Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Review: Couples Who Pray by SQuire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

The subtitle of Couples Who Pray is "The Most Intimate Act Between a Man and a Woman". Rushnell and DuArt prove this point quite effectively with the testimonies of various couples who pray together regularly, as well as statistics showing increased marital satisfaction among couples who regularly pray together. The book opens with Rushnell and Duart's personal testimony of how God has moved through their prayer time as a couple, followed by an introduction to other couples whose testimonies are included in Couples Who Pray. Next, the reader learns some statistics on couples who pray together versus couples who do not. It comes as no surprise that the couples who pray together report greater joy in every area of their marriage. The reader also sees how God improves and enhances the marriages of the couples who are featured in this book.
Rushnell and DuArt also propose that each spouse forget about "50/50" and commit to giving 100% to their marriage. This proposition is an expansion of the testimony of one of the featured couples, whose testimony is included in the book. The proposition is challenging, but the reader is reminded that he or she must rely on God to do this. There is more in this same chapter about communication, which readers will find helpful.
Next, the readers are invited to take the "40 Day Prayer Challenge", so named because the authors believe that it takes forty days to form a habit. Following this invitation, Rushnell and Duart make a case for the power of prayer by directing the reader to consider the power of God and the truth of the Scriptures.
There are also instructions about forgiveness, warnings about threats to a marriage, and practical tips on praying for finances. Finally, Rushnell and Duart share six practical steps to a happy marriage, and some results of couples who pray together regularly. The link to "The 40 Day Prayer Challenge" is provided, as well as a survey for each spouse.
The advice in Couples Who pray is helpful and practical, and the testimonies encouraging. The reader will enjoy reading each of the testimonies. The couples included in Couples Who Pray comes from a highly successful and prominent careers. It is reassuring to remember that even highly successful people have struggles and need to depend on God. At the same time, the reader may wonder how the 40 Day Prayer Challenge could work for everyday working couples. It would have been encouraging if the authors had included such couples in their book. Also, while the statistics are convincing, they are somewhat dry. The reader would benefit from more instruction from the Scriptures.
Couples Who Pray is written by SQuire Rushnell and Louise Duart and published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville: 2007. A copy of the book was provided free for review by Thomas Nelson, Inc., and I have received no other compensation for this review.

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