For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them. -Matthew 18:20
We are all called to take time out of our day to pray—to converse with our God, our first Love. The Catechism tells us that prayer leads us to love.
This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith about prayer: it is always possible to pray, prayer is a vital necessity, and prayer and Christian life are inseparable. -CCC 2742-2745
When we pray, we unite our hearts to God and leading others to Him. If Christ has called you into a relationship, make Him the center of it through prayer. The fruit of prayer is always holy and authentic love.
Praying When Dating
Dating is a special time to discern the vocation of marriage. It is an opportunity to build a friendship founded in Christ with someone. It is a beautiful gift to be able to share your personality—your likes, dislikes, joys, and sorrows—with another person. And in return, receive the gift of their personality.
Prayer during dating is important. Taking personal time to pray and discern is essential, as is taking time to pray with your boyfriend. By taking time to pray together, you set Christ as the foundation of your relationship. You allow your perspective to become Christ-centered. You open your hearts and minds to hear and follow His will.
Don’t be afraid to pray with your boyfriend. Ask one another about your favorite ways to pray. Invite Christ to be present with you in your conversations and your relationship.
Ways to Pray with Your Boyfriend
Here are three ways to pray with your boyfriend:
- Pray A Group Rosary // Prayer is an intimate act, and praying out loud in front of the person you are dating can be intimidating. Group prayer allows everyone to participate at his or her own level of comfort. Invite friends over to pray the Rosary. It is a beautiful way to honor Our Lady.
- Read about the Lives of the Saints // The Saints are models of virtue and a source of inspiration. Share with one another about your favorite Saints and spend some time researching them together. Look up quotes by them, celebrate their Feast Day, or pray a novena in honor of them. When my husband and I first started dating, we prayed to God to send us a Saint to be the patron of our relationship. Call upon the Saint Christ reveals to you to protect, guide, and help you both as you discern!
- Read from the Bible // One of the best ways to discern God’s will is through reading the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word spoken to us. Reflect on a verse, talk about the daily Mass readings, or share how the Bible has affected your life. Be open to what Christ is revealing to you both as you pray.
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Praying When Engaged
Engagement is a wonderful time to grow with your fiancé. This time of preparation presents many opportunities and challenges to go deeper, to better understand each other, and to better support each other. Prayer, and especially prayer together, is a crucial element of the growth that occurs during this time.
The engagement period will be an exciting time as you begin to make wedding plans! Planning will also be a challenging process as you both try to juggle family dynamics, traditions, personal desires, and the many vendors that a wedding requires. It can be exciting and stressful all in one breath!
A movement toward being vulnerable and completely open with one another will likely take place during engagement. Praying together is a great way to facilitate this openness. Encourage each other, support each other in every way that you can, and pray for each other’s mind, body, and soul as you approach the day of the wedding. Pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit as ministers of the Sacrament!
Ways to Pray with Your Fiancé
Here are three ways to pray with your fiancé:
- Attend Mass Together // The celebration of Mass is the highest, most Heavenly prayer here on earth. This form of prayer is especially beautiful if you are in a long distance relationship. We are united with the entire Church during Mass. Even if you are many miles away from your fiancé, you truly meet them in the Eucharist each time you attend a Mass!
- Pray in Adoration Together // The silence and stillness experienced during Eucharist Adoration brings healing and clarity. Schedule in time to adore Christ in the Eucharist.
- Volunteer // I remember being so humbled by all the friends and family who sacrificed their time and gifts to help us prepare for our wedding day. During engagement, it is easy to fall into self-centeredness. The remedy to this is to serve others in need. Some of our most joyful days during our engagement were spent volunteering with The Missionaries of Charity or with our young adult group.
Praying When Married
The goal of any marriage is salvation. It is a vocation in which one loves another fully, completely, and without restraint. To love is to will the good of the beloved. We will the good of our husbands when we desire Heaven for them. In marriage, we hope for salvation through prayer, through sacrifice, through mercy, through love, and through the widening of our hearts. There is no greater love than this, but to lay one’s life down.
Marriage is a continual death to self and selfishness. Prayer with your husband opens a window to his soul—his desires, his needs, his hurts, and his joys. Through prayer, we can enter into an even deeper and more intimate understanding of our beloved. In understanding, we are better able to serve our spouses and help them to attain salvation. After all, the word “family” comes from the Latin word famulus, which means “servant.”
Praying for each other throughout the day is another way to be close to one another when jobs and other daily duties keep you apart. Your work can be a prayer for your husband. If you are at home, doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and caring for your children are all acts of love, and acts of prayer, that can be directed for your husband and his intentions. And when you have time together, prayer is vital to the health of your marriage.
Ways to Pray with Your Husband
Here are three ways to pray with your husband:
- Eat a Daily Meal Together // I once learned that an order of monks would say to those in their novitiate that the most sacred place in monastery, outside of the chapel, was the kitchen table. Jesus gives us the perfect example of this at the Table of the Eucharist. He elevates the ordinary into something extraordinary. He invites us to do the same. Take the time each day to eat a meal together. It is good for the body and for the soul!
- Go to Confession // Mercy and love are the cornerstones of marriage. The more mercy we are shown, the more mercy we are able to give. Participating in the Sacrament of Confession instills humility and peace within our hearts, marriage, and home.
- Adore Christ in your Husband // Last year during our family pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy, I explained to a priest what I was experiencing in my prayer life. I often felt defeated, distracted, and overwhelmed. He lovingly looked at my son, who was asleep in my husband’s arms. Then he turned to me and said, “Claire, maybe your prayer now isn’t meant to be hours in the adoration chapel, maybe it is meant to be looking at Christ in Mike and Peter, adoring Him in Mike and Peter.” As he spoke those words, my heart and mind were flooded with peace and profound joy. I immediately saw the hidden beauty of my vocation as wife and mother. I was to serve Christ, to love Christ, to look adoringly at Christ in my husband and son. Time spent with God must be my number one priority as a baptized follower of Jesus, no matter what state of life I am in. That is essential. Yet that time should not be surrounded by guilt, fear, or frustration. God is merciful, loving, and kind. He works with us in every state of life and every vocation. My prayer life has not regressed; it has beautifully evolved. It may be more challenging to set aside time for prayer, yet it is necessary that I do. And I know that the rest of my time, the time spent with Mike and Peter can be a prayer, too. When we look lovingly at our spouse, when we serve them through our daily tasks, we can offer those moments up to Christ and adore Him in prayer.
How do you pray with your significant other?3 Ways to Pray with Your Boyfriend, Fiancé, or Husband #BISblog // Click To Tweet