Thursday, January 6, 2011

How's your prayer life?

My friend Shadowlands has a wonderful post today about prayer.   I have been inspired by all of you bloggers with your prayer life.  I hope to emulate you.  

One thing I do religiously, if you will, is pray first thing in the morning.  I do brush my teeth and make a cup of coffee, but then I sit in my prayer chair and read my morning books, including the mass readings of the day, and then I do my own prayer and meditation.  This takes about a half hour.  It's not much, but it is not negotiable.  I do it every day.  The only time I don't is if I am in a hurry to get to mass.  

I pray as I go through the day, but not as much as I should.  And as far as rosaries?  I am not so good.  I resolve to be better, but I am not.  It is ironic because I love the rosary - I said it even in the years when I had left the church and barely believed in God at all.  I still held those beads and knew that Our Lady was listening to me as I said my Our Fathers and Hail Marys.  

Later, after my reversion to the faith, I came to believe that I ought to use my own words to talk to God, and I ought to use my own silence to listen.  Now I think I am changing again.  

As an assignment for Biblical School earlier this year, we read a wonderful book by Eugene Peterson, "Answering God, The Psalms As Tools for Prayer."  There is so much great stuff in that book, I could read it over and over, but one paragraph blew me away and changed the way I pray:
The Psalms likewise are infused with and surrounded by a genetic, cultural, worshiping, and believing heritage.  This canonical condition means that in the life of faith we don't make up original prayers that suit our private spiritual genius.  Prayer is not an original language, but a received language.  (p. 17)
I have since come to love the thought of the entire church repeating the same words daily, world-wide.  I love to pray the Psalms out loud and know that I am repeating the same prayers that Jesus learned as a child.   I love the idea of joining in the community of faith, that transcends geography and even time.

One would wonder why I don't spend more time doing just that!  I think I will go do that right now.

God bless you all.


  1. I also saw Shadowlands's blog and responded there. Let me add to that. I don't have a set prayer routine in the morning. I get up early to get to work and it's rushed. I may squeeze in some prayer as I'm getting ready, and i'll kiss my crucifix on my neck. More than likely I will say prayers as I commute to work. I have on my ipod lots of recorded prayers and readings and podcasts that I listen to. If I get in early to work I will take out a prayer book too and read. But most of my praying is at night before bed. Again I use my ipod. It has made praying so much easier for me.

  2. I have conversations with God all day long, but most of my formal prayer takes place early in the morning. I'm really worried because I'm starting a new job in a week and while I have a new church mapped out with an early morning Mass very near to the new hospital, it will still be a disruption to the routine I've had for the past 3 years. I like what you said about the psalms. Perhaps this will give me the needed incentive to start making the Liturgy of the Hours the rule and not the exception for myself.

  3. Manny, there is nothing wrong in saying prayers at tnight, if your lifestyle/work calls for this. I just found that for me personally, if I wait until the evening, I am less likely to say my rosary. I also pray to God with my own words during the day and definitely at night, but the discipline of the rosary, I procrastinate with. Once I start, it's fine. I'm just a recalcitrant Roman, I guess!

    Cor! Two big words in one comment and both almost spelled correctly ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Mary Christine, I like the new look and also the sound of your morning start, esp the coffee bit. I might go and make one now. It's 5.59am here!