Praying for and with one Another
Points for consideration:
- Marriage is a three-partner relationship that cannot work fully with only two. This is a truth that can be seen in all kinds of situations in a couple’s life. For example, for most couples children are like a third partner that can be either good for the couple’s relationship or become a block to it. Work is like a third partner in a relationship because it always has to be kept in mind and influences greatly the quality of marriage. In fact all the important things and people in a couple’s lives are part of their marriage because marriage does not exist in a vacuum.
- As Christians we believe that God also is a third partner, in fact that God is THE third partner because of the nature of marriage and that marriage is impoverished when God is left out.
- Many people will have a difficulty with this but it is vitally important that they at least continue to talk to each other about the presence or absence of God in their lives. God can be thought about in many different ways. For Christians God is a God of love from whom all love comes and who is needed by us in order to love fully. Prayer is our main way of calling on our God to be with us and to walk with us.
- In his book For Better and For Ever Fr. Rob Ruhnke makes the following statement: consider the following statistics – the current divorce rate in the U.S. is about 50%; of those couples who worship together each Sunday the divorce rate is 3.3%; of those couples who pray together in their home on a regular basis the divorce rate is 0.3%. Does prayer make a difference? You decide.
- An important aspect of couple prayer is to make prayer for each other a feature of love. This means, on a regular basis, and as part of a person’s personal prayer to bring their spouse to God in thanksgiving and praise and to ask for God’s blessing on her/him. One reward for praying like this is that a person learns to see a spouse as God sees them, and God only sees what is good in any of us. Through prayer also a person gets the power to forgive, the generosity to affirm, the patience to wait, the gentleness to be kind, the passion to desire, the ease to hope.
- Another important part of couple prayer is to find the ways of praying regularly together as part of their life together. Just as there is no one way for individuals to pray, so there is no one way for a couple to pray. Each couple should work out their own way that is formed by their own level of faith and their own circumstances. One of the important values of praying together is that a couple is constantly reminded that they are not on their own and that they cannot do it on their own but that the God of love, who wants everything that is good and best for them, is with them.
- What are some of the things you personally are most grateful for in your marriage?
- What are some the things you most want for yourself personally in your marriage?
- What is your ambition for your marriage for the year ahead?
- In what ways would you personally like to see you as a couple making prayer a greater part of your love for one another?
Answer these questions individually first (at least 10 mins) and then share your answers with one another (at least 30 mins)