The 33-year-old singer began dating the NFL quarterback in 2015. Picture: AP

Ciara says she found it difficult to wait until marriage to have sex with Russell Wilson, whom she married in 2016 after a year of dating.

The 33-year-old singer began dating the NFL quarterback in 2015, and has said that although they had an instant connection, their devotion to their faith meant they decided to wait until they were married to consummate their love - which Ciara admits "took a lot of prayer" to stick to.

Speaking about their decision to abstain from sex, the Level Up hitmaker - who married Russell in 2016 and now has 23-month-old daughter Sienna with him - said: "That took a lot of prayer. It was hard. I can't lie."

But Ciara - who also has four-year-old Future Zahir with her former partner Future - says they were both determined to stick to their promise, because they had an immediate connection and knew it would be worth it.

Speaking to InStyle magazine, she added: "We both knew. We both had that light-bulb moment." 

This isn't the first time the couple have discussed their abstinence pledge, as shortly after they began dating, Russell sat down for an interview with Pastor Miles McPherson of The Rock Church in San Diego, where he openly discussed choosing to wait until marriage.

He said at the time: "I met this girl named Ciara, who is the most beautiful woman in the world. She's the most kind person, the most engaging person. 

"I knew that God had brought me into her life to bless her and for her to bless me, and to bless so many people with the impact that she has, that I have. Nobody's perfect, but he's anointed us to do something miraculous, something special."

The pair tied the knot at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire, England, in 2016.