Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness

Author:  Deacon James Keating PhD
Publisher:  The Institute For Priestly Formation

Grow in intimacy in your prayer life and marriage through Spousal Prayer, a book that teaches the key elements to receiving the heart of another as well as how to love your spouse the way Christ loves His Bride, the Church. A great gift for couples in marriage preparation, newly weds or those who have been married 20+ years, Spousal Prayer is for anyone who thinks the prayer within their marriage can be improved upon.

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Deacon James Keating's book Spousal Prayer: A Way to Marital Happiness, affirms that the sharing of hearts is a necessary commitment in both marriage and prayer. If we can learn what the key elements to sharing the heart are and equally what the key elements to receiving the heart of another are, then we will know the greatest of intimacy in both prayer and marriage. The mingling of the love of spouse with and in the love of God is and has always been the foundation for a life of peace, creativity, and vibrancy, not to mention sanctity. In fact, we cannot even understand what marriage is unless we look at how Christ loved His Bride, the Church, till the end (Jn 13:1). For the baptized, Christ has joined His love for the Church to the Sacrament of Marriage and Marriage, to His love for the Church.

Each couple is called to allow Jesus to bring them into this great love of His. The couple is not supposed to do all the "work" of love; they are called to let Jesus gift them with His own spousal love. In other words, couples should let Jesus live His spousal love for the Church over again in their own love for one another. They do this by simply asking Him in prayer to do so and by sharing their needs and desires with Him. Marriage is not a "self-help" relationship; it is a deep partnership with Christ.


Additional Info

Publisher The Institute For Priestly Formation
Author Deacon James Keating PhD
Product Type Paperback
Width (inches) 5
Height (inches) 7
ISBN/UPC 9780984379286
Number of Pages 54



"In this work, couples are invited to embrace the richness and beauty of intimacy. At a time when the very definition of marriage is being called into question, Keating offers a practical and profound reflection on Marriage as a path to holiness."

The Most Reverend Paul Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City, OK

"What a beautiful, insightful, practical, and inspiring meditation on the deepest meanings of Catholic Marriage. This is a booklet that couples should read together. There are insights here revealing the nature of sacramental Marriage that I have never encountered before."

Ralph Martin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, MI

"If couples read this book, they will notice that the way of love is one. Since God is love, if couples know how to communicate genuine love to one another, they will already know how to be intimate with God. Through three simple principles, couples are shown that their sacramental love for one another is precisely what launches them to the highest happiness possible - happiness in God"

Christopher West
Author, Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal Longing

“Whether you are a lay person or clergy directly involved with Marriage preparation, consider it providential that this book has crossed your path. Give this book the time it deserves so that you might receive, pray, and be changed in your understanding of the vocation of Marriage!”

Valeria Conzett, D.Minn., L.P.C.
Director, Family Life Office, Archdiocese of Omaha, NE

Media Reviews


"Overall, Spousal Prayer contains rich veins of wisdom for the married couple who wants to begin or enrich their prayer life together. Because many couples may have lacked a model for spousal prayer in their families of origin, Keating serves as a trustworthy guide. The parallel he draws between spousal intimacy and intimacy with God is especially valuable, as it provides a fruitful way for spouses to understand how their faith enriches their marriage and vice versa."

Bethany Meola
Assistant Director of USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

Read the full review on the USCCB's website!

"One of the best ways for us to improve our relationships is to increase our prayer lives within that relationship. The book Spousal Prayer by Deacon James Keating is exactly what we need to learn about specific ways to pray and improve our relationships with God and our spouse.

Spousal Prayer is a small book that is easy to read but rich in theological doctrine."

Nicole Ernest

"There is so much pure common sense in its few pages about facing our common failings, the need for healing, ways to foster growth in intimacy with our spouses and God through a commitment to relational prayer, that those who haven’t been informed by a deep theological culture, as has Keating, would never know that they are drinking from very deep wells indeed. Everything he has to say on these issues represent critical first steps in fixing what could be called the “supply chain” for the New Evangelization. For as John Paul also said, “The future of humanity passes by way of the family” (FC 89). Holy families need holy spouses who will pass on to their children the riches of a lived intimacy with God in prayer. Without them, there can be no New Evangelization. My wife and I have both read Keating’s work and it has born important fruit in our relationship with each other and with God."

Fr. David



About the Author


Deacon James Keating, PhD, is Director of Theological Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Before joining IPF, he taught moral and spiritual theology for 13 years at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Keating has led more than 400 workshops on moral theology and spirituality nationwide. He regularly conducts retreats and parish missions. Some of his more than 70 essays on Christian Ethics and Spirituality have appeared in publications throughout the country.

Dr. Keating has authored or edited 11 books and numerous articles in the field of moral and spiritual theology, and served as editor of the Josephinum Journal of Theology (1993-2006). He also has a weekly radio program addressing topics in Catholic spirituality and morality heard on KVSS, Omaha.

Married to Marianne, they have three sons, Kristoffer, Jonathan and Liam, and a daughter, Ina. He was ordained a deacon in 2001 for the Diocese of Columbus, Ohio.