Daily prayer?

So I am somewhat new to the Catholic church - I converted about 5 months ago, but because of severe issues with scrupulosity I sort of rebooted last week, and now I’m trying hard to neither pressure myself nor forget about everything.
However, since I don’t have any Catholic friends or close family, sometimes it’s difficult to keep a healthy balance.

One thing that has been troubling me is the idea of daily prayer. I’ll admit it - prayer is hard for me. I think it’s extremely important and really quite helpful to my religious life, but it’s hard. I have extreme ADHD so it’s difficult to focus, and my daily life has also been so hectic this Christmas season that sometimes it’s hard to get my mind off my life.

I can’t tell, though, whether or not I’m putting unnecessary pressure on myself. I have heard that to not pray daily - to go a whole day without speaking to God - is a venial sin. I’m sure there’s controversy over that. As a result of this, I pray every day, but some days I just can’t convince myself that I’ve prayed enough. Too often I procrastinate on prayer until 11 o clock at night, and by that point I’m really too tired to do a whole lot.

Pretty much my daily routine is to read the night prayers from Liturgy of the Hour. At the bare minimum, I read that prayer. Then often I’ll pray in my own words, rather casually. If I’m too tired to worry, then I just read the night prayer. To be honest, though, I don’t like the Liturgy of the hour prayer much. Most of it is psalms and readings, which are lovely but don’t feel so much like a prayer. Most of all I like to pray in my own words, have a chance to think over things and make connections in my head and kind of just figure out what I’m doing. Often I will give thanks, and then just sort of meditate on the wonders of the Lord, remind myself of His importance in my life, and think on how small the earthly life truly is compared to what is to come. That sort of thing. I like personal prayer better than scripted prayer in that it gives me a chance to really fuse together my earthly life with my spiritual life. I feel like, being rather new to the faith, this is the sort of prayer that helps me to further my spiritual career.

However, also being new to the faith, I only have so much to go on there. And so I feel that I need scripted prayers, because the people who wrote those prayers know what they are talking about much better than I do. I will be honest, I don’t research the faith enough. I’ve considered trying to get into a Catechism class, but my parents don’t like the faith and it would just increase the amount of time they spend making that clear. I know much more about the faith than I once did, through prayers and readings and sermons, and a lot of it from this website here, but I don’t really make much of an effort to directly research it.

Anyways, back to the point. Let’s say one day, it’s 9 o clock at night, I’ve had a busy day, and I’m exhausted. Let’s say I sit down instead of kneeling, and pray in my own words and meditate on all the things I described above. Then I go right to bed. Is that sufficient? Let’s also say that is the only time I pray that day (I’m trying to get in the habit of praying in the morning as well, but I’m still working on that). Is there any sin of neglectance or anything committed? I guess one of the things I’m worried about is making a habit of doing only that, of praying for about fifteen minutes every day and having that be all.

Now that I write it all out, I wonder if I’m being scrupulous again. Or maybe I’m not. I can’t tell.

God does not judge us by how often we pray or attend Mass. Sunday Mass is mandatory if you are able to get to the Church, and of course special holidays like Christmas and during Easter time.

It is important to pray, but a prayer said “just because” is not much of a prayer. I often find it hard to concentrate on The Rosary prayer and my thought’s do roam all over the place so I stop. But already the INTENTION to pray is in fact a prayer.

I often pray when I walk with my dog, in my own words and that does good, I kind of “talk” with God, and keeping a close connection to Him is worth more then a million prayers from a book or The Bible. What you DO is what God sees, and that is all that matters. I do pray three or four times dayli, but still I like my “own prayers”, those who come from my heart, more and I hope God also like them.

You are new to The Catholic Church and with time you will find your prayers you want to pray, either from your heart, which I highly recommend, or from a prayer book. Give your self time, don’t be hard on yourself and do not seek sins in places there are no sin. Relax, you truly are in good hands now, and above all, remember that you are special and very precious in Gods eyes and that He love you no matter what. And don’t give up on your self, nobody is perfect, strive to be, but don’t let it become the most important thing in your life. If you keep in mind what Christ did teach you will be fine. All other things (you look for?) will come in due course. If you do this, you will not sin. Faith is about joy, it is not a dark and gloomy road thru life, it is about the joy of being saved one day, and to be saved take only what Christ did tell us to do. And if you are not sure about something, ask your priest, he have the answers, not all, but enough to lead you in the right direction. And don’t forget that a true and honest prayer does not need words, only thoughts, if you can’t find the words. God bless you, and have faith, OK?

This is a very wise post. Scruples can be a terrible curse. Catholicism can be fertile ground for such worries because of its richness in history and truth. But don’t let prayer be the start of your scruples. Prayer is a conversation with God and I find just talking the day through with Him blends the secular with the spiritual in a very satisfactory way.
I sometimes start the rosary when I am tired. Whilst it is a lovely meditative prayer it is not one for the fatigued.I give up after one decade with an apology. I think He understands. He has never said anything.
Just talking to God in your thoughts is enough. He doesn’t judge your love by the minutes of prayer you make. Prayer should imbue all your actions throughout the day offered to Him in a small prayer in the morning. You are on the right track. You might start your research with the Catechism. God bless!

Make sure you have a “regular confessor” who knows one and ones difficulties and who can direct one - such is key to scruples. Period. :slight_smile:


Now as to prayer - be simple. Do not put upon yourself all sorts of things or worry about your prayer. Yes - pray daily but be simple.

Prayer in the morning is good and before bed. But be simple. No imposed number etc. Just pray. Perhaps say to Jesus that you love him and follow him. Perhaps take a short reading from the New Testament and pray about that…or perhaps a psalm like “The Lord is my Shepherd…” or 100 (99) - “Cry out with Joy to the Lord!”…pray in your own words. Perhaps spend some time in silence looking at a Crucifix or other Sacred Image…etc I am not meaning here to do all of such! Just giving some examples. There is great freedom in prayer.

Then:

During ones day - simply and without out stress - pray Short prayers -in your case say from time to time --such are a very ancient and good practice.

Some examples: “Jesus I love you” “Jesus I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you”, “Praised be Jesus Christ!” “Mary Star of Hope pray for me”. “Blessed be the Holy Trinity”, “Abba, Father”, “Come Holy Spirit” or “Jesus is Lord” or just “Jesus”…etc etc Such help us keep our hearts turned towards the Lord during the day. But calmly. Peacefully. Without a particular number etc. Proceed gently.

Also I would add that among early Christians there was the practice of praying the “Our Father” three times a day. I follow this with my family. For example pray in the morning, then when it is noon and then in the evening or night. Simply. The Prayer Jesus taught us.

Catechism: “The first communities prayed the Lord’s Prayer three times a day, in place of the “Eighteen Benedictions” customary in Jewish piety.”

scborromeo.org/ccc/p4s2a1.htm

A Hail Mary said with your heart and all your being has more power than ten Rosaries said by those who recite their prayers in a merely routine fashion.

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