7 ways to make time for prayer

posted in: Prayer and Virtue | 16
D prays following his First Communion.
D prays following his First Communion.

Are you having trouble finding time for prayer every day? Here are some suggestions.

1. Ask yourself whether daily prayer is your top priority (outside of the sacraments).

If you don’t see the need for prayer, you won’t be faithful to it. Prayer doesn’t take us away from our duties; it gives us strength to fulfill them. No matter what your vocation or how busy it keeps you, God wants to strengthen you in it through prayer. If you have a hard time seeing the importance of prayer, (re-)read Why should you pray?.

2. Simplify your life.

We are all too busy with work, volunteering, and socializing. Cut out some of your unnecessary activities. Reduce the number of events you chauffeur your kids to. In extreme cases, you may have to consider a job change so work doesn’t devour your life. Do whatever you must to slow down and refocus your life on Christ. You won’t be sorry you did.

What about material possessions? Do you own so much that you spend all your “free” time caring for your stuff? Give some of your goods to the poor and really free up your time. What can you do without?

3. Turn off the TV and computer.

If you have time for your favorite program, you have time for prayer. A 30-minute conversation with Christ will refresh you more than a sitcom. Maybe you only read blogs like this one. St. Frances de Sales cautioned people against thinking they were holy simply because they read a lot of spiritual books. The same could be said of reading Catholic blogs in our day. Is it time to switch off the computer and put your faith into practice?

4. Pray first thing in the morning.

Set your alarm back half an hour. Not a morning person? Neither am I, but I still find this the ideal time for prayer. There are few interruptions or distractions before 6 a.m. If you leave prayer until the end of the day, there’s a chance you won’t pray at all, or you will be so caught up in thinking about the day’s events or so sleepy, you’ll do a poor job praying.

If you can’t pray first thing, make sure you designate another half hour of each day for prayer. Praying at a consistent time helps you form the habit of prayer.

5. Enlist your family’s support.

If both spouses commit to pray, you can encourage and support each other. The husband can watch the children while the wife prays. A mom can teach older children to have a quiet time while the little ones nap, then use this time for prayer.

6. Be creative.

Some of the above may not be applicable, or even possible, for you. These are only suggestions. Everyone’s situation is different. Examine your life before you decide that daily prayer won’t work for you. With a little ingenuity, it can usually be done. Sometimes you need to multi-task. Pray while you nurse the baby or push the toddler in the stroller. Use half of your lunch hour to pray in the car. Dan and I have tried all these methods. Your tack may have to change as your life changes. Prayer requires sacrifice, but God rewards even the smallest sacrifices (see Matthew 10:42).

7. Still struggling?

Ask God for wisdom and guidance. In a word, pray.

Connie Rossini

This post is included in this month’s Catholic Bloggers’ Link-up Blitz.

16 Responses

  1. Nancy

    Good suggestions. “If you have time for your favorite program, you have time for prayer. ” Absolutely!

  2. Monica

    Nice post, good suggestions and excellent timing for the new start in January! Thanks for linking to Catholic Bloggers Network!

  3. Colleen

    Great post, Connie!

    Any chance you could share the direct quote from St. Francis de Sales? That certainly pricks my conscience!

      • Colleen

        Oh, thank you! I’ll check back. Or, if you’ve got a record of the email I leave in posting a comment, feel free to find me there. Thanks!

        • Connie Rossini

          I’m not sure if this was the passage I was thinking of. The emphasis is a little different. It’s from The Art of Loving God, in a chapter on modesty. St. Francis is emphasizing that we need to follow the path God has for us, not try to copy someone else. He says: “One [nun I talked to], having read the books of the blessed Mother Teresa of Avila, learned to speak so much like her that you might have fancied her a little Mother Teresa. Indeed, she believed it herself, having so vivid a sentiment of what the saintly mother did during her life that she felt as if she herself did it also, even so far as to have abstraction of the senses and suspension of powers, just as she had read about the saint; and really she could talk about it all very well. There are others like her who, from having meditated a great deal on the lives of the saints Catherine of Sienna and Catherine of Genoa, think themselves to be second St. Catherines by imitation. Certainly these should have, at any rate, the satisfaction of imagining themselves to be saints, although their satisfaction is vain.”

  4. Colleen

    Thank you, Connie. I appreciate the extra effort you made for me. I’ve copied the quote for my collection of good quotes. Uhm…. that would be my collection of quotes to read and internalize – and not merely read and consider myself holy for having read it. 😉

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