Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Prayer Challenge for the New Year

We're both Catholic. We married in the Church and value our faith. We both know the value of prayer, want to/try to/actually do pray every day on our own, and both pray with our children. Why can't we seem to pray together...?

All these questions filtered through the lips of almost every couple at a recent monthly meeting of our couples group. My husband and I are part of a movement called Teams of Our Lady, a lay-movement within the Catholic church that "offers couples a way to grow in married love, happiness, and holiness." As part of this group, we commit to a series of "endeavors" or basic practices that we will pursue as spouses for the purpose of building up our conjugal (and personal) spiritual life. This month we will be focusing on the endeavor to find time each and every day to pray with one another.

It would seem to be a simple thing, prayer with one another. But one of us falls asleep nursing the baby sometimes, and the other one of us falls asleep telling stories to the toddler, or when one is home alone while the other is out working, or when one is grouchy and the other is hurt, or when one is busy late into the night and the other is tired, prayer together becomes a bit elusive. Prayer together, if it is honest, is also a moment of extreme vulnerability. When we have drifted apart due to schedules or disagreements, coming together for prayer points out the abyss between us with a silent rawness that I can't stand... so I admit that sometimes I avoid it.

Yet I know that prayer can be a moment of healing, an anchor in a marital life that is being tossed on the waves of schedules and new jobs and a two year old who confounds us. So I look forward to the challenge of praying with one another each day this month, the quiet moment before sleep when we come before God together in humility, with gratitude for the day past and hope for the day ahead.

(Are you up for the challenge too? You're welcome to join in with your spouse and/or community and let us know how it goes!)

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