Alan and Jamie Wood

Looking for a spouse? Check at church for a partner if you want a quality relationship, according to both marriage experts and a new study.

Marriage pastors and radio show hosts Alan and Jamie Wood agree that a foundation of prayer is a key to a successful relationship.

"This is how it worked for Jamie and me as we began praying together and hearing the Spirit's 'still, small voice,'" Alan says. "We would feel extreme peace about a right decision. We would feel conviction about wrong thought patterns. Ideas would suddenly come of things we could do to encourage unity. The Holy Spirit also speaks to us through Scripture. He reminds us of the things we need to know (John 14:26). Our faith was increased as we shared with one another what we were learning. We experienced exciting and powerful encounters, a three-way interaction between husband, wife and God's Holy Spirit."

Their story is backed up by a new study released by the Institute for Family Studies. Seventy-eight percent of men and women in couples who regularly go to services together, or where only the man attends regularly, report that they are "very happy" or "extremely happy," according to the study.

But don't just go to church together—build your time together around the Lord.

Shared prayer is even more strongly associated with higher relationship quality, such that men and women who report praying together frequently (almost once a week or more often) are 17 percentage points more likely to say they are very happy together, according to the study.

The study authors agree that the couple that prays together, stays together.

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