Would you like to get into a routine of saying prayers with your spouse?
In this post we will read a quotation about the bond that should exist in Bahá’í marriage and explore how praying together can foster this relationship.
[quote]Consequently when the people of Baha desire to enter the sacred union of marriage, eternal connection and ideal relationship, spiritual and physical association of thoughts and conceptions of life must exist between them, so that in all the grades of existence and all the worlds of God this union may continue forever and ever for this real union is a splendor of the light of the love of God.[/quote]
(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith – Abdu’l-Baha Section, p. 372)
As a Dad things can get busy around the house, especially with balancing time for work, time to pay the bills, time with the kids, time with the wife and time with friends. I can’t even remember any more what I used to do in my twenties with all my free time! With all the “busy-ness” of daily life it is so crucial not to let your daily connection with God fall by the way side.
Daily prayer with my Dad is one of my earliest memories as a child. Every morning I remember waking up hearing my Dad saying his long obligatory prayer at dawn. I would crawl out of bed as a child and climb onto his back (along with my younger sister!). We would then both try to hold on as long as we could while he moved up and down during all the different movements of the prayer!
The experience of praying with my Dad has really helped me in life to maintain my intimate connection with God. I learned that praying together with someone is such an intimate experience and that it creates a deep long-lasting bond. If you can get used to being comfortable in the presence of someone while you are praying and feel free to open your heart to God in their presence, there is a connection that is built between you both that transcends this earthly plane. Creating this connection in prayer with your wife can really help you both grow closer together, help you look beyond each others’ shortcomings and see God’s qualities within each other.
Although I can’t do it every day because of my shift work, I just love being able to sing prayers and writings with my wife and two boys, and connect with each other while striving to attain God’s presence in prayer. I find it’s worth having prayer time with the whole family but also setting special prayer time alone with my wife (eg in the evenings).
There are many ways to find that “prayerful intimacy” with your spouse. You could try singing your prayers together, watching youtube prayers before you say your own, go on a “dawn date” and watch a sunrise together for your prayer time, do some yoga together prior to praying, maybe set goals to memorise certain prayers together. Prayerful intimacy will look different with your wife than with your kids… you wont be able to get her to jump on your back while you do the movements of the long obligatory prayer (that probably wouldn’t be very reverent, and could end up with a visit to the chiropractor)… but you can still be creative!
Choose a time of the day (or week, if daily is not possible) to share prayers, alone, as a couple. Sometimes, in addition to praying together, it can be beneficial to share what we are praying for. As busy parents we may not have all the time we would like to discuss everything going on in our lives, and sharing what we are praying for with our partner can help them get a glimpse into what is most important to us at this point in our lives and what we are currently working on.
Below is a Family Prayer List you can download, which is a place you can write down what you are praying for and, in turn, have the opportunity to support your spouse in their prayers as well. You may like to invite your children to add to the list too. Giving children a tangible tool for understanding what or who we are praying for can help them understand the power of prayer and remind them to pray when they have a difficulty in life or want to help someone else.
You may choose to put the list up in your bedroom or in the family room, and add to it as prayer topics arise. Some families may like to make a new list every month while others will keep the same list for quite a while.
[box type=”download”] Download the Family Prayer List.[/box]
Questions for Reflection
In marriage we have the amazing responsibility of being a life partner to someone else. Are we supporting each other in our work? Do we engage in acts of service together? What past times are we choosing when we do have a bit of time to spend alone together? Do we really know what is going on in our partner’s heart? Praying together can help guide our actions to be compassionate with one another and also solidify unity between us. Taking a few moments to pray with our spouse can be a powerful uniting force.
Our children will learn the habits of prayer from us and will also be affected by the spiritual nature created in our homes. Are we turning to God for assistance throughout the day? Are we modeling a prayerful attitude in our family relationships?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.enablemetogrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/zafandchels.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]This post was written by Chelsea and Zafar, a couple living in Australia with two young children. Daddy’s Tool Box is a series of posts that share Bahá’í quotations and ideas relating to fathers, featuring a practical tool for how we can practically implement the guidance into our homes. Click here for more information and to see a list of Daddy’s Tool Box posts.[/author_info] [/author]
Do you pray with your spouse? How does it affect your marriage? Please share in the comments.