5 Steps To Praying More in 2018
So you want to pray more in 2018?
Just like those that want to exercise more or save more money in the New Year, there are a lot of us who also want to be more prayerful. The catch, and there’s always a catch, is that it’s easier said than done.
A desire needs a bit more to become a reality.
Still, a seed of desire is a good starting point to a more prayerful “you” in 2018. St. Therese calls prayer a “surge of the heart”- that sure sounds like desire-language to me! If you have a desire to pray more, that’s fantastic so let’s explore it further.
Once you have the inclination to be more prayerful, what do you do about it? I suggest a couple of things to get you going:
- Pick an app. As you can see from my Productivity Awards list, I recommend either Magnificat or Give Us This Day. If you’d prefer a free option, go with Laudate.
- Decide on a time of day. For most of us, mornings are the best time of day to pray. There’s just less resistance in the morning and it also feels great to start your day with some personal time with God.
- Decide on your location. This isn’t a fancy step but still an important one. Will you pray at the kitchen table or in a chapel at church? Will you find a comfortable chair in your living room that looks out on your backyard? Where in your life can you find a quiet spot to be with God every day at a particular time? For me, it’s typically in a chair in my living room, listening to the birds begin their day just outside.
- Decide on your ritual or practice. You know when you go to church and the service (or Mass for us Catholics!) begins the same way every single week? Those repeated signs trigger your mind and heart into a different point of focus, i.e. “this is prayer time”. You can do this at home by lighting a candle, making the sign of the cross or saying the same thing each time you start. I like to begin with “O God come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me” which I’ve borrowed from the Liturgy of the Hours. Find what works for you and then use it each and every time you pray.
- Revisit your journal. A journal is a great place to “ponder” things. Writing makes you more reflective, more grateful and can improve your intimacy with God. Just let it flow- don’t try to impress anyone or be perfect. The point is to talk to God through your writing (or typing via an app) and “turn over” your heart a few times.
These are five simple tips for a more prayerful you in the New Year. I can’t wait to hear of your success stories!