Denae and I have been married for 30 years and have been blessed with nine children. In 2013, we founded Your Holy Family ministries to help parents succeed in their vocation to form Holy Families. Holy Families are built on the solid foundation of a Holy marriage and a Holy marriage consists of a husband, wife and God Himself.
Fulton Sheen wrote in his book, “Three to Get married”:
“it takes three to make Love in hearts: The lover, the Beloved and Love”
In order for Husband and wife to love as God loves they need to know God. The only way to know God is to spend time with Him, especially as a couple asking God to transform their human love into a divine love that will be a life-giving love for their family and a light in the world.
Sirach 25:1 states that God is delighted with a wife and husband living happily together.
Married couples grow closer together through physical intimacy and also through a spiritual embrace with God, otherwise known as prayer. This is God’s desire for us to be in harmony and to be happy.
So how do we achieve this? By leaning in on our sacrament. The Sacrament of our Marriage imparts a grace that is not intended to be a singular grace, but a continual grace and we have the opportunity to draw on that grace for our marriage over and over through prayer together. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that this grace can help us attain holiness in married life and we are to become undivided in spirit and flesh.
Prayer is simply a conversation with God. The most difficult part of prayer is making the decision to do it.
When you are praying individually, you only need to determine a time, a place and a duration for yourself. If you already doing this, then the only thing standing in your way to praying as a couple is to step out in faith and talk with your spouse and make a plan to pray together.
If couple prayer is new to you, let me give you some hope. Allen was basically raised in a Sunday Catholic kind of family, while I was raised in a Charismatic Catholic family in which prayer was an integral part of daily life. I remember silently praying my rosary in bed at night, hoping and praying that someday we would feel comfortable praying together as a couple. As our family grew, we participated in our local church, prayed together over meals and at bedtime. I specifically remember during one extremely difficult time in our marriage, we chose to say a rosary together and I remember thinking, ah finally this is no longer an awkward thing to do and it felt very natural. So I want to encourage all of you. If you have never tried praying together as a couple, pray for God’s guidance and allow him to grow you in your faith together. We must be gentle with each other’s souls because there will be times when one of you may be stronger in your faith than the other and it is during these times that we should be an intercessor for our spouse.
There are three keys to beginning a lasting fruitful prayer life: time, place and duration. As a couple, you need to schedule a time to pray together, if you don’t schedule it, it probably won’t happen, next select a place where you can escape from distractions and minimize the possibility of being interrupted and lastly choose a duration, start small and work your way up to where you want to be.
Now that you have decided on a time, place and duration, what does the prayer look like?
Here are some ideas:
- If you are just starting out, the husband can pray the Our Father, the wife pray the Hail Mary and together pray the Glory Be.
- As you progress, you can pray a rosary, go through a Marian consecration or simply unite yourselves in petition to God praying for family and friends in need.
- You can pray using Scripture, Novenas, Devotionals, the Liturgy of the Hours (iBreviary), Spiritual Reading, pretty much anything that draws you closer to the Lord and each other.
God is waiting to help us in all our endeavors and when we come to Him as a united team He is able to forge a deeper union in our souls that is humanly impossible.