Finding Time to Pray Together
Prayer in common is a tradition in Catholicism that goes back to our beginnings. Catholics, though we weren’t called that yet, would gather in each other’s home to pray and break bread. Today we have a more formalized liturgy that is the Mass. We gather together in God’s house to pray as a community. We know that wherever two or more are gathered, God is in our presence. Praying with your wife is an essential practice in your marriage.
Although prayer together is a priority in our lives, Alison and I have struggled to find the right time since the arrival of Benedict. When we were dating long distance, we’d end each evening with a phone call during which we’d pray Night Prayer from the Divine Office. For almost the first year of our marriage, we’d take time to pray before going to bed. We’d try to keep the prayer time fresh with different forms.
Praying with your wife is a fantastic idea. There’s no “right” way to pray, each person and couple has their own spiritualities. Your prayers encompass all of the needs, wants, and desires in your life. You pray in Adoration of God’s greatness, in thanksgiving for graces and blessings, in petition for your needs and in intercession for the needs of others.
The timing really depends on you as a couple. You could pray first thing in the morning when you wake up if you both wake up at the same time. You could schedule a weekly “sacred space” on your calendar and spend that time in prayer, or you could pray in bed as you’re drifting off to sleep.
Praying with your wife is important for a number of reasons.
- It is spiritual and emotional bonding time. We’ve talked many times about the bonding that your marriage as a human relationship requires. Each component of your human persons need to have a chance to bond. So, you need to bond emotionally, mentally, and physically. You also need to bond spiritually. When you pray together, you fulfill two types of key bonding.
- You share petitions. One of the best ways to find out what’s going on in someone’s life is to listen to their petitions. You cut through all of the smoke, mirrors, and facades and find out exactly what’s going on in their hearts. Praying together not only lets your find out your wife’s petitions, it allows you to strengthen them by interceding for her. Boom.
- You approach God as one. Though it can be hard for us to perceive in our daily, physical world, we are one with our wives. At our Nuptial Mass, we freely bound ourselves to each other. When we pray together, we approach the Throne of God as one, truly united as we are. It makes our experience of prayer that much stronger.
Like anything worth doing, finding time to pray together is going to be difficult. Yet, the rewards are worthwhile.