Tips on How to Improve Your Prayer Life
Tools to Help You Improve Your Prayer Life
As Catholic Christians, I think we tend to assume we should know how to pray or that prayer should come easy for us. After all, we believe in God, go to Mass, and do our best to live our lives as God calls us to. Yet, prayer can sometimes be a struggle. How to make time for prayer or what to pray for can elude us at times. If you can relate to this, read on! I’m sharing some tools to help you improve your prayer life.
Make time to pray.
Yes, that is correct: make time to pray, not take the time to pray. When I was in high school I had an English teacher who was good and she was strict. One day a student came to class without her assignment. When the teacher asked her why she did not have it, the student replied, “I didn’t have time to do it.” Our teacher replied to her, “You didn’t make the time.” I thought that was an interesting way to look at time. It made sense to me. When something is important to us, we make time to do it.
Is improving your prayer life important to you at this time in your life? Is it something you want to make time for or make more time for?
Maybe with little ones to care for or an illness to deal with, weekly Mass is the only prayer you make time for in your life right now. Or, maybe you feel God calling you to spend more time in prayer but you are not sure how to do it.
You can start small. Spend a moment right now and pray. Your prayer can be a simple, “I love You, Lord.”
Prayers do not need to be long. Prayer time does not need to take hours. Think of a friend you have not spoken with in a while; would you rather talk with her for five minutes or not talk at all? Simple, short prayers are better than no prayers at all.
If you want to add more prayer to your day, think of when you want to pray. Linking prayer to daily tasks can be helpful. For example, you can pray a Morning Offering before you get out of bed. You can pray before you eat your meals. You can pray with your kids before they go to bed each night. You can pray while you do household chores like dishes and laundry, thanking God for your blessings and praying for your family members.
Decide a time each day when you will pray and link praying to an activity you already do. If this activity has a set time, you could even set an alarm to go off at that time as an extra reminder to pray as you work to develop this new habit of prayer.
For more short prayers, see 33 Short Daily Prayers-Ideas for When you Feel Uninspired in Prayer.
Know how to pray.
Do you want to pray but not know how to pray? That is okay.
First, consider the different prayers you know about. Do you want to start praying one of them? Perhaps you have heard of or have some experience praying the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Maybe you want to read the Bible more and pray with scripture.
Pick one prayer that interests you and begin there.
To find out more about reading the Bible with Scripture, see Learning How to Pray: Lectio Divina.
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Have prayers to pray.
There are endless possibilities! You can pick a prayer that you have always wanted to learn more about or speak to God from your heart in prayer.
Have prayer be a part of your life.
The best way to pray more is to make a habit of prayer. Make it a part of your daily life. Start small at first and then you can add more prayer time to your day.
Know that even on busy days you can make time to pray. Offer your day to God that all you do in your day will be an offering to Him. When you do this, your entire day becomes a prayer to God.
Prayer is speaking to God. It is listening to Him, too. Ask God to help you to grow closer to Him in prayer. He will help you!
If you want material that you can print out to help you in any or all of these areas (time to pray, how to pray, and prayers to pray), check out The Prayer Companion-a guide to meet you where you are in your prayer life and help you to grow in faith one day at a time. Learn to pray each day without adding more stress to your life!
If you are looking for a prayer book, Nunc Coepi: A Year of Prayer from Blessed is She is a book to lead you daily through a year of prayer. It contains Scripture selections, weekly reflections, and writings from Jean Pierre de Cassaude, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Gabrielle Bossis, Saint Philip Neri, the Desert Fathers and Mothers, and Saint Francis de Sales. This book will help you to develop a habit of prayer and deepen your prayer life.
You may also find this post helpful: Good Catholic Books to Read: Improve Your Prayer Life.
May God bless you as you continue to grow closer to Him. ?