Did you know that for most people it is difficult to pray regularly? We become over-busy, we are tired, there are too many demands on our time and these are just a few reasons people find it difficult to pray regularly. But prayer needs to be a regular part of our life, just like meals are. We need to block out that time and keep to it in order to develop a deep prayer life and an even deeper relationship with Our Lord.
This season of Lent would be a good time to develop a routine for our prayer. I know every morning and evening I have blocked out at least 15 minutes to read a Scripture passage, or spiritual book and meditate upon it. Then I take time to write out my meditations in a journal. Writing helps me develop my prayer and meditation. But I also take time to sit quietly and LISTEN. This is where many of us have the hardest time! What am I listening for? How do I know it is God prompting that thought? What if I don’t “hear” anything? Prayer has a natural ebb and flow to it. Sometimes we feel like we are walking on water and sometimes we sink like a stone! Sometimes we deeply feel God’s love and sometimes we feel abandoned. Sometimes we are bored and distracted. Prayer takes a lot of work and a lot of practice! If you want to become skilled at a sport, or playing a musical instrument, you have to spend time daily practicing! Otherwise nothing will happen. We will not develop that catching ability, kicking ability, or the ability to play a song smoothly and lyrically. Practice, practice, practice is what we are told when developing a new skill. It is the same with prayer. Our early prayer lives will have feelings of distraction and boredom at times,
but as our skill in praying develops more naturally we will be rewarded with a deeper relationship with God. We will develop the discernment that helps us to know if the thoughts we have are of God or not; we will come to know the Shepherd intimately.
Part of the problem with the culture today is that so many people do not believe that God is involved in their lives on this personal level. God is “out there” and doesn’t have time to be personally involved with just me! But that isn’t true! God wants a personal relationship with us! God wants to be close to us, but God won’t force Himself upon us. It must be our choice! If we pray faithfully day after day, year after year a bond and an intimacy will be growing under the surface: a deep, growing bond with our God.
This Wednesday, March 12, at 6:30, I will host an “In depth look at Palm Sunday”. What really happened that day? I am using Pope Benedict XVI’s book “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week” for this discussion.
See you soon! Karen