I am so excited about today’s blog, as I’ve asked all the online instructors for their input on how to pray during the day and as a couple! Together, there’s easily over a century of marriage experience. Most of these couples have been married longer than I have, and I really value their advice and experience!
Since holiness is the goal of our lives, prayer is the way we build our relationship with God. We stress the importance of praying daily, but what does this look like? It can look like so many things, but we want to give you some concrete ideas of how to grow in prayer, especially as a couple. We also don’t want you to do every single thing on this list! Pick one or two things that you think will work for you, and go from there. The important thing is to make prayer a priority and work at it until it becomes a habit! I’ve divided the suggestions into morning, daytime, and evening to give you a better idea of how it can work for you. I’ve also given you links and resources to further your understanding of some of these ideas.
In the Morning:
– Start the day off with a morning offering – it could be before leaving the bedroom or before even leaving your bed! It’s important that we begin giving the day to God and entrusting the day to him! I used to have the morning offering posted by my coffee machine, so I could pray it while the coffee brewed. I didn’t miss a morning of coffee, so this helped ensure I didn’t miss my prayer! I used this one, but you could always make up your own or google others.
– Read the daily Mass readings together. You can subscribe to the USCCB website to have them sent to your inbox daily or find them on an app such as Ibreviary or Laudate. Or, you can go the more traditional route and read them from your bible, an actual breviary, or a small book like the Magnificat. My husband and I like to take turns reading out loud while we drink our coffee. If one of our small children is awake, they usually sit and listen because they know we won’t give them breakfast until we are done!
– Read about the saint of the day. Again, you can get the Saint of the Day app or use a book of saints.
– Kiss and make the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead before going to work.
– Have some individual prayer time in the morning. This could be your personal reflection on the scriptures, reading a meditation or a spiritual book, journaling, quiet time, etc. It could even be 5 or 10 minutes, but find a quiet spot and have the intention to be building your relationship with Jesus.
During the Day
– If possible, some couples are able go to Mass during the week together – whether it be a morning Mass before work, a noon mass, or some parishes have daily evening masses, too. Maybe only one of you can make a daily Mass once or so during the week, but that would be great, too!
– Of course, Sunday Mass is a must, even when you are on vacation!
– Pray before meals. Even when you are in a restaurant or in public. God comes first!
– Use technology and set up an alarm on your phone to pray the Angelus.
– Do a walking rosary (bonus: exercise! If I try to do a rosary at night, I’m likely to fall asleep, so this sounds like a great idea!)
– Praying throughout the day will look different to every person. Here are some examples:
In the car: praying a prayer for safety or taking the time to talk to God about your day
Doing household chores: inviting the Holy Spirit to sanctify your work or talking to Jesus as you would a close friend, sharing your day with him
Liturgy of the Hours: you can join in on the universal prayer of the Church saying their morning, evening, night prayer, or angelus at noon. Look up the Liturgy of the Hours. They are often short and totally do-able!
– At night, you can pray together before going to sleep. Say out loud your praise, thanks, guidance, or intentions. You could even kneel at the foot of your bed and pray together, which sounds very intimate and beautiful.
If you aren’t comfortable saying your own prayers, you can always say the prayers Our Father or Hail Mary together. Or even a Divine Mercy Chaplet. Or a Novena!
– A nightly examen is something I would like to do more often with my husband. This is a great way to reflect on your day and see how God was present during our day and ways we have failed and can do better in our relationship with him. One person can read out loud the prompts of what to reflect on, and then have a few moments of silence after each prompt. Here is a guide to the examen.
– If you have kids, have prayer time with the whole family – more on that next week!
– Sign up for an hour of adoration. Many churches have Adoration chapels, but if your church doesn’t, find a time when you can go visit the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus is always there, waiting for us to come to him. My husband and I have an hour on Thursday nights and take turns each week going. Sometimes, when we are tired, it’s hard to get excited about going. (Although, the other week when the children weren’t in bed yet and were melting down, I said, “See ya husband! It’s my turn for holy hour! Have fun putting the kids to bed!” And I was out of there!) But I am always thankful when I get to the chapel. Sometimes I read a spiritual book or pray the rosary. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I just sit there in peace and quiet, inviting the Lord to speak to my heart.
“We should consider those moments spent before the Blessed Sacrament as the happiest of our lives.”- St. John Vianney
– Do a bible study together instead of watching TV. You can always purchase DVDs or books. www.ascensionpress.com is a great place to find materials. But! There are so many things you can do online, too! Here are a few of our favorites:
http://www.formed.org – unless your parish has a subscription, it does cost per month. But it’s worth it, as there are so many great studies such as Beloved, Bishop Baron’s Catholicism, Symbolon, and much more! We highly recommend checking it out for a month or two!
www.thewildgooseisloose.com – The Wild Goose is an ancient term for the Holy Spirit. How often is this third person of the Trinity the forgotten one! This 14 part series will deepen and renew your understanding and devotion to the Holy Spirit. Best part is: it’s free!
Apps: IBreviary, Laudate, Saint of the Day
Subscribe to USCCB to get daily readings emailed to you
Have any other great resources or ways to pray as a couple?
Or, do you have a question you would like answered on the blog? Share with me at: AllisonandNathan@catholicmarriageprep.com