Aleteia

Can praying together transform your marriage?

COUPLE HUG
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What counts the most is not the type of prayer, but the desire to pray together.

Just like praying as a family, praying together as a couple can be challenging — setting aside the time, the kind of prayer to undertake, discomfort one of both may feel, and more. But if you can learn how to pray by yourself, you can learn how to pray as a couple. The initial plan can be simple: You must place your trust into the Lord – if He wants this communal prayer to take place, He will help you. He only requires your will and your perseverance to follow through.

How to begin

You need to reserve at least 10 minutes in the evening after your kids have gone to bed and there’s less risk that you will  be disturbed. Begin by standing next to each other in silence. Collect yourself and turn your heart to the Lord. Call on the Holy Spirit, saying something like, “Holy Spirit, come and pray within me.” You can just pray this silent prayer while getting  accustomed to being together in the presence of the Lord. You can conclude it by slowly reciting an “Our Father” and/or “Hail Mary” together.  

If you begin with this simple first step, you will gradually realize that the Holy Spirit is prompting you with words of thanksgiving, supplications, etc. You can then say them out loud, sharing them with your spouse. It doesn’t need to be long. Sharing this way “breaks the ice,” enriches the prayer, and helps you to grow closer.

It’s also possible to start this prayer together with thanksgiving and praise. This process can be made easier by using the Psalms. These are the words God Himself has given us and that Jesus used for his own prayers. You can continue by telling the Lord about some personal plans, personal joys, family problems, issues in the communities you belong to, or the mission of the universal Church. A book like A Psalter for Couples (Magnificat Publishing) would prove to be a very useful tool.

Praying together to better understand each other

The key to prayer is to begin it well. Collecting yourself, internal and external silence, adoration from the bottom of your heart … If you initiate it well, the rest comes naturally on condition you remain simple and allow yourselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Don’t worry too much about “the distractions” — they are impossible to avoid completely. And don’t judge your prayer. A “good prayer” is the one that takes place daily, the one that upon its completion leaves you feeling comforted, relaxed and at peace, full of confidence, hope and love. 

This time consecrated to praying together can you draw you closer to your spouse, helping to eliminate small daily conflicts and renewing regular dialogue between spouses.

Jean-Régis Fropo

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