The following is a guest blog from Cassie Driggs, a reader and friend of catholic dialogue. We all know the importance of prayer in our lives. We also know how easy it is to let it slide. Cassie reminds us of the importance of forming our own habits of prayer. What helps you to make prayer a regular part of your daily routine? We’d love to hear from you!
How to Find Time to Pray
When we moved to a new home, very little about our daily routine changed. We ate dinner at the same time. We worked the same number of hours each day. Our son woke up and ate toast for breakfast like any other morning. And yet, something wasn’t quite right.
The smallest things started to set me off: an overcooked dinner one night, an impatient child at the library in the afternoon, or someone blaring her horn at me in traffic. All of them left me rattled and unsettled. What was different?
As my husband and I talked this over one night, it finally hit me: my prayer habit didn’t make the move with me.
Finding a Place to Pray
In our former house, I would wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, and then sit down to pray in the same recliner every single morning. It wasn’t much to look at. Worn but comfortable, we’d added it to my husband’s home office as an afterthought. Just an old chair we picked up at a garage sale. It made his office feel a bit more comfortable.
Over time that chair became a refuge of sorts for me. We thought nothing of giving it away to a college student. I soon realized that having a place to pray wasn’t just a luxury. It was a necessity. While I didn’t go out searching for the same exact kind of chair, we immediately set aside a spot in our home where I can pray each morning without worrying about interruption.
Finding a Prayer Cue
Without my morning prayer routine, I also lost my prayer “cue.” When you think of cue cards on a television show, they prompt someone to say or do something. For my prayer life, I’d been unconsciously using my coffee as my cue to go pray. Once I had my cup of coffee in hand, I could go to my chair where my journal and prayer book waited.
While I don’t need coffee to always serve as my cue, it helps to have a routine that can automatically launch me into my prayer time. When distractions set in, a full mug of coffee reminds me that I need to stop for a time of prayer.
Creating a Prayer Habit
Prayer is a mysterious practice. Are we listening to God? Is God speaking? Are we supposed to bring our requests to God before saying thank you? Should we recite the prayers of others rather than making up our own? There are so many different ways to pray, and I’ve found that the ways I pray will change over time.
However, a great place to start with prayer each day is praying the Hours. You can find them online or pick up an adapted version by Phyllis Tickle. The Hours provide brief passages of scripture for meditation and a series of prayers you can recite. They’ll arranged around the church calendar and provide specific prayers for the morning, afternoon, and evening. When I don’t know where to start or what to say, the Hours jump start my prayer time and give me a great place to start praying before my day gets going.
About the Guest Blogger
Cassie Driggs is a freelance writer. She is a laundry-folding, toddler chasing wife and mother to one. During naptime you’ll find her scribbling poems in her journal or writing articles online.