Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. As such, I find myself reflecting with gratitude on the blessings God has bestowed on me. They are too many to count, but I think the ones that matter most are found in how I am petitioning God on a daily basis. It occurred to me that these petitions might be useful to others, either as a reminder to consider your own blessings or as a framework upon which to construct/re-construct your own petitions. Without further ado, what follows is how I end prayer each night with the family… for all to hear.
I ask God to bless our family with the grace to get to Heaven and to bless our Church with truth and reverence. I also ask that He would call at least one of our children to the priesthood and/or religious life. I ask that He would bless any future spouses of our children, that He would bless our families, our friends, and their families. Amen.
Allow me to break it down for you…
Just as no person is perfect, no marriage is perfect either. That doesn’t mean that a marriage can’t be a happy one, at least most of the time!
Here are three keys that I’ve found helpful in my own marriage, in hopes that they might bring some happiness to yours.
Pray Together – Stay Together
We don’t necessarily have a hand-holding, off-the-cuff daily routine of praying together. We have prayed that way before, though, and it’s commendable. Rather, my wife and I say our mealtime prayers together, our nightly prayers together, and we go to Mass together every Sunday. From time to time, we’ve had a habit of praying an Our Father together in the mornings before work, offering it for a daily intention that each of us has. Likewise, we invite each other to go to Confession when our hectic Saturday schedules allow us to go together. On special occasions, we go to devotional prayer services offered at local parishes, praise and worship gatherings, and concerts of our favorite Christian artists and bands. All of this speaks of a life immersed in prayer, and we are not alone.
I am blessed to know many couples who share similar habits. While none of our relationships are without challenges, I firmly believe that prayerful communion with God is the ultimate tie that binds a married couple.
Perhaps you’re a new mother.
Maybe you’ve already got kids who are several years old or older.
Chances are you’ve wondered, “What’s the best way to teach children to pray?”
Let’s face it, we all have our own struggles with prayer. Some of us are fortunate enough to have discovered the best way or ways for ourselves to commune with God. The rest of us are still searching. There’s just so much to choose from with regard to prayer forms, it can leave us wondering where to begin, both for ourselves and for our kids.
In this post, I’m going to share what works for our family of seven, why I believe it’s a good and sustainable practice in general, and therefore, why it can be worth your while too.