Daily Office Readings for Friday, after the Second Sunday of Lent: Year A
“Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again” (1 Corinthians 7:5)
I do not accept all of Saint Paul’s advice or his beliefs about the husband wife relationship. But buried deep in this counsel is the recommendation that each should pray. And from the way he says it I feel it means for each to find their own time alone and apart to do so. As he writes “and then come together again,” suggests to me that they are apart during some of their praying time, but later join one another again.
I do premarital counseling for couples engaged to be married. Of the several categories of questions I ask, I ask about their faith (or faiths). As they come to me (a priest) for conducting the wedding it should be understood that the marriage is a Christian matter. My Book of Common Prayer says that at least one of them must be baptized. Personally I prefer both of them to be Christian (even better if both are Episcopalian, but not necessary). I don’t expect the couple to provide me with what they have resolved about any of the subjects I put before them, I just want to know that they had the conversations.
Prayer, like finance, division of household labor, employment and careers, raising children, education, extended family, sex, and support of their worship house, I have often suggested that for prayer they pray together. Listening to Paul now, I am re-thinking that part. Perhaps it would be better if at some point they each had some “alone” time with God. They can still do their regular prayers together, but they each should also have some quiet meditation time with God alone. Thanks Paul.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John