Prayers don’t fix relationships

You can pray for as long as you like, but you cannot possibly expect prayers to be a substitute for quality conversation between couples.

A woman praying

There are a lot of reasons why people pray: some pray for wisdom, for material blesses, for the protection of their children, for better marriages and even for the punishment of our enemies!

Three days ago, a Christian friend of mine argued that marriages fail because couples don’t pray enough. She was sure that she would have a rosy marriage because she and her boyfriend pray almost all the time. I wish she had added that marriages fail because people think praying hard enough can take away the hurt, and acrimony that characterizes the marriages of some religious couples.

People can’t just pray away their anger; praying must be accompanied by action. Like communication, for example. You can pray for as long as you like, but you cannot possibly expect prayers to be a substitute for quality conversation between couples.

In most Ghanaian churches, females make up the largest percentage of the congregation. No one can give a concrete reason why this is so.

However, most people suggest that it is women who easily, and readily, respond to the call to pray for their husbands and their children. Praying for the sustenance of marriages, as well as praying for husbands and babies are very popular prayer topics in most charismatic churches.

Obviously, no one can restrict the prayer topics of another person; so it’s all well and good if we spend all nights praying marital problems away. Imagine the kind of difference we would see though, if we started working towards a good marriage alongside our prayers. I’ve often heard people say ‘oh you shouldn’t pray for that! That’s inappropriate”.

I say pray about/ for whatever subject matter you desire, if your god is displeased; he/she can strike you down. Until then pray if you want to.

Nevertheless, it is this very attitude of praying things away that leads to disappointments. Haven’t you heard whispers about Pastor So-and-So, who divorced Pastor Mrs So-and- So? There’s the need to whisper, and to judge, because there’s that attitude that if the Pastor and his wife had prayed hard enough, they’d still be together.

But marriages, all relationships actually, aren’t that cut and dried. You work, you learn, you listen, you forgive.  We cannot say ‘pray and you won’t break up’.

How do we know we aren’t choosing that option because it’s easier than the real work of building relationships? We can only know for sure when we give both prayers and working for the good of relationships a chance.


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