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Handling Prayer in an Interfaith Marriage

Praying Together as an Interfaith Couple

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Photo©  iStockphoto.com/Jennifer Trenchard
Photo© iStockphoto.com/Jennifer Trenchard
Although finding a common way to pray together can be a challenge for interfaith marriage couples, the partners who do pray together see it as a way of building intimacy and being more closely bound together while adding greater meaning to their interfaith married lives.

Four Prayer Approaches for Interfaith Marriages

There are four approaches to prayer that an interfaith couple can choose.
  • You can keep your prayer lives separate and individual.
  • You can can create ways to pray together.
  • You can have a mix of individual prayer and couple prayer.
  • You can decide to not include prayer in your family life.

Interfaith Marriage Prayer Tips

  • Work on finding a common language if you want to pray together. Agreeing to pray to "God" rather than "God the Father" is one compromise. Readings from the Old Testament are often acceptable to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Quotes from Gandhi, Thomas Merton, The Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Jr., poetry, etc. are also appropriate for interfaith marriages.
  • Look for or create prayers that include petitions and are more flexible in structure and theme.
  • In some faiths, posture and specific movements during prayer are very important. You can pray together and use the prayerful postures you are each most comfortable with.
  • Agree to have side by side silent prayer. This is the "Assisi model" of prayer that was jused by Pope John Paul II and other religious leaders during the World Day of Prayer for Peace at Assisi in 1986.
  • Use meal times to recite a blessing either before or after you eat. The prayer can be a simple prayer of thanksgiving for the food you have to eat, and recognition of those who may not have enough to eat.
  • Bedtime prayer is often associated with children, but can be a meaningful time for the two of you, too. You can use the standard, "now I lay be down to sleep" prayer, or say one that reflects on your day together.

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