2011
SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, a husband and wife team who co-hosted Everything I Know About Wreaking Relationships...I Learned in My Last Marriage, bring you this quick and easy read on the impact of prayer on marriage. The challenge: commit to at least 5 minutes in prayer with your spouse each day for 40 days. The goal: to change your marriage! Included in this book are the research to support the impact of prayer on marriage, steps to begin the process, and stories from real couples who have completed the 40 day journey.
Anxious to begin our own prayer journey, I devoured this book in a mere three days. The research portion was informative yet interesting. Stories from couples who had already begun the journey were sometimes funny, often emotional, and always heartfelt. The authors broke down the journey into easily implementable steps. My favorite part was the scripture provided to encourage you throughout the book and throughout the prayer challenge. I had never thought about prayer with my husband as being, "The most intimate act between a man and a woman," but, truly, it is. What could be more intimate than baring your soul to your Savior and Creator in the presence of the person He created just for you? The first person I am passing this book on to is my husband, because I would like him to read it before we begin the prayer challenge together. Beyond that, I would recommend it to every married couple I know. I am excited to see the impact on our own marriage as well as that of our friends and family.
Posted February 16, 2011
I did enjoy reading this book, but it was a little different than what I expected it would be. Most of the book focuses on studies that show the influence of prayer on marriage, and also on stories from a number of famous couples about how prayer influenced their marriages. There are also some stories from "average" couples who have gone through the 40-day challenge, explaining what they saw in their lives after doing the challenge. So rather than necessarily being a step-by-step guide, this book is more of a motivation and explanation of why the 40-day couple prayer challenge is worth doing.
At the back of the book there are several appendices- one containing a survey to be taken by both the husband and wife at the beginning and end of the challenge, to track how things changed over the 40-day period. You can also go to the 40-day prayer challenge website and take the survey there. Another appendix contains 40 passages from the Bible that can be discussed by the couple and incorporated into daily prayer.
This book was a fast, easy read, and I think it would be particularly good for couples who have never considered praying together or those who are new believers. But even for more established couples who have prayed together in the past, it's a good motivation to get back to the habit!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as part of the Booksneeze program. I was under no obligation to leave a positive review and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.
Posted February 12, 2011
This was a well-written book about the power of prayer, especially when couples join together in prayer. Just when you thought the most intimate act between a couple was...well..sex, you are told quickly in the book that that is not the case. The most intimate act between a couple can and should be prayer. The book is divided into three sections, each one building on the other. The first section dives into the benefits of praying couples. Testimonials from celebrities as well as regular people are plentiful. The 40 day challenge is the second section, with factors during the forty days being the third section. The book also provides a couple of appendixis with extra information.
I really liked this book. It was very easy to read, and I loved the plethora of testimonials sprinkled throughout the book. I'm also a recipe kind of girl. If you give me a recipe I will follow it to the letter. If you just throw ingredients at me you will not receive anything edible in return. This book provides a recipe for couples to follow if they want to add prayer to their lives. I think my favorite section was section 3 because there was a lot more practical information there letting you know what you could expect during and after the 40 days. I would love to add that my husband and I took the 40 day challenge and now we pray every single day, but I would be lying. I hope that one day we can get there. We did pray once together, and it lasted longer than 5 minutes. We didn't lock our door so it lasted till our 1 year old son came bouncing in. :) I think I need to challenge myself to do the 40 day challenge--even if it is by myself--and pray for God to give my husband the desire to make it a priority as well. As is the case with most families we are extremely busy--both spouses with full-time jobs, raising 4 kids, responsibilities in our own church, etc. The list could go on and on. If there is anytime that we need to be praying together it's now! I believe both my husband and I have the desire to have closer relationships with our heavenly Father and with each other. Often the hardest step is getting started.
My recommendation would be to go out and get this book. Even if just one person has the desire to make prayer a higher priority I believe it could have huge effects. That's what I'm praying for my marriage. I pray that I will be able to update this post at a later time and sing the praises of how God has done miraculous things in our married life. He has already blessed us with so much already!
Posted February 11, 2011
"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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 10, 2011
Praying together is the most intimate experience a couple can share, at least according to Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt. In this book, the couple stresses the importance of praying with your spouse and how this act can change your life. Squire and Louise challenge couples to partake in a 40-Day Prayer Challenge to see just how praying together can change your marriage as well as your life. This book provides findings from various studies as well as insight from a few celebrity couples who say praying together is a vital aspect of their marriage.
Based on the title, I really wanted to love this book. Who wouldn't want to share the intimate experience of prayer with their spouse? When I read the book, I was fairly disappointed. It seemed to regurgitate statistics and findings from various studies and mix it. In addition to that, it provided stories of couples who prayed together and how this benefitted their lives. Throughout the book there was talk of a 40-Day Prayer Challenge, but I feel there was no guidance on how to start approach this challenge. I think it would have been beneficial if they had shared strategies and maybe possible topics to cover each day. The only mention of something like this was if you got a paid subscription on their website. This book was an easy read, but I feel it could have achieved much more if there was more guidance on the 40-Day Prayer Challenge.
Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of this book was provided for my review by Thomas Nelson Publishers. The views expressed are my own
Posted February 6, 2011
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.