Need advice... my daily prayer routine is becoming... well, too routine

Hey all,

I posted this question in the Ask and Apologist forum, hoping for Father Serpa to assist. Unfortunately, it wasn’t chosen to be answered. So I throw it out to you all.

Every day, on my 12-minute commute to work, I pray very specifically and in the following order:

  1. Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  2. That God will protect and guide my family and use us as his instruments every day
  3. For my children… for good health and long productive lives in service of God
  4. For my wife and I… that God help us raise our children right
  5. For our families… for continued good health and longevity and for those members of our families who have fallen away from the faith
  6. For our clergy
  7. For all souls who have left this world… especially those in purgatory and my ancestors, family, friends, and students
  8. For an end to abortion and for the souls of the children murdered by the sin of abortion and those who will be today
  9. For my wife and I… that God will help us to recognize and embrace His will in our lives everyday and keep us safe and healthy for each other, our children, and our future grandchildren
  10. In thanksgiving for my improved health from my daily workout and asking for continued good health and motivation in carrying on with my physical fitness
  11. For all those in the world who are in need… especially the children. I ask God to help us to make this world a better place and guide me on what I can do to help
  12. Lastly, I offer my day and ask God to be first and foremost in my mind, words, heart, and actions

All of these things are very important to me and probably most of you. I feel as though I must pray these every day and feel that by not praying them, I am sending the message that they aren’t important.

Does God know these intentions… so I should just hold them in my heart? How can I develop a deeper, more meaningful prayer life with God and break away from “routines” like this?

Thank you for your thoughts!

It sounds like you’re ready to try some mental prayer, meaning personal conversation with God in your own words and listening for His voice as well. Could you set aside ten or fifteen minutes (to start) at a time of day when you’re not driving? Maybe take the Gospel of the day or some other passage of scripture and read a little and talk it over with God.

I’m reading this book right now, and finding it very helpful.


i struggle with this as well.

The more routine the prayers become, the more opportunity there is to grow less fervent about the intentions. Although, the obedience in itself is certainly worth something, overall the genuineness of the prayer overrides the obedience.

It helps to rotate intentions based on the months of the year and days of the week. For example, today is Friday. Do meditation on the Passion. Tomorrow is Saturday, do extra meditation of something related to Mary. Sunday is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Monday is Holy Spirit. Tuesday is Holy Angels. Wednesday is Saint Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary. Thursday is the Holy Eucharist. This month is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. Each day of the month maybe focus on a differing aspect of the dedication but stay within the designation. For example, pray that someone who hasn’t prayed a Rosary in a while is inspired to pray a Rosary. On another day, pray through the Virgin Mary that those advocates of the Rosary have success in spreading devotion to the Rosary, etc.

November is the Souls in Purgatory. Pray that the most forgotten suffering soul may be releaved of their suffering if only for a moment. On another day in November, pray that dedication to prayer for the souls in Purgatory increases. On another day in November, pray that the message of Purgatory is spread more effectively and made aware for those still living on the earth, etc.

For all the specific intentions you listed, you can keep praying those in addition. But, perhaps, instead of every day maybe pray them once a week.

Only suggestions and nothing more.

I would agree with what the other posters have said. It is true that prayer can become very routine and just another thing that we do. You’ll be able to find threads with suggestions about various ways to pray, but bear in mind that routine is not always a bad thing. For me the bottom line would be “am I offering my prayers with sincerity” - as long as you can answer yes to this, I think you may be sure that your prayers will be heard by God and that they will bear much fruit. It seems to me that some mental prayer could be just the thing you need to balance the more routine prayers that you faithfully recite every day.

You are doing well. Your prayer-faithfulness is a strength for when trials appear — being able to regularly come to God in prayer is a gift. You seek God’s strength and comfort for others — all those are good.

But mostly you should be encouraged that your sense of wanting a deeper prayer life is actually God drawing you closer to Him and you are hearing! Be joyful.

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