Does anyone have any advice on how to remember to pray? I have to admit that I am not good at saying morning or evening prayers and I honestly just don’t think about it. I am trying to remember to pray before meals, but forget that sometimes too. Any advice on how you remember, or does it just become routine?
The one thing that really keeps my prayer life on track is the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours). I find that having a book there specifically for prayer really helps to remind me and it also sets up a schedule of prayer for the day. It can be confusing if you haven’t done it before but there are websites that can help. You can find it in just about any Catholic book store or online.
I personally like the “Christian Prayer” version (the one volume condensed version). I find the “Shorter Christian Prayer” version to be too abreviated (although it was a good place for me to start). I haven’t really had a need to go to the full four volume set, although having the office of readings would be nice.
You can also try the Magnificat, it is very popular and also has the daily Mass readings and reflections on the lives of the Saints.
Either way, whatever form it is, I find it really helps to have something physical to remind me to pray and something that has the prayers written out in a form for me to follow. That way I can get into a routine of prayer. Just remember to include time for spontaneous prayer too, I find that that is an area that I need to work harder on.
I have been keeping my rosary in my pocket. I tend to put my hands in my pockets throughout the day, and so I remember to pray more often. I try to get into the habit of taking it out of my pocket and putting it in front of me at times when I’m going to be praying - on the table when I’m about to serve myself dinner, for example. It’s not a perfect system, but it seems to work for me.
And if that didn’t work, I’d use the reminder function in my cellphone. I tend to have an average of about five reminders a day, for phone calls, work, medications, and errands, so putting a “prayer reminder” probably wouldn’t be that much extra work for me. I bet that’s how muslims do it if they’re not in an area that has a public call for prayer.
I have the same problem, partly due to chaotic and conflicting work and “vocation” demands, depression and chronic tiredness. I struggle with “routine” as a concept, not just in prayer life.
I try to lock certain prayers to particular daily or frequent actions. I always remember to say grace at breakfast - :o - and so I add the morning offering, prayer for a child in danger of abortion and prayer for the repose of my parents’ souls to that. I used to commute by bus/walk and my Walkman kept me sane, and at that time I got a free CatholiCity rosary CD and made a rule that whenever I use the Walkman, no music until I’ve been through a Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. I set an ongoing appointment reminder in my work email calendar for 3pm to prompt a Mon-Fri Divine Mercy 3 o’clock prayer.
I wouldn’t say it has become routine but it has become natural that whenever I do those things I’ve “tied” prayers to, the prayers follow.
Sometimes I set my phone alarm so I remember to say the Angelus at noon .
to remember to pray, I use a special bracelet that gently vibrates for 1 second every hour and a half. It was just mentioned in the US Catholic magazine on page 10. meaningtopause.com