Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Book review: Couples Who Pray

Recently, thanks to the Booksneeze blogger review program, I had the opportunity to review a book called Couples Who Pray. Prayer is something that Daniel and I have been really working hard at making a priority in our life, so I was anxious to read this book. Here's a description, from the book's website:
In this entertaining, highly readable book, couples learn that a fabulous marriage can be the outcome of learning to pray together, causing a 20 to 30 percent increase in romance, conversation and happiness.
Best-selling author Squire Rushnell and his wife, entertainer and talk show host Louise DuArt, take readers step by step through The 40 Day Prayer Challenge™ in which couples commit to praying together five minutes a day for forty days. Backed by compelling research from Baylor University and Gallup Poll, the true-life experiences of 24 test couples, including Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford, Donna Summer and Bruce Sudano, Scott and Tracie Hamilton, reveal that daily prayer is a "life changing experience" in which most couples report positive outcomes in less than two weeks.
Couples Who Pray includes an easy questionnaire prepared by Baylor University to help couples to chart their own progress during The 40 Day Prayer Challenge™.
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.