When Do You Find Time to Pray? by Katie Kimball


kimball_katieLast time I shared with you my constant novena trick to keep myself praying with the fervor of the 40 days of Lent.  Today let’s talk about when during the day you can set aside time to talk to the Lord.

If you don’t think you can fit prayer into your schedule, try 5 minutes. Choose morning, evening, or any particular time of day and commit to setting the timer for FIVE minutes (so you don’t interrupt your prayer to check the clock) and pray. If you’re like me, having a plan will help so that you don’t spend the first four minutes of your 5-minute prayer thinking about what want to pray about, or the last four minutes pondering your to-do list for the rest of the day.

  • Choose some written prayers to pray every day if you don’t think you can focus well.
  • Have a prayer list of intentions handy, those people you want to pray for, so that you keep on task.
  • Try the recurring novena method that I described in my last column.

As a mother of young children, a specific time of day for prayer doesn’t work for me. I would never say, “Every day at 3:00 I’ll pray for 5 minutes.” Who KNOWS what I might be doing at 3:00?

I have to choose a specific point in my routine.  For example, when I had one child, I used to pray daily when my son went down for his nap, setting aside the first five minutes for the Lord.

If you have kids in school, a “time” of day might work for you.  Try about 10 minutes before the kids come home. Then you can pray for 5 minutes and prepare for their coming for the next 5.

Some other ideas include:

  • upon waking up
  • after brushing your teeth
  • first thing after the child(ren) go down for a nap (BEFORE you get involved in doing your to-do list – it’s too long anyway!)
  • right after dinner
  • after dishes are done
  • after the kid(s) go down at night
  • when you get home from work…
  • The list is endless and must be tailored to YOUR situation.

“And what about when you had your second child, Katie?” you might ask.  I’ll tell you about that in part three: When Your Routine is Interrupted.

Copyright 2010 Katie Kimball


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  1. Moms of older kids can’t necessarily schedule a “time of day” for prayer either. As a Secular Franciscan, I am bound to pray the Liturgy of the Hours each morning and evening. Morning is not too hard…I’m an early bird, so I shower and then pray to start the day. But evening? I could do this before the school bus comes at 3:30, or I can wait until my bedtime when I’m super-tired and doze off mid-psalm. The hours in between are too nutty to schedule!

  2. I laughed when you mentioned lack of focus and thinking about a to do list. I feel as though my days are rushed with so much packed in. Thank you for the suggestion to aim for just 5 minutes and to be prepared to maximize the time. I have found myself trying to leave for carpool a little early to have a few minutes of quiet time w/the little one strapped in her carseat. I think tomorrow I’ll try to dedicate that time to prayer instead.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions! I have a CD in my car with the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet on it: I love it! I pray the DMC in the car every day (6 minutes!) and as many decades of the rosary as I can squeeze in while commuting…or sitting in car line…. or whatever. (free CDs at http://www.catholicity.com.)

  4. You can also download free audio files of the Rosary at http://www.rosaryarmy.org Put them on a CD or your MP3 player!
    And tonight I used an iPod touch/iPhone app (Divine Office) so I could pray my Liturgy of the Hours while I waited in the car for a Cub Scout event to end. It was weird, not having the book to hold–but nice that I was able to do my evening prayers when I was still awake!

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