Tuesday, March 1, 2011

5 Ways to Make Prayer a Part of Your Marriage

Devout Hipsters Praying In A Predominantly Gay Restaurant In SilverlakeHave you ever felt like you might want to incorporate a little more prayer into your marriage? Prayer can certainly enhance a marriage, but it can be difficult and uncomfortable to start a routine of praying together. My husband has made a habit of going to Sunday Mass with me for most of our relationship, but I always felt as though I wanted there to be a little more depth to our prayer life outside of Mass. Little by little, I've introduced prayer into our relationship in small ways, and it's been amazing how much closer it draws us together. If you'd like to start praying more with your husband, here are five ways to get started.

Pray before meals­.
My husband and I would always pray the "Bless us, O Lord" Catholic meal prayer when we sat down to dinner, but that seemed to be practically the only time we spoke to God together during a day. When we realized we wanted to begin spending time together offering up prayers for others and ourselves, mealtime seemed like a great opportunity to do so. After all, we eat together every night and were already saying a short prayer to begin with. When your life gets hectic and you can forget to do things despite your best intentions, setting a consistent time is a great way to get in the habit of praying together.

Pray before you go to sleep.
The end of the day is an excellent time to unwind and reflect. Make it a nightly ritual to spend time in prayer together before you close your eyes for the night. One powerful end-of-the-day prayer that you could begin together is the Daily Examen, created by St. Ignatius of Loyola. The five steps of the Daily Examen, as outlined on Ignatian Spirituality.com, are to (1) become aware of God's presence, (2) view the day with gratitude, (3) pay attention to your emotions, (4), choose one feature of the day and pray from it, and (5) look toward tomorrow. Praying the Daily Examen together—whether aloud or each silently—could be an excellent evening prayer routine for you and your husband to implement.

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In what ways do you incorporate prayer into your relationship?

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