When my wife and I were preparing for marriage we had a lot of questions about living a spiritual life together. We were already spiritual people, but we found praying together to be kind of hard. We wanted to be sure we started things off right in our marriage in the hope that it would last a lifetime. So we started asking questions about praying together:
- How do you pray with your spouse?
- When do you find time to pray with your significant other?
- What prayers do you pray together?
We didn’t get many answers at the time, but we’ve learned to develop certain habits of prayer together that we can feel comfortable practicing.
Finding the Best Time to Pray Together
The key to setting up these habitual times of prayer with your spouse is to look closely at your schedules and routines and attach prayer on top of what you are already doing. This might include meal times, watching the TV, waking up in the morning, or going to bed.
Prayer Before Meals
Lots of families and friends pray before meals, so this should be an easy habit to start. Stick with the traditional “Bless us O’ Lord. . .” prayer or add something creative on top of it. Share one way that you have seen God in your life today or one thing you are thankful for. These prayers can be great conversation starters for the dinner table.
Prayer During TV or Other Entertainment
A lot of couples take some time to unwind together in front of the TV. If you are watching something with commercials, hit the mute button and pray a decade of the Rosary together or recite one of the prayers for married couples here at Together for Life Online. Or agree to keep the TV off until you have said a prayer together.
Prayer Before Bed
Many peopled find this to be the best time for prayer. Before you go to sleep, say a prayer with your spouse or list the people and intentions you want to offer to God. Spend some time going through the Daily Examen or just offer a prayer of thanksgiving for something that happened that day.
Whether you are newly married or happily celebrating many long years together, there is always a good time to establish simple prayer habits together. Praying with your spouse is an excellent gateway into an even deeper and more intimate relationship with the one you love.
And whether you have kids together or not, Fr. Patrick Peyton’s adage applies universally: “The family that prays together stays together.”
(photo credit: Diocese of Evansville’s Our Catholic Marriage)