Most of us don’t want to waste our time. As such, we don’t spend time on things that we perceive won’t benefit us. I believe this is at least one reason that so many people don’t pray. They don’t perceive that prayer is a benefit to them.
What if I told you that there’s a way to pray that will work very well for you? Read on.
Growing up, my family always said grace before meals and prayed before going to bed. I then did the same with my kids, although not praying much by myself prior to my conversion. For a long time, I primarily said rote prayers, i.e. the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Then that all changed.
What Changed My Prayer Life
One of my favorite Catholic authors and speakers is Matthew Kelly, who founded Dynamic Catholic, an organization doing great things for the Catholic Church. Years ago, I read Matthew’s book, Rhythm of Life, which was life changing for me. Since then I’ve given a copy to well over 100 people and recommended it to far more. If you’ve not read it, do yourself a favor and do so.
Great Prayer Process
In the book, Matthew talks about the “classroom of silence”, where you take time for prayer, to talk to our Lord. My take on the process he suggests for discerning an issue looks something like:
- Describing to God an issue, challenge, or decision that is in front of you
- Tell Him what is on your heart and mind, explaining the situation
- Detailing for God your ideas and solutions, including the pros and cons for the various options you’re considering
- Share your feelings on the issue
- Sitting in silence, listening for God’s direction and inspiration
Very interesting…every time I have done this over the last 14 years, it works. It really works. In working through this process, taking the time to do all the steps, praying through it and asking God for his wisdom and direction, I’ve come away with a clear answer and direction every time, which is then validated in the peace that I feel over it.
To be clear, the most important relationship we can have is with our Savior, Jesus Christ. As such, I believe that prayer is critical to our faith journeys and in fact, to living a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. Not only is prayer good for us, but God deserves our adoration. In addition, we ought to be repentant and express gratitude in prayer. I pray daily, including the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be that I mention above, in addition to reading Scripture, and yes…participating in the classroom of silence.
Take It Slowly
If you don’t have a strong prayer life, don’t worry. It’s never too late to start. Take it slowly. Try what I describe above from Rhythm of Life. If doing everything in one sitting seems like a lot, say some rote prayers at another time during the day. If you want to start praying through Scripture, you could look to the daily Mass readings, which can be found at www.usccb.org/bible/readings.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew…it’s not a race. God is much more interested in your availability than your ability.
I encourage you to try the things I identify above. See if they work and feel free to comment to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistires.com.
May God Bless you on your journey of Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!