How to Fit Prayer into a New Relationship
Are you wanting to add more prayer into your life, or are just trying to remember how to say the rosary? You may have heard the saying, “The family that prays together, stays together.” But as a young adult, how do you fit praying and the rosary into a busy schedule full of jobs, hobbies, and your dating life?
Whether you’re single and praying for your future spouse, or just getting to know someone and wanting to incorporate prayer into your new relationship, this blog post is full of tips and hints.
The family that prays together, stays together
Father Patrick Peyton popularized the saying “The Family that prays together stays together” back in the 1900s. But that saying still rings true today. Even the stories of the saints show us the importance of prayer with your family.
Regardless of what your relationship status is, think back on what prayer meant for you growing up. Did your family gather together, your parents teaching you how to pray the rosary? Was prayer something that just happened at church on Sundays? Maybe your family struggled to maintain a prayer life. Whatever your situation was, make some notes about what you liked and didn’t like about your family of origin’s prayer life.
Then, with your family history in mind, think about what you’d like to keep and what you’d like to change in your own personal prayer life going forward. If you didn’t ever learn common Catholic prayers, take the time to learn how to pray the rosary. If your family had an adoration hour together, see what the schedule for adoration looks like at your local parish.
Remember, you don’t have to repeat everything your family did. Think of your family of origin like carrying a suitcase. It may already come pre-packed with your childhood experiences and family traditions, but as a young adult, you’re free to unpack some things and leave some unwanted baggage behind you.
How should you pray in a relationship?
Your prayer life is something intimate between you and God – and that can be scary to share with someone you’re dating! You may be worried that your prayers won’t sound good or holy enough. Maybe you’re wondering when to start introducing prayer into your dating life.
It’s a great idea to pray with someone that you’re discerning marriage with. But before you pull out your rosary beads on the first date, there’s some things you should ponder.
Spontaneous, from-the-heart prayer can be a vulnerable and intimate moment to share with someone. If you’re in a serious relationship, this kind of prayer should be incorporated into your relationship. But if you’re just starting to get to know someone, jumping into spontaneous prayer may be diving deep pretty quickly in terms of spiritual intimacy.
Thankfully, the Catholic Church has many ways for you to pray with each other while keeping your boundaries in check.
For instance, you can learn how to pray the rosary with your significant other if they aren’t familiar with the prayer. Swing by the adoration chapel together and focus on your relationship with the Lord. Spend time on the weekend together going to Mass and praying with your parish family. Finally, consider joining (or starting!) a small group to study Scripture and pray together with.
Regardless of what type of prayer you’re comfortable with in your relationship, your private prayer life apart from your relationship is important to maintain, too. Keep practicing daily prayer life in your own time with the Lord, and continue to pray for clarity in discernment.
The fast-paced life can take our focus away from prayer
Today we’re often rushing around from here to there, trying to cram everything into our packed schedule. If you don’t have a regular prayer life established yet, the thought of setting aside time specifically for prayer can seem daunting – and, if we’re being honest, a waste of time.
But here’s the thing. God wants you to waste time with him. In fact, he asks us to waste time with him. A faithful prayer life flies in the face of today’s emphasis on getting ahead and the glorification of busy. But for Catholics, singles and dating alike, a prayer life is something that absolutely should be a part of your day.
So start small! Pencil in fifteen minutes in your calendar for you and God to listen to each other and share life together.
How to fit prayer and the Rosary into your busy schedule
If you’re looking for a place to start praying, learn how to say the rosary! If you’re already familiar with the prayer, refresh yourself on the Mysteries of the Rosary and dust off those beads. Usually, praying the rosary only takes about fifteen minutes, which is the perfect amount of time to fit into your (possibly busy!) schedule. But just where can you pray the rosary? The options are limitless.
In the morning
What a better way to start the day than with prayer? Grab your rosary while you’re on your way to work in the morning. Still learning how to pray the rosary? There are some great audio rosary options out there that you can play on your phone as you’re getting ready. Some organizations will even send you a quick rosary meditation every morning to listen to while you’re sipping your morning cup of coffee!
During your lunch break
Most of us get a 30 minute lunch break, which is plenty of enough time to fit in a rosary! I’ve found that it’s helpful to start my lunch break with a rosary rather than end it with prayer. It’s easy to get busy with social media updates, chatting with friends, and other distractions, only to find that your lunch break is over and you haven’t gotten a rosary in yet!
If you’re working on how to pray the rosary, tune into a rosary podcast over lunch and pray along with it.
In the afternoon
Is the afternoon when you find yourself swamped with mindless work at your job? Pray the rosary while going through those spreadsheets! Maybe you’re at home in the afternoons. Before dinner, make time to pull out your rosary beads. Regardless of your schedule, you may find that afternoons are the perfect time to set aside for prayer.
If your day is crazy busy, the night may be the best time for praying the rosary. Maybe you already have made time for relaxation after a busy day. Make the rosary part of your wind-down time!
Even if you’re still learning to pray the rosary, invite friends over to pray with you. You’ll help each other remember the mysteries and what decade you’re on!
Things to pray for as a single Catholic
Single and wondering how to build up your own personal prayer life before that special someone comes along? You’re not alone. Here are some specific prayer requests to incorporate into your prayer life.
To be the match for someone
It can be easy to focus on meeting someone and the characteristics you hope that they have. But before you pray for your future spouse, don’t forget to pray for graces for yourself, too.
Pray for strength against temptations, the fortitude to strive for holiness in this season of singleness, and strong community to surround you during this time of life.
To meet someone special
Ask the Lord for the strength to desire his will for your love life. Pray for patience and perseverance when it comes to dating. But most importantly, ask for your will and desires to be conformed to God’s will and desires for your vocation. Pray for his perfect timing instead of trying to convince him that any time now would be wonderful to meet someone.
For ongoing guidance
Regardless of whether you’re single with no dating prospects or wondering if you should ask someone out, pray for God’s guidance at every stage in this season. He wants to help you discern your vocation, he’s not leaving you out in the deep end just to watch you flounder.
For wisdom in dating
When you start dating, there can be many distractions in a new relationship that get in the way from discerning your vocation. Ask the Lord for the grace of wisdom and understanding when it comes to your love life.
Things to pray for as you enter into a new relationship
Maybe you’re just starting to get to know someone. Perhaps you’re trying to figure out whether to say yes to that second date, or when to make things official. There are specific things you can bring up in your conversation with the Lord, too!
To get to know each other well
Pray for the grace of authenticity and honesty as you continue to get to know someone new. Ask the Lord to help you show up and let yourself be seen by this new person in your life. But also ask the Lord to help you be fully attentive as they share their story with you, as well.
To love someone is to will their good. Don’t be afraid to ask the Lord to show you how to will the other person’s good in your new relationship. Maybe this will look different than you expected, but be open to the Lord’s answer.
For mutual respect
One of the most romantic things my then-boyfriend (now husband!) once told me was that he asked God to help him strive not to use me or any part of our relationship for his benefit. After all, the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s use. Pray daily for the grace to respect each other in your new relationship.
How to strengthen an already solid relationship
Already praying together? That’s awesome!
Other ideas to incorporate into your prayer life could be teaching others to pray the rosary, or picking a specific patron saint for your relationship. When I was dating, I asked Saint Pope John Paul the Great to intercede for my vocation.
Maybe you’ve already established a prayer life together but struggle with consistency. Don’t wait until New Years or Lent to make a resolution to pray together and separate on a regular basis. That may mean checking in with each other and asking how the other person’s prayer life is doing.
Another way to strengthen your prayer life is to pray about something as much as you talk about the subject together. Constantly butting heads with each other about how a family relationship is working out? Bring it to prayer. Bringing up the subject of engagement or talking about a future life together? Take that to prayer, too.
Ready to start learning how to pray the rosary? Check out these tips and hints. Ready to find out more about praying for your future spouse or adding prayer into your relationship? Keep checking in on the Catholic Singles Blog, where we’ll help you develop a prayer life and find the love of your life online!
Chloe Langr is a very short stay-at-home-wife, whose growth has probably been stunted by the inhumane amounts of coffee she regularly consumes. When she is not buried in a growing stack of books, she can be found spending time with her husband, geeking out over Theology of the Body, or podcasting. You can find more about her on her blog "Old Fashioned Girl."