I am a college junior discerning the priesthood. I feel like my prayer life is not should be where it is at. I find myself just praying about random things and nothing systematic. I'll pray an Our Father or Hail Mary several times but I do not feel like my prayer life is as it should be. Any suggestions on how to improve one's prayer life? This will continue to help me discerning, as it is what I feel God is calling me to. Thanks, God Bless.
Try praying the Rosary more often. I am also currently in the process of discernment and the Rosary has become key in my prayers. Also go to Adoration and pray there, Adoration is excellent for stimulating prayer.
I bought a book of Catholic prayers and have found having that very useful. There are morning, evening and night prayers as well as prayers for before and after Mass and for during the day. If you struggle to have your own words, using a wider variety of already set prayers can be a very good stepping stool. It sort of gets you into the right frame of mind and right tone to then move on to your own words.
Prayers don’t have to be ‘systematic’. When I pray once I have said my set prayers I basically just go into a stream of thought, whatever comes into my head I just pray it. It takes practice to get into being able to do that easily, but try it first during Adoration or just in church after Mass.
I will keep you and your discernment in my prayers. May you find the courage to take the path the Lord has set for you.
Try listening. Just sit and listen to God.
1717 Today, I was talking with the Lord, and He said to me, There are souls with whom I can do nothing. They are souls that are continuously observing others, but know nothing of what is going on within their own selves. They talk about others continually, even during times of grand silence, which is reserved for speaking only with Me. Poor souls, they do not hear My words; their interior remains empty. They do not look for Me within their own hearts, but in idle talk, where I am never to be found. They sense their emptiness, but they do not recognize their own guilt, while souls in whom I reign completely are a constant source of remorse to them. Instead of correcting themselves, their hearts swell with envy, and if they do not come to their senses, they plunge in even deeper. A heart, which thus far is envious, now begins to be filled with hate. And they are already at the edge of the precipice. They are jealous of my gifts in other souls, but they themselves are unable and unwilling to accept them.
Divine Mercy of Jesus to St. Faustina.
I suggest you go to adoration- it has been incredibly helpful to me. One nice thing about adoration is that you don't have to say anything. You can say what you want- or nothing, if you don't want to say anything. Have you ever known a particularly good person? You don't have to say anything to get something out of your time with them- just being with them is edifying. The same is true with God.