I’ve wanted to write a post about prayer for awhile, but it just seems like such an overwhelming subject to tackle! There are so many different ways to pray and so many books on the topic! I’m not going to let that stop me, though!
Since it’s such a popular subject, prayer is clearly important. It is one of the most vital things that we can do to grow closer to God and be molded into who He wants us to be. It’s essential in order to discover His will for us. Praying must be more than just a few petitions tossed up throughout the day or a quick “thank you” when things work out our way. Prayer needs to be a priority so that everything else is rightly ordered and our “paths are made straight” (Proverbs 3:6). Just as a couple needs to continuously communicate and sacrifice daily in order to cultivate a healthy marriage, the same must be done to grow deeper in a relationship with Christ.
Improving my prayer life is something that I’ve personally been focusing on the past several months. Even though I’m a full-time working mother, I try to find moments in my day that I can dedicate consistently to prayer. This idea of making a point to set aside a specific time to pray each day has been a recurring theme that I have come across often in my reading.
I use my drive to work in the morning to pray and prepare for the day. I’ve been trying to get back into praying the rosary consistently, too. (It helps that my radio is broken, too – no distractions!) I also spend a little time reading the Bible after tucking my girls in at night. I’m not spending hours in prayer, but I have found that I feel much more at peace when I stick to my new routine, however short it is.
I do have to say, though, that the more I am aware of the blessings in my daily life and promptings to do God’s will, the more I feel like my actions and special moments are like little prayers. Sometimes I find myself soaking in a genuine smile from one of my daughters and I feel it’s God showing me His love and allowing me to experience true joy that only comes from Him. I can feel God in the moment. No words even need to be said.
In doing my research on prayer, I have come across some very helpful and inspiring resources. Instead of trying to quote and paraphrase, I think it’d be best to just share and link, because they each deserve to be read in their entirety!
Recommended Resources on Prayer:
1. The Prayer Process as shared in The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. This 7-step process is a great daily way to pray. It helps me reflect on the accomplishments and failures of the day, how God is speaking to me, and what I can do for others.
2. Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay. This book really is a must-read on prayer. There were many great insights in this book. Not only did it address the various types of prayer and their value, but it discussed how to help children pray and how to pray even when we are busy. I know that this is a book I could re-read over and over again and continuously learn more.
3. Lesson One in Prayer by Peter Kreeft. I love how Kreeft writes – so visual and direct. This brief article on why to pray and how to get started is definitely a kick in the pants! Kreeft has also written Prayer for Beginners, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s definitely on my list and is actually available from Lighthouse Catholic Media for $5.
4. Meditation Stuff: The Laudate app is free and has daily readings and meditations. I also like Word Among Us for their daily meditations on the readings. I recently discovered The Catholic Company’s Morning Offering daily email. At first, I was like, “I don’t need another thing to read and meditate on,” but I have discovered that I really like the saint quotes that they share! Each day they feature that day’s saint, Liturgy of the Hours, and more. I highly recommend it!
5. St. Josemaria Escriva. One of my favorite bloggers, Erin of Humble Handmaid, has mentioned this saint’s writings often on her blog. She recently shared this post, “Making Every Breath a Prayer,” where she again shared some more of his wisdom. I definitely need to get to know this saint more!
How do you fit prayer into your daily life? Do you have any favorite resources or tips?