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Prayer—especially praying with your spouse—can seem intimidating. . . . How can you get the most out of prayer, whether you do it on your own or with your husband or wife? And how do prayer and marriage go together?
Nothing Goes to Waste
Marriage is a sacrament and a vocation. That’s true, of course, and it’s lovely to say, but what does it mean? And what difference does it make to your prayer life?
The fact that marriage is both a sacrament and your vocation means that God can use every part of your relationship to communicate with you, reveal himself to you, heal you, transform you, and raise you up into the saint he is calling you to be. Nothing about your marriage is wasted, as far as God is concerned: not your arguments, not the boring stuff involved in managing your everyday life, and certainly not the joys and pleasures of married love. God invites you and your spouse not only to pray for and with one another but also to view your married life as a prayer that facilitates deeper communion with God.
Many couples might find this an odd thing to say, at the very least. Even many committed Christians do not experience the spiritual-marital dynamic we have described so far. But this isn’t a novel concept. Scripture and Church teaching both present marriage as a means for a couple to grow in holiness. In truth, the grace is there for every couple to experience their marriage as a deeply soulful instrument of grace and growth.
But in order to experience the spiritual power of marriage, we need to connect every part of our marriage to the pipeline of grace, prayer. Prayer is a conversation with God, but it is even more than that. St. John Vianney once said, “Prayer is nothing less than union with God.” When you combine these two notions of prayer—conversation and union— you discover that praying for and with your spouse means entering into a regular conversation with your spouse and God, through which you receive grace to enter into deeper communion with both. Praying for and with your spouse allows you to discover, in a personal and powerful way, that prayer brings you into deeper relational and spiritual intimacy with your mate and the God who gave you to each other in his love.
Read more about how to tap into the spiritual power of your marriage through praying together with your spouse in Dr. Greg and Lisa Popcak’s new book, Praying for (& with) Your Spouse (The Word Among Us Press, 2018) Available at wau.org/books.