Getting into a consistent routine when it comes to prayer time is difficult, but it is hugely beneficial to the spiritual life and your relationship with the Lord. However, there is a danger that our scheduled prayer time becomes the only time we are connecting with the Lord, and we shut Him out of the other parts of our life.
Father Robert McTeigue stopped by Morning Air® to discuss how we can have a prayer life beyond just praying, and how to bring prayer into every aspect of life.
“Remember, Our Lord didn’t say pray more or pray better. He said pray always,” said Father McTeigue. “And so that’s the distinction. People are faithful to prayer time, but it’s a compartment. God is over here, I check in with Him, and then I go have real life for the rest of the day, and I check in with Him again at the end of the day. That’s not transformative and we miss out on a lot of graces that way.”
So does that mean that we should abandon formal prayer? No. Father McTeigue explained that our scheduled prayer time is a necessary foundation, but we need to take it to the next level.
“You need that skeleton, that structure of morning prayer, midday prayer, and evening prayer, however you can set it up for your state in life,” he said. “But then you also need that sense of constant companionship.”
The challenge is that in our day to day lives, with multiple demands on our time and attention, how can we bring God into each aspect of life and still be present in our responsibilities?
“It depends upon your state in life,” explained Father McTeigue. “If you’ve got three kids in diapers you’re not going to be praying like a Carmelite. It’s just not possible.”
But that doesn’t mean we should let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Whatever your state in life, you should do what you can to remain aware of God’s presence and His actions in your everyday life.
“You have to give it priority. I remember reading a book called Too Busy Not to Pray, and this pastor said he doesn’t like who he becomes when he doesn’t pray, and he doesn’t like the quality of his work when he doesn’t pray, so he gives priority to prayer. Now, props to him for having those non-negotiable segments in the day set aside for prayer, but that has to complement a constant alertness to God always being at work in the world, at every moment revealing Himself and inviting us to become closer to Him. We need to have the two together, because that is the best preparation for heaven that there is.”
Listen to the full conversation below: