In preparation for our marriage, an area I would like to focus on with my future husband is praying together.
I am used to praying a Rosary or other memorised and recited prayers, intercession of the saints etc as well as silent meditation. H2B was raised Baptist and his prayers are more free flowing, from the heart and short and sweet.
We want to pray together but it has really only just occurred to me that I’m not sure how to go about it as we are both used to such different styles and ways of praying.
What would be a good way for us to pray together that doesn’t leave one of us feeling the prayer was either lacking or over-the-top?
While spontaneous prayer is not really a good way to pray together, you have to show him that you respect and are… well… conversant in this manner of praying. A way to do this in a more contemplative way would be to check out the idea of group “lectio divina” or sacred reading of the Scriptures. This way you would both spend some silent time chewing over the Scriptures, and then you could share your insights with each other. That might be too quiet for a Baptist who isn’t used to silent, and meditative prayer. Quite frankly, as a Christian he needs to know that sort of prayer, but regardless…
On the other hand, he needs to admit that structured prayer is just as a legitimate way of praying… even if it is not his favorite or most comfortable choice. If he won’t pray the rosary, see if you can pray the liturgy of the hours together. Get the “Shorter Christian Prayer” book, which will be helpful to pray together with. It’s mostly the psalms, and only a very occasional thing which might offend a Protestant. If he says he doesn’t like it, or isn’t comfortable with it, well… that’s the sacrifice of the relationship. Tell him if you’re going to sound like a fool praying spontaneously outloud around him, then he’s got to feel like a stick in the mud reciting psalms.
A third idea-- even if you aren’t always praying together (i.e., the same thing) you can always pray in each other’s presence. If you are pursing the life of holiness, and he is as well, then you each should try to spend some time in meditative prayer every day. If you can each do this in each other’s presence you might find a spiritual kinship growing. Every day might be a bit much if you don’t live together, but try to do it a few times a week if you can. Say, 15 minutes in a session? I know brothers in a religious order who became friends by reason of having shared a common prayer time in the chapel for years (each man adored silently, and they didn’t talk with each other). That way each of you can pray (internally) as you wish, and yet God’s grace will not be absent between you.
Sound good? Anything I’ve been unclear about? God bless,
I would suggest that you both try to pray in the way that the other person does a few times…
I was never comfortable with spontaneous prayer, but recently I’ve become much more fond of it. Maybe you won’t find that, and maybe he won’t find more structured prayer appealing, but you’ll never know if you don’t try! Also, try praying for each other when you’re praying together… think of it as something like the General Intercessions that we have during Mass.
Finally, if you both want to pray together, I’m sure you’ll find a way to make it happen. Don’t be too worried about it because it will get better and more comfortable with time!
I got some good suggestions from the Non-Catholic group to do the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Stations of the Cross, reading the Psalms…
I suppose I am looking for ways that prayer will be comfortable for both of us - I’m not terribly comfortable with the spontaneous prayer, I never really know what to say. But when I’m on a train or bus in my mind I talk on and on and on to God…:gopray2:
I have found some good prayers for engaged couples but I guess I think that he might think my prayers aren’t as good or genuine because they haven’t come from the heart (even though they really do!).
I second the Lectio Divina idea, and I suggest that you give spontaneous prayer a try. I participated in a women’s Bible study with a Protestant group, and we opened the meeting by going around the table and offering our intentions aloud. You could try a back-and-forth method like that. You could also take a cue from the Quakers, who sit together in silence until someone is moved to vocal ministry. Pray or meditate silently, and vocalize your intentions as it becomes you. You can also introduce him to your way of prayer with the Our Father/Lord’s Prayer, with which he is probably already familiar.
God bless your efforts to worship together, and all the best for your upcoming marriage.
Have you heard of Taize prayer? It is an ecumenical way of prayer, that should be comfortable for both of you.
Visit www.taize.fr for more information, there you can find some nice simple meditative songs to use in your prayer together.
Pick up a copy of the Magnificat at your Catholic bookstore. It is a little prayer ‘magazine’ that has morning and evening prayers for every day and the Mass readings. Basically it is all scripture so you fiance should be comfortable with that. It also includes some intercessory prayer for every day. Once you’ve said the written out prayers, you can each add your own prayer requests. That part is obviously spontaneous and can be as short and sweet as “Jesus, please be with my co-worker Susan and her new baby” type of prayer.
As a Baptist, you fiance should be pleasantly suprised at how much scripture Catholics do read! It will probably be much more comfortable for him than a rosary or other similar prayers. The Magnificat is based on the Liturgy of the Hours which is the prayer required by the church for all priests and religious and highly encouraged for the laity.
If you are going to pray together it would be good to mix both. You really will need to learn the spontaneous prayer method because the point of praying with someone is to raise up the issues of the day that are in your mind and hearts. You will want to be praying for his job, your job, you families, discerning things like is it time to buy a house or have a childe etc things that must be mentioned in particular. You can’t go digging out a memory prayer for each situation. You can just talk out loud like you do in your head to some degree.At the same time our memory prayers provide so much comfort and help to center us and bring us deeper into prayer that it would be good for your fiance to learn the ones you pray that do not make him uncomfortable.