Best ways to enhance prayer life

What devotions do you use to enhance your prayer life? If you don’t mind, can you tell me how the prayers work for you?

At least during the school year, I pray Lauds and Vespers virtually every day. Although I’ll skip them if I’m too busy, like when I had a 16:30-18:30 class first semester. That plus dinner afterward made me decide to just skip Vespers those days. On the other hand, though, I was certain to still pray Lauds on Ash Wednesday, even though I was going to 7:30 Mass.

Before Christ in adoration, or in the Tabernacle. Your prayer life cannot help but improve, no matter the devotion. - the new one is Thirsting for Prayer.

Such will be helpful.

I strongly recommend devotion to Scripture - through His words, we come to know Him, the Word. Knowing Him leads to loving Him and serving HIm. Prayer IS relationship with God in Christ, and relationship requires knowing and loving.

Thus, I recommend Lectio Divina - practiced rightly.

Prime(mid morning), vespers(early evening), and compline(just before bed) are the easiest to start with. Pick one and try to read it everyday.

I would not call them “devotions” more a way of life.

But I suggest lectio divina

"…I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow. By reading it, you will learn to know Christ. Note what Saint Jerome said in this regard: “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” (PL 24,17; cf Dei Verbum, 25). A time-honoured way to study and savour the word of God is lectio divina which constitutes a real and veritable spiritual journey marked out in stages. After the* lectio*, which consists of reading and rereading a passage from Sacred Scripture and taking in the main elements, we proceed to meditatio. This is a moment of interior reflection in which the soul turns to God and tries to understand what his word is saying to us today. Then comes oratio in which we linger to talk with God directly. Finally we come to contemplatio. This helps us to keep our hearts attentive to the presence of Christ whose word is “a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:19). Reading, study and meditation of the Word should then flow into a life of consistent fidelity to Christ and his teachings.

Saint James tells us: “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act - they will be blessed in their doing” (1:22-25). Those who listen to the word of God and refer to it always, are constructing their existence on solid foundations. “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them”, Jesus said, “will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Mt 7:24). It will not collapse when bad weather comes.

To build your life on Christ, to accept the word with joy and put its teachings into practice…"

–Pope Benedict XVI

Latin: lectio divina -divine reading
lectio: reading
meditatio: meditation
oratio: prayer
contemplatio: contempation


"We are grateful to God that in recent times, and thanks to the impact made by the Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Verbum” the fundamental importance of the Word of God has been deeply re-evaluated. From this has derived a renewal of the Church’s life, especially in her preaching, catechesis, theology and spirituality, and even in the ecumenical process. The Church must be constantly renewed and rejuvenated and the Word of God, which never ages and is never depleted, is a privileged means to achieve this goal. Indeed, it is the Word of God, through the Holy Spirit, which always guides us to the whole truth (cf. John 16:13).

In this context, I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of “Lectio divina”: “the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart” (cf. “Dei Verbum,” n. 25). If it is effectively promoted, this practice will bring to the Church – I am convinced of it – a new spiritual springtime.

As a strong point of biblical ministry, “Lectio divina” should therefore be increasingly encouraged, also through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times. It should never be forgotten that the Word of God is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (cf. Psalm 119[118]:105)" (Sept 16, 2005)

All from Pope Benedict XVI

and short prayers

Although it is not well-known or generally understood, I received the baptism in the Holy Spirit at a Life in the Spirit seminar at my parish. My faith life simply came alive after that. Prayer entered a new dimension and my charisms were made plain to me. An amazing difference, once one is docile to the Holy Spirit.

I couldn’t agree more! I’m currently going into week three of the life in the spirit seminar and I leave there transformed every week. I cant wait to get baptized in the Holy Spirit. This is such a gift.

When it came time, I literally forced myself to let go and be docile to the Holy Spirit. I had never felt such peace. However, the best was yet to come. Devotions to the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, prayer, evangelizing. It was stepping through a door which opened to a much greater world of faith. Miracles, even. Simply to know which charism(s) you have so that you may better serve the Lord is a wonderful reward. You might think of it as a personal Pentecost.

The best thing I ever did for my prayer life is start attending Mass daily. The second best thing is praying the LOTH. Both provide the structure I need to persevere in prayer.

When possible, I chant the LOTH in community (at the seminary, with the Benedictines, etc.) Regular prayer—**any **prayer—at Adoration is also immensely edifying.

God bless!

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