Departments and Ministries
Dear Dr. Smith
27. Dear Dr. Smith
Let me take this chance to thank you for the great ministry you are doing especially as regards marriage issues. Today's society is bombarded with various philosophies and revolutionary arguments in regard to the entry into and sustainability of this noble institution. Thank you and God bless you.
I would like to make a brief comment on the question of prayer before sex. I am a Pastor who, in my pastoral experience, has often been asked this question and I think a little care should be taken as we answer it. Just to quote what you said "Sex in the context of marriage is beautiful and should not be confused with an intimate prayer relationship with God." Where I part with this proposition is that true sex is self-giving on both parties and will be satisfying if each look for the fulfillment of the other. As I read your response I asked myself "why do we pray before we eat?" "Why do I pray before I start my car and yet driving is not an intimate relationship with God?" If one thanks the Lord for the food already on the table, then there may be reason to thank the Lord for firstly, designing that "beautiful" act and secondly, for according the couple a type of relationship that leads to such a climactic self giving.
Secondly, the answer to this question should summon our understanding of what prayer is in connection with different modes of prayer. Prayer may be mentioned audibly or inaudibly. The fact that "sex in marriage is an appropriate act of intimacy with one’s spouse" should cause cautiousness in each as they seek to meet each other's need. Someone who has an intimate relationship with his God would not find it ridiculous to silently mention, even in the course of the act, that "Lord help me to meet his/her need."
The Christ-Church relationship that Paul uses to illustrate husband-wife relationship (Eph 5:22-28) ought to be informative in looking at this God-directed marital relationship of which sex is part. If a Christian life is a life that looks at glorification of God as the end product of every life action (1Cor 10:31) then in essence there should not be any action that will not result in intimate relationship with God. So just as prayer results in intimate relationship with God, the satisfying phenomenon at the end of the act should cause the actors to say "thank you Lord."
What I would be skeptical of would be making pre-sexual prayer mandatory for every couple just as one would make pre-driving prayer mandatory. Anything that is not spontaneously triggered by the spirit is just spiritually mechanical. However, if a couple, at the zenith of their romantic bout would feel that they throw themselves at the feet of the Creator who mandates them to have sexual relationship, why not? I wouldn't reduce this to rediculity and I would that even in the act itself they continue to be in touch with God as they seek to unselfishly fulfill each other.
Pr. xxxxx yyyyyyyy
My dear Pastor,
Thanks for your complementary statements on the work I do as a Marriage & Family Therapist. I read your response to my answer to the question should one pray before having sex. While I review your comments with amazement, I do differ with your calculated conclusion.
I think I am more inclined to go with the wisdom of Solomon, To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; (Ecc 3:1ff)
I guess one could argue that the Apostle Paul admonishes us to pray without ceasing (1Tim 2:8). However, I don’t pray when I am watching the news, but I am thankful that I have eyes to watch the news. I don’t pray when I am using the bathroom, but I am thankful to God that I can do that on my own. I don’t pray when I am listening to a joke, but I am thankful to God that I have the ability to hear, for there are millions who can’t. I don’t pray when I am handing someone a gift, but how thankful I am to God for blessing me that I can share.
Certainly, one who is married would give thanks to God in prayer for each other and for the happiness and joy they share, including their intimacy. That’s one of the reasons for having family worship and personal devotion. However, if they are to feel that they cannot kiss unless they pray, they cannot embrace unless they pray, or they cannot have intimacy unless they pray, then, that’s taking a joke to far and reduces prayer to the common denominator frivolity.
Now please do not misunderstand me, I am not saying that one should “NEVER” pray before intimacy, if such a couple chose to do so, be my guest. But in answer to the direct question that was put before me, “should one pray before having sex?” my answer still remains the same, “NO!” you don’t have to pray before having sex, neither is it a requirement, nor should one think that by not having prayer before sex, the act becomes unholy.
I guess we can agree to disagree. Thanks for your feedback and may God keep blessing your ministry.