by Marta Osborne
The Christmas season can be a very reflective and prayerful time when after all the preparations we finally stop and consider the great mystery, the Word became flesh, God became man. As our hearts are rejoicing at the birth of our saviour this might just be the perfect time to commit to a more disciplined prayer routine in our marriages and relationships.
We all know that prayer is good. It brings us closer to God and it helps us develop a relationship with him. Most of us also know that we don’t find enough time to pray. In our busy schedules prayer is often the first thing we skip. Have we not heard it so many times before “if you make time for God your first priority, everything else will fall into place”? We know it and yet we lack the willpower to simply “get up and pray”. There is just always something more important and pressing that we need to do.
Praying together with our spouse can be very helpful to overcome prayer procrastination. Your spouse can become your accountability partner. We all have better and worse days, but it is much more difficult to say ‘no’ when we’re saying ‘no’ to another person, and not simply justifying the lack of time for prayer in our own minds. There is also a better chance you’ll find and take the time to pray if it’s something you’ve discussed and both agreed should become a priority in your daily schedule.
How to pray together?
Praying together is also a great way to spend some quality time with your spouse. What could be a better way to grow in love for one another than by sitting down to spend time with him who is love itself? Praying together can take different forms and you can try different things and see what works best for both of you. My husband and I like to read the daily readings out loud and simply sit in silence next to each other for even a few minutes. We often then both speak to God out loud and pray for each other, for our families and for our openness to God’s invitations throughout the day. It is often the perfect opportunity to apologise and ask for forgiveness from God and our spouse.
It isn’t always easy and it requires vulnerability but praying together can improve communication and help you and your spouse understand and love each other more. Maybe the beginning of the New Year can be a good time to try it and see how it can benefit your relationship with both your spouse and God.