Non-Negotiable Prayer Time: Seven Devotions and Practices for When You Don’t Know Where To Start

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Prayer for MomsA few years ago, my favorite priest came to speak to our mother’s group.  At the time, my prayer time was GREATLY lacking.  As in, I didn’t pray at all, unless you include Mass on Sunday’s.  He shared seven different prayers and practices that should be on our non-negotiable list.
Ever since, I strive to do all the items he suggested and when I fall off track, I go straight back to the list.  If you are feeling called to up your prayer routine, try adding one of these a week or even each month, to help build the habit.

  1. Morning Offering

I read in True Devotion to Mary by de Montfort, that sending things to Jesus through Mary is like having a meager apple to present to the King.  Delivered by you, it’s just a little apple.  But Mary.  Oh, Mary!  She shines up the apple and puts it in a basket filled with fine silks and makes it look like much more than a humble apple.   That being said, this is the morning offering that I use:

“Oh Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world.  I offer them for all the intentions of your sacred heart – salvations of souls, reparation for sin and the reunion of all Christians.  I offer them with all the apostles of prayer, including those of our Holy Father for this month.  Amen.”

  1. The Angelus (6am/noon/6pm)

The Angelus is basically 3 verses with a Hail Mary between each and a closing prayer.  It takes all of 5 minutes to do.  Originally said in the evening, later it was added to the morning and at noon. You can find the full prayers of the Angelus at EWTN

  1. Grace

Fr. Libby recommended that we say grace before AND after all meals.  If we are sitting at the table, I try to remember to do it before snacks also.   Most everyone is familiar with Grace Before Meals.  If you would like to know the formal Grace After Meals, see below.  Many also pray for the souls in purgatory at this time as well.

“We give Thee thanks for all Thy benefits, O Almighty God, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”

  1. Rosary

The reasons to pray the rosary are numerous.  She makes many promises to those who do and besides that, the more you do it, the easier it becomes to deeply meditate on the mysteries of Christ.   I personally have several iPhone apps, a CD, and several different prayer books to make it easier to say my rosary.   Find some resources and a chunk of time that works for you!

  1. Bible Reading

It doesn’t take much – just 15 minutes, less if the Lord seems to speak to you through his word.  For some reason, he didn’t recommend the daily readings but more solid time in the bible, including Proverbs.  I must confess, I mostly read the daily readings; it’s in the Magnificat and I do my morning prayer there anyway.

  1. Spiritual Reading

He also recommended 15 minutes a day of spiritual reading – either classic Catholic theologians  or the lives of saints.  I loved True Devotion to Mary and am LOVING Introduction to the Devout Life.  I plan to read about St. Therese next.
And lastly,

  1. Examination of Conscience

By examining your conscience each night before bed, it gives you a chance to really look back on your day.  I find that by examining my day this way, I notice things I hadn’t noticed before.  Like, I can’t blog/play on computer during the day – I fly off the handle when my daughters are “interrupting” my “work,”   I discover things that I need to work on before they become big issues.

There are so many wonderful devotions in our faith, but the priest who gave our talk thought these were the most important and attainable, even for busy mothers.

What devotions do YOU do on a regular basis?

Copyright 2012 Jen Steed

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3 Comments

  1. I use the Magnificat to read in the parking lot while waiting for pick up, the Divine Mercy is a daily thing I use while driving. The rosary for laundry and dishes, and then each of the kids have a prayer they say on the drive in to school –that being said, it is one of those things where all prayer is baseline. Whatever we add, brings us further towards God. Whatever we offer, God pulls our hearts for more.

  2. That’s basically our list too, except we do a Divine Mercy Chaplet daily at 3:00 and only do a rosary once or twice in the week. I’m still trying to get it into our daily routine. We also say Lauds as a family in the morning. Having set times for prayer and devotion throughout our day has really helped us center our life around God and not everything else.

  3. That’s what we do also, and the evening Office with my husband. Also, we say the Regina Coeli during Eastertide instead of the Angelus.

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