Allow at least thirty minutes of class time for the students to pray privately, though you may incorporate part of this prayer into a larger classroom service. Make sure each student has a prayer journal and a Bible. Follow these directions.

Call to Prayer

Pray in the following words or choose similar words of your own. After the prayer, pause in silence. Listen for God to speak to you in your silence.

Heavenly Father, thank you for this time in your presence. I have learned about the unbreakable and sacred bond of marriage. Help me to begin to determine if I am called to married life. If so, help protect me from the temptations against chastity. Teach me to be a loyal friend. Allow me to be relaxed as I form new friendships with people of the opposite sex. Make me strong enough to keep the commitments you have entrusted to me now so that I will be able to keep the life long commitment of marriage if I am called down that path. And continue to offer your Holy Spirit to those married couples who are dear to me: especially my parents, grandparents, and others who have shared the graces of the sacrament of Matrimony with me. Remain with me always. I make this prayer in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Slowly and carefully read the Scripture passage from 1 John 4:7–12. What is God’s word saying to you about a possible vocation to married life?

A reading from the First Letter of John Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us. The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Reflection Questions

Read through the entire list of questions. Then go back and choose one question to spend time with in greater detail. Listen to what God is saying to you. Write down your thoughts in a prayer journal. Choose another question and repeat the process. You can choose to do all or some of the questions. You can also form your own questions about marriage and write your responses to these as well.

* What elements of my friendship skills can I bring to a marriage?

* Can I put my career plans behind my marriage and family life?

* How do I imagine my future spouse?

* What would a typical weekday be like as a married person? weekend?

* How many children would I like to have?

* How would I fit in with my spouse’s family? How would my spouse fit in with my family?

* What kind of parenting style will I have?

* How does married life seem fun and exciting?

* What will my wedding be like?

* If I could tell my future spouse anything right now, what would it be?

Prayer for My Future Spouse

End your time of reflection with a prayer for a potential future spouse. Use this prayer or your own words.

Holy God, watch over my future spouse if it is your will that I be married. Protect my spouse from harm. Keep my spouse chaste and pure as I promise the same. Lead us to each other and instruct us in the ways of friendship. As our love grows, let it be in your name. I commend this prayer through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother, and through Christ our Lord. Amen.

This prayer was taken from the textbook Marriage and Holy Orders: Your Call to Love and Serve (Ave Maria Press, 2007).