How Exact to be with Prayer

For those who have prayed novenas requiring prayer over the course of multiple days, how exact do you try to be in terms of the time of your prayers? For example, I have been praying a Rosary novena, and I’ve been struggling with difficulty in completing the Rosaries (OCD-type issues where I take a lot longer than a normal person would). On one day of this novena, I didn’t quite finish until just after midnight (meaning within one minute after midnight). I finished the 5 decades on time, but didn’t finish the novena prayer at the end until just after midnight.

So how exact would you all be, and would you consider not finishing a Rosary until just after midnight to amount to a failure to properly pray the multi-day novena? Is it imperative to finish each day’s prayers before midnight in order to fulfill the novena requirements? Thanks.

^^ I’ve underlined your issue above, I think.

So you’ve nine days, right? Say the prayer nine times over the course of those days and…don’t sweat the small stuff. Take as long as you need to pray, it’s not a race. It’s not going to expire.

I mean to say that your prayer should be like a conversation with God, no? If you are talking with your friend and time escapes you, is the conversation invalidated somehow? Focus on communicating with God, and meditating upon the mysteries and…just don’t worry about the time it takes, okay? :o

“I’m sorry, I would have liked to intercede for you, but I can’t because of that ‘after midnight’ technicality…and just so you know, I’m on DST, so you were even later than you thought.”
:smiley:

You don’t need to pray a novena perfectly, as long as you are persistent.

I would suggest you get some counseling on OCD if this is something you deal with frequently.

God is not a bank account. A bank account means - what money you deposit is what money is available to take back out.

Novenas are not magic. They aren’t orchestrated so you make a perfect novena and then you get your request granted.

If a prayer (or rosary) takes you longer than most people - maybe its not the right path for you to take until you can get that under control. If you are agonizing over a word or words or meaning or needing to re-start or re-do… then you need to get help with that issue.

If you are concern about “one minute over 12:00 midnight Central Standard time” or if your clock is correct… you do not need to be taking part in the novena. Your focus is on the obsession of clock time. God is outside of time - and outside of Timex.

Unless you have a time schedule that would be normal to be awake at midnight and still get your full night’s sleep - you do not need to be engaged in a novena that takes you til midnight to complete. God does not want you to exchange your sleep time for keeping a novena.

If the answers you read on CAF to your question do not relieve your OCD, please call the priest and ask for an appointment to discuss this misunderstanding or obsession you hold on prayer.

If a novena brings you anguish, maybe they are not for you.

May God give you peace. May you be released on the hold of obsession on your prayer and your prayer time. May God bring you healing for OCD.

If you have the right intention, good motives and sincerely trying your best in doing it, then God accepts it as complete! Only try to see that you are persistent and faithful in what you do. God does not judge prayers as we judge. All our imperfect prayers are perfected when we pray along with the merits of Christ, and the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary, angels and saints. Their merits complete what we lack.

I and you are weak and may not be able to fulfill always everything exactly as we desire. Sometimes God himself allow such blocks in our life to prevent, for example, a sense of self-fulfilment and self-satisfaction, a spiritual pride and carnal happiness of having accomplished our prayer to the point of perfection. Like a wise physician, He knows what we need. He can see what lies deep within us.

May be God is able to touch and mold you more in your state of imperfections, inabilities, helplessness and sadness and when you feel utterly defeated. Whenever you have such feelings, just fall and lie before before Him motionless and in total abandon and experience the peace of giving all your control to Him. Just lie there as long as you can (best before the Holy Sacrament).

In short, you try your best and leave the rest to God. Stop having any guilt.

I believe, going through a “Life in the Spirit Seminar” or a good “Charismatic Retreat” should heal this problem to a large extent.

God Bless!

I agree that what the others are replying are spot on. Don’t beat yourself up over the time frame, maybe try praying earlier. But also, it is admirable how much effort you are putting into prayer to make sure that it is perfect and there is also good in that. But don’t allow that to consume you though. And remember WHY you are praying as well. It really depends on your mental state during the prayer. If you are speeding through the prayer carelessly and just “going through the motions” then there isn’t really a point of the prayer because the purpose of prayer is to build a relationship to God, Mary, or the Saint or Angel you are praying to. If you are praying to form a relationship with God and are worried about a few slip ups, don’t be and I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure God appreciates the effort. Lastly, don’t be too worried about finishing a few minutes late. It doesn’t render the prayer invalid.

Any other people reading this post feel free to correct me if I made any theological error. I don’t think I have, but if I did, please let me know.

Yeah, prayers are not magical formulas to a spell. Ask and you will receive.

I wouldn’t go to the opposite disorderly extreme of saying your attempts to follow a schedule are pointless though. I think it is edifying for you to choose to incorporate your prayer into a strict routine, but just keep in mind that those disciplinary efforts are for your own sake of building your prayer life into something that is steady, consistent, and habitual, in the same way that an athlete would train his physical body. However, the actual petition or thanksgiving itself is entirely irrelevant upon whether or not you say something in a certain way or within a certain time frame. God is interested in your love.

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