Is prayer a part of your daily life? Even those who love the Lord and love their Catholic faith can struggle to pray every day. But prayer is the foundation of our relationship with the Lord, and it is essential in the life of a Catholic.
If you’re struggling to make daily prayer a reality, Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ recently shared some tips on how even people who are beginners in the spiritual life can grow in the practice and discipline of daily prayer. He told his St. Joseph’s Workshop listeners:
Start with Small but Achievable
How can we start incorporating, integrating our faith and our relationship with God every day? I think doing it once a day is a good way to start. Maybe you’re well past that, but I’m speaking to those who might be beginners along the way, or maybe those who have fallen away and not found themselves turning to the Lord daily.
Concretely, I think you have to do this in such a way that it doesn’t rely on your memory, it doesn’t rely on our weak ability to follow through. I’m thinking, set a reminder on your phone for the 3:00 p.m. hour, the hour of Divine Mercy. So you never have to think about it, it’s just an alert that goes off on your phone, and for a few moments you stop, immerse yourself in God’s mercy.
If possible, go to a chapel, if possible recite a Divine Mercy Chaplet. But maybe you can’t do those things because you’re busy at the office at that moment. Take ten seconds, take one minute to thank the Lord for His great mercy. Use the devices, the tools you have in your life to help you, to remind you.
If you’re not in the habit of praying daily, of turning to the Lord daily, I would start with the 3:00 p.m. hour myself. That’s just my recommendation. But maybe you need to start with a different hour. Maybe it needs to be morning prayer. Maybe it needs to be night prayer. Those are good hours too.
Start Adding, Little by Little
Pretty soon what you’ll be doing is you’ll have those three reminders on your phone. A morning reminder, a 3:00 p.m. reminder, a nighttime reminder. These are moments when you’re going to pray.
And then, along with this, little by little you’re going to start blessing your food. You’re going to start thanking God for the food He is giving you. Yes, even if you’re at a restaurant. Yes, even if you’re at your workplace, you’re going to make the Sign of the Cross. It says, ‘This is part of who I am. I recognize that this meal is before me because of God’s providence, and I’m going to ask that He would bless this food, that it might strengthen me, and help me to be His faithful disciple.’
So you’ve started with the 3:00 hour, you’ve moved on to morning prayer, 3:00 hour, and night prayer. Now you’re blessing your food before meals. Now stop and add up all that time. It’s probably about 8 minutes of your day. If that. It depends on how long you make those prayer times, and what prayers you do for morning prayer, night prayer, and midday prayer.
But my point is, even though you’ve now identified six different times during the day that you’re going to pray, it’s still not very long. It’s not a whole lot of time that you’re giving to God. It punctuates the day, yes, and that’s a fantastic practice. But there’s still a lot of room where you can add time and give time back to God.
Start Making Quality Time for God
So don’t stop with this, just having 7, 8, 9 times during the day where you’re marking it with devotions. Next what you do is you need to spend some quality time in prayer. Some time where you can listen very clearly to God. Where you can take a definitive break out of your day. This is where a daily Rosary becomes very beneficial. Because it’s time spent and it’s focus given to God. And it’s meditation upon mysteries that we know from Scripture and the life of the Blessed Mother. So the daily Rosary will become a part of your spiritual regimen that helps you be truly devoted, and truly focused in your prayer life.
Create a life of prayer, a life of dedication that is frequent, prompt, prayerful, and is leading us to be good witnesses of the Lord.
Listen to the full reflection below: