Especially during these cold winter months, it is so easy for me to let commitments slide. Unfortunately, one of those commitments that usually disappears first is my prayer.
Really, I have no excuse. There are three Masses celebrated daily within a five-minute walk of my dorm, a chapel in my building, and a 24-hour adoration chapel steps away from my front door. Yet with all these available locations and times for prayer, I somehow manage to let it slip. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for a working woman or a mother to maintain a constant prayer life!
This year, I decided to tackle this issue, and so far, I’ve begun to have some success. Perhaps one or more of these tips can help you, as well!
1 – A New Prayer
Sometimes, I find it difficult to concentrate when I’m doing the same prayers I’ve always done. So recently, I’ve stopped using many of the prayers I used to say, and am trying some brand new ones.
Something to Try: Look for prayers to or by your favorite saint.
2 – A New Location
For the last three-and-a-half years, I’ve exclusively attended Mass on our campus. But last month, I began attending a local Church near campus for daily Mass at school. A change of atmosphere (and even of preaching!) has helped me truly concentrate on the mystery taking place.
Something to Try: Move your typical prayer location within your house.
3 – A New Time
I’m not really a morning person. Over the last 3 weeks, I’ve been going to Mass at 8 am instead of at noon. I’ve also made a point to have my end-of-the-day prayer earlier than midnight.
Starting my day with Mass has made me re-think my priorities, and also helps me to go to bed earlier! And having my night prayer time earlier helps me better organize the rest of my day.
Something to Try: Wake up 10 minutes early tomorrow to begin your day with prayer.
4 – A New Book
I love to read, so spiritual reading is an easy way for me to begin my prayer time. I’ve tried to change up my book choices to include some Doctors of the Church and early saints.
Something to Try: Is there a spiritual book you’ve owned forever but never read? Give it a try!
5 – A Friend
Having someone to attend Mass with, to offer prayers for, or to keep me accountable, has been extremely helpful. I am much less likely to hit snooze if I know someone else will be meeting me at Mass, and a specific intention will propel me to ensure daily prayer happens.
Something to Try: Schedule a standing weekly Mass date with your friend (and maybe have breakfast together afterwards!).
I’d love for you to share some of your thoughts or tips on how you get out of “prayer ruts”!
Copyright 2015, Allison DeWolf
Image: By Jane M Sawyer, SA, morgueFile