Simplifying Your Prayer Life


Most people I know want to pray more.  Their hearts are in the right places but... life gets in the way.  You know the feeling when you put your head down at night and realize that an entire 24 hours went by without even thinking about God, much less praying to Him. 

Not a good feeling. 

The good news is that you can reconnect with God any time.  By taking out some of the spiritual clutter, that reconnection process is much easier.   

So how do you do it?  That is, simplify your re-entry into conversations (both listening and talking) with God?   

  1. Name your space. Where will you pray?  In the car?  On the train?  In your home office?  While working out?  Say it out loud, write it down- whatever, but be sure you are clear where you intend to pray.  Some folks find that a church on the way home from work is ideal.  Find what/where works for you.
  2. Claim your space.  Once you've decided where you feel good praying, make it your own.  In my house, my home office is a very prayerful space. I have a prayer corner, some candles and lots of images that remind me of God and encourage me to be prayerful.  (see below)
  3. Limit your inputs.  Go for small "wins" here.  Rather than deciding you'll read all of Thomas Merton's spiritual classics, set aside one, just one.  Make it a point to read with focus, slowness and intention.  The simpler your spiritual diet, the better.  If you're not sure where to begin, go for the daily Mass readings that Catholics use.  
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I could say so much about prayer but at the end of the day, the old Nike saying holds true, "just do it" and then see what happens.  Hopefully, it's a simple, whole experience that brings you closer and closer to God. 

What works for you when you need to simplify your spiritual life? 

Photo courtesy of JM