When you start dating someone new, it’s hard to figure out how much of your spiritual journey should be shared. How do you pray together as a couple?
Praying together can be very important, but it can also be very intimate and possibly too personal.
Be careful not to assume that holy dating means automatically including couple prayer. Prayer time should be an important part of your relationship, but it doesn’t have to be a team sport right out the gate.
Signs you’re ready to start praying together
As with all things love and religion, prayer is not an exact science.
If you’re at a place where you’re actively discerning marriage together, that’s a great time to pray together. It’s important to start establishing how you’ll pray together if you become husband and wife.
But maybe you just met and you’re not even sure if a third date is on the table. If that’s the case, you might steer clear of this level of emotional and spiritual intimacy that comes with daily prayer.
If you’ve been dating for a while but aren’t sure what your future holds, offer it up together. Creating a habit of daily prayer should be something you discern together.
The easiest way to figure out if you’re ready is to talk about it. A lot of secular dating advice siphons relationships into two parts – you and your partner. But relationships actually include three people: you, your partner, and the Lord.
So be open about that relationship with all three of those people. If you’re nervous to bring it up, say this prayer: “Lord, give me an opportunity to talk about our prayer time.”
When the opportunity arrives (which believe me, it will), just simply ask your partner, “Would you like to start praying together?”
Just how do you pray together as a couple?
You don’t need to jump right into deep, vulnerable prayer right away. Don’t start swapping confession rap sheets, either. Start small, and if you need to, start scripted.
The Catholic Church has a lot of really beautiful prayers that have already been written for you, so you don’t need to worry about finding the right words.
Sharing what’s on your heart each day is a great way to ease into praying daily as a couple. A small offering and spiritual check-in can change your entire day, and your entire relationship. Say this simple prayer:
“Lord, help me with (state intention) and him/her with (state intention). Help our relationship continue on the path that you created for us.”
A great way to spiritually connect with your partner is through praying daily with Scripture together. You could start by reading your way through a Gospel, or choose a devotional for couples or personal spiritual growth.
Enter into prayer, read the scripture aloud and share your intentions and meditations on it. This pray could span anywhere from five minutes after a shared meal to a holy hour together—whatever you’re ready for.
Praying a novena each day in service of a shared goal is a great way to bond spiritually. You can start with a nine day novena of your choosing, or use a resource like PrayMoreNovenas.com to keep one in a consistent rotation in your prayer life.
Rosaries are a good way to pray for others together, including your future spouse. Remind yourselves of the other people and calls and missions in the world by offering up a daily Rosary in service of others. You’ll grow in spirituality and selflessness together as a couple.
There are great resources available for praying the Rosary. If you want to start praying the Rosary but don’t know where to start, check out this daily meditation delivered to your email every morning.
Attending Mass together can offer a sort of spectrum of spiritual involvement as a couple. Early in a relationship, you could go together and just experience and receive the grace as a unit. But the further into your relationship you get, you could start sharing insights from the Mass or issuing personal prayer challenges based on where the Holy Spirit guided you during Mass.
Pray as individuals, always
If you’re not ready to dive into daily prayer in your relationship, that’s entirely okay. God will open that door when the time is right.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be praying at all. Prayer is vital to the success of your relationship, and it’s important to make sure that both of you are in active prayer for your relationships—even if you’re doing it apart from one another.
The presence of prayer plays a vital role in your courtship even if you’re not praying as a team yet. Without individual spiritual openness, you risk losing openness to God’s call for you as a couple.
Bring your feelings to the foot of the cross. Share your joys, struggles, triumphs, doubts, fears and hopes with the Lord and invite Him into your relationship as an active participant. Your relationship will grow in grace and clarity.