Your Daily "Homework" — PTA (Pray, Talk, Act)
One of the most profound ways to deepen our friendship with God and our spouse is to pray together as a couple. Many of us don’t know how to do this. So for each day of the seminar, the companion book contains a prayer, scripture passage and a short meditation, like this one: sample prayer for couples.
"We started praying together during the seminar, and have continued and made it a daily practice. Initially it was awkward to pray together, but now we miss it if we don't get our prayer in before we head for work." - Tad & Kim
It is well documented that friendship is the foundation of our love for our spouse. In the seminar book, we provide numerous ten-minute conversation starters that couples can use each day to get to know more about each other. The questions are simply suggestions, but they will help you until you get the hang of it. The important part of this exercise is to talk about anything other than your schedules, the children and their problems, or the household tasks and responsibilities (as important as these things are to talk about, at another time). In just ten minutes, you can be surprised by each other even after 20, 25, 40 or more years! Here are some examples of Conversation Starters:
What was an important turning point in your life? Why?
What is really romantic to you?
What was your favorite vacation as a child?
What is your favorite holiday? Why?
- What was the funniest thing your dad or mom did when you were growing up?
“The daily conversation starters have us sharing more of our memories and life experiences - it is amazing how much more there is to learn about one another!" -Wife of 45 years
Feelings follow our actions, not the other way around! Regardless of the feelings of the moment, in the Holy Spirit, we have the power to do acts of love that will become habits of love! Give it a try: Act as if you love your spouse, and you will, more and more! The seminar book has a list of suggested Acts of Love for each week that are designed to help you express your love, practice friendship, and deepen your affection for each other. Here are some examples:
Wink at your spouse across a crowded room
Say “Goodbye, I love you” when leaving for the day
Leave little love notes for your spouse to find
Clean up after dinner together
- Go for a walk together - and hold hands!
“I was surprised by how my feelings for my wife changed when I began thinking about how grateful I was for what she did and who she was.” -Husband married 15 years and father of 5 children
Week 4 Prayer Service
The prayer service on the fourth night of the seminar is one of the highlights of the Marriage in Christ seminar. After the video there is a time for the couples to have private conversation to prepare for the prayer time. Then the couples gather together to listen to a brief reading from Sacred Scripture and a short reflection on it. Then the couples are given time to do three things privately. First, they are invited to commit or recommit their marriage to Christ. Second, they are given an opportunity to invite the Holy Spirit to be more present, to deepen their love and to give them strength. Third, to privately express in their own words their commitment to live one life with each other. Each couple is then invited to light a candle from the main candle that was lit at the beginning of the prayer time. The evening usually concludes with a brief celebration.
“This was really the first consistent time we had prayed together since we had been married...
...and I found it to be absolutely fabulous and a real step forward together. It provided a structure and format for us to share our personal intentions together and pray together as a couple. We had not really done this before and I loved it!”