What is your prayer life like?


#1

As a new Catholic, I was wondering what a typical day with prayer included. I know we are all individuals and no one has the same prayer life, but what kind of prayer life do you have? Do you wake up and say the same prayers? How about for meals and going to bed? Which prayers are considered a must-have in a Catholics memory? When do you pray them?

I learned the rosary but don’t know any other prayers, and I would like to make prayer a bigger part of my life.

Thanks.


#2

My prayer life is erratic, because I have four children and my life is erratic. However, I do pray everyday. Most of the time it is just an internal speaking with Jesus, asking Him for direction in everyday things that I do, or praying for my family or others. I try to say more formal prayers but often get interrupted. I don’t let this get me down, though. Jesus knows I’m trying. When I do have uninterrupted prayer time I love to pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy, especially at three o’clock, the hour Christ died. I would highly recommend reading about this devotion to the Divine Mercy which was given to us by Jesus through his servant, St. Faustina. Reading her diary, in which our Lord gives her (and us) the chaplet prayers for the world is a truly inspiring experience!

The Catholic Church has many rich devotions. I had a book called “Treasury of Prayer” as I was growing up, and loved to read and pray the different prayers. One special prayer, called a novena, is a prayer said through the intercession of one of the saints, or Our blessed Mother, or the Sacred Heart of Our Jesus, Himself. This prayer is said for nine days, just like the apostles who prayed in the Upper Room for nine days before recieving the Holy Spirit. It is especially powerful if you have a specific intention to pray for. I actually met my husband after a novena to saint Joseph! (His name is Joe and we have been married now for nineteen years!)There is also a novena to the Divine Mercy which is said along with the chaplet of Mercy for nine days after Easter. There are amazing graces and conversions attached to this prayer! I think they are prayed on the EWTN catholic tv channel via satellite, if you get it, or of course you can pray it on your own. Many parishes will say these prayers together as a community, too.

If you do a lot of spiritual reading, that is also one form of prayer. Any attempt to draw closer to the Heart of your Father is loved and welcomed by Him and rewarded with graces. I often will just ask the Holy Spirit for a word of guidance and open the bible “at random” to be led to just the right passage that speaks to my heart!

Hope this helps!

Love and blessings in Christ Jesus,
Terrysa


#3

I think it’s always a good idea to memorize the Morning Offering, Spiritual Communion, Act of Contrition, and Act of Love. :slight_smile: those are my favourite ones… and then also the Rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, and there are some great devotions out there :slight_smile:

I try to pray these, and then for the rest of the time I just talk to God in my own words.

God bless!


#4

A typical day for me:

Morning offering first thing.
Arrive 30 minutes early for daily Mass to pray - a few prayers for special intentions, then talking to God in my own words. Sometimes I take a book for inspiration.
Mass
Sometimes I stay and pray the Rosary with others after Mass.
The Angelus at noon, if I remember.
Grace before meals.
When possible, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the afternoon - spiritual communion and praying in my own words for a few minutes.
A little bit of spiritual reading.
A brief examination of conscience before bed, followed by the act of contrition.
If I can’t fall asleep or wake up in the night, I may say the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet to help me back to sleep and use the time well.

Betsy


#5

Betsy,

Not trying to get in to your business with this question, but just trying to understand your daily routine: are you employed?

I love the amount of time you spend in prayer.


#6

My dear friend

I will offer the ideal as I see it. I don’t do it this way always but should. I often mix it up and sometimes skip some things or sometimes do more or less.
Practise the heroic minute when you wake up. Get up in the first 60 secs , straight away if you can. This is a great sacrifice and ie.prayer.
3 hail Mary’s for holy purity.
Get to early mass before work. Or later if that suits. Be sure to make a good communion and thanksgiving.
You may do meditation morning or night, or both. Use spiritual books or the gospels for fuel for your prayer. If you don’t do meditation each day you’ll fall.
Luch time do 5 mins gospel reading. Just work thru all 4 gospels slowly. And do 10 mins spiritual reading.
12 noon pray the angelus.
Get your rosary in there or with the family at night too.
You can have many private devotions such as stations ( way) of the cross, divine mercy chaplet, have devotions to angels and saints if you can. Like our Lady, St Joseph, St Michael the archangel, all the archangels and angels, especially your guardian angel- you can name him and converse often, and your patron saints and favourite saints.
Spend a few mins in front of our Lord in adoration in the church.
It’s good to get to confession weekly or more if needed. Confession is the best help to overcome temptation and not just be forgiven serious sins.
Before you go to bed do a particular examination of conscience to see how you went with one or two particular things your struggling with and trying to overcome. Say 2 mins.
Then a general examination of conscience. Look at everything for say 5 mins.
Make an act of contrition for your failures.

By doing your work, family duties, and absolutely everything out of a motive of love of God and for God day and night will enable you to turn everything into prayer, even sleep.You must do it well and make sure you please God though.
Try to make many aspirations throughout the day. Converse with our Lord, our Lady, your guardian angel etc etc throughout the day. Have triggers like when the phone rings I say- I greet your guardian angel, sweet heart of Mary prepare ye the way- before answering. I make 3 acts of reparation whenever I hear blasphemy etc etc.
Keep note of any sins, especially venial. Confess venial sins as this is the best way to conquer them. Small sins lead to big sins.
Strive for the virtues and to live as Christ showed us. Learn everything Jesus said or did.
Offer this for your petitions and you can pray for petitions too.
The idea is to work hard to try and pray all the time because this is what God wants and what we are supposed to work for as a preparation for heaven where we will just pray and praise God eternally in bliss.
Be apostolic in what ways you can. Spread the faith.
Try to have specific things you do for penance and mortification. Have a routine if you can.
Try to be aware your in Gods presence always.
Do it all with a spirit of freedom. Do it because you want to, and not because you have to. Try to remember that God loves you and just wants your love. So put a lot of love into all you do and offer that to him. If you really try and can’t finish all then ask our Lord to consider the rest done and he will. Then go to sleep and offer that prayer up too.
This is a brief outline of a goal I work on. There are a myriad of other little things like what to do at mass, confession etc etc. This is the crux of the Opus Dei way. You spend your life trying to improve how you do this when you achieve doing it. It’s a goal, not something you should always expect to do from word go.

God bless you friend and welcome home:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#7

Actually, I just lost my job. But, really, most of this is doable even working around your job, if there’s a church close enough to your place of work or somewhere between home and work. You just have to be willing to get up early in order to get to Mass and have some prayer time beforehand. Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have an evening Mass available to you. I used to do that, and it was wonderful. Now matter how bad the day was, there was always something to look forward to.

The Rosary after Mass probably would not work, but you could do that during your commute.

The visit to the Blessed Sacrament depends on where you are in relation to a church. If you can pop in for a few minutes, that’s all you need. I can do that when my daily errands take me close to a church that’s open. That’s not every day, but I’m glad when I can make it.

The rest of the things only take a minute or two or five, and can easily fit into anyone’s day.

I would advise you not to try an ambitious program all at once. Commit to your morning offering and evening examination and act of contrition and one more thing. When that’s firmly established, add one more. Keep going until you’ve reached your goal for daily prayer time. The last time I got serious about this, I simply promised to pray every day, in some form or another. Daily Mass was the easiest thing for me to do, because all I had to do was show up and participate. That led to all the rest of it, little by little.

Talk it over with your sponsor or someone else you trust in your RCIA, or the priest in confession for some helpful advice also. I’m sure you’ll settle in to a routine that keeps you close to God.

Betsy


#8

Betsy, I’m so sorry you just lost your job. Thank you so much for the wonderful advice. I like the idea of progressively growing my prayer life. Often times I try to jump right in and lose sight of what I’ve set out to do.

Thanks again.


#9

Open eyes in the morning - quick prayer

Sometime during the day a rosary.

Short quick prayers at random times during the day.

God bless


#10

Don’t compare your prayer life to that of others. Everyone is different and one prayer said in humility and love can be much more than two hours of prayer said out of a sense of obligation or getting in as much prayer as possible.


#11

Hello Joannm-

I agree fully with what you say. Your points are very good. However, this is also a learning and sharing environment on this forum and other CA forums. Sometimes those striving for answers (particularily with those new to the faith) need a guidepost to help them along. I say this with no offense intended to you, and I’m sure you didn’t mean to discourage the OP or other contributors.I also may have read too much into your response, if so my sincerest apologies(please read next paragraph).

My reason for bring this up is that sometime back on another forum I had a similar experience where I received a similar response. I was genuinely trying to learn about certain aspects of the faith and that particular response basically shut down input from others. It was a topic I really needed some guidance on and was hoping to get feedback. After receiving that particular post it basically dried up and further responses.

Anyway, my prayer life basically consists of the Rosary in the morning, an attempt at Lectio Divina sometime during the day, Divine Mercy Chaplet in the afternoon. Periodic Jesus Prayers and short personal intentions throughout the day and hopfully an Act of Contrition before I fall asleep. Sometimes I am much better with this than others.


#12

Hi “damooster” :wave:

In the morning, I like to pray the Chaplet of St. Michael. Here is a link:

catholicdoors.com/prayers/chaplets/chap08.htm

I follow this, with prayers to my Guardian Angel… for protection during the day.


Later in the day, I say the Rosary… and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. You say that you’ve already learned the Rosary. Here is a link to help you learn the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. It’s very easy to say… and takes only a few minutes.

praydivinemercy.com/


In the evening, I pray the Memorare for my family. And some bedtime prayers.

Hope this helps. God bless.


#13

I take no offense. what I sometimes see is that when people tell you about how much they pray, one can feel that what they do is inadequate or not enough, when in reality it could be quite enough. i don’t know who stated it but I recall a quote “pray as you can, not as you can’t.” Meaning there is nothing wrong with saying a few short prayers during the day if you can’t muster up the time to do several longer formal prayers (like the rosary or chaplets or do spiritual reading). The idea to prayer is to communicate with God…often that does not even require words or prayers but just being in the presence of God and listening.

I do a lot of prayers, but if I were to list them all here I could be actually making people feel guilty for doing less, or making them feel that they need to do the same things I do. Honestly…my best prayers are often when I don’t have the opportunity to do my normal prayer routine.


#14

My dear friend

I feel I may have contributed to this mini debate. Don’t take me the wrong way please. I’m simply pointing out an ideal as I see it, and as was and is taught to me. It’s not my way. It’s the Opus Dei way I briefly describe. I fully agree with you that all these prayers are not essential to show you love God or get to heaven or even to be done every day. It’s a voluntary decision we must make ourselves. I think it’s good to have a goal to strive for. Jesus presents us with a way that is perfect. It’s not easy to be perfect, in fact we can’t do it and must just struggle as hard as we can towards the goal our whole life. It’s also good to really build up our prayer life with lots of things like I mention, but over time, because it will lead one to contemplation and an ever growing degree of union with God, and holiness. The path I lay out will lead to sanctity. The man who developed this way was an extraordinary saint and will likely be a doctor one day because of his work. It’s essential to attempt all this with the help of a SD because it’s a minefield when one embarks on this path. You can be all over the place when you attempt this. I am not trying to boast and am not being proud when I discuss such things. I’m simply telling the truth as I see it and was taught me. Humilty is truth.

I certainly hope I don’t come across as boastful or proud. It’s not my intention. The forums are for asking, learning and sharing and helping. I’m simply trying to offer some good things I’ve learnt. I hope you understand. No hard feelings at this side either in case you wonder. It’s good that this point be discussed too.

God bless and peace to you friend:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#15

I agree with Betsy that it is best to do a bit at a time. About 4 years ago, I started attending daily Mass 3 mornings a week before work during Lent. Prior to that time, I don’t think I even prayed every day. It was something that just didn’t cross my mind. Daily Mass is a wonderful treasure. When Lent was over, I continued.

Gradually I have gotten to where I go almost every morning, if my schedule allows - it is a top priority.

A couple of years ago I picked up the Divine Mercy Chaplet while I was waiting for my kids in the car-rider line in the afternoon. But this year they ride the bus in the afternoon, and I am still at work at 3:00, so it has kind of fallen by the wayside. Last summer I picked up Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer from Liturgy of the Hours. I use Shorter Christian Prayer. Some mornings I don’t have time for Morning Prayer and some mornings I sit in my car in the parking lot and pray. I try to make Evening Prayer a priority.

Gradually, I have increased my reception of the Sacrament of Reconcilation from once a year to every six weeks or so.

During the day I often ask God for help with this or that.


#16

My Daily Prayer Routine Usually is Somewhat like this >>>>>>>>>>>>>

5:30 a.m. wake up- A prayer asking the lord to help me glorify his name in all I do this day

      Getting Ready---- Just prayers in my own words...

6:00 a.m.- The Angelus

6:50 a.m. get on the bus- A rosary on the way to school

8:00 a.m.- another morning prayer.

11:00 -Bless my food at lunch

12:00- The Angelus

12:05 to 1:00- Spiritual Reading

1:15 to 3:00- more class @ three I say the Angelus again.

On the bus ride home-- Spiritual Reading, Rosaries, Silent Prayer, etc.

Dinner- Bless my food

Homework- Prayer to help me do my best and to focus

Bed- Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s, Glory Be’s, Fatima Invocations, Prayer Petitions. Silent time kneeling in front of my crucifix.

                              I also just pray whenever I have free time at school or home. If  I am having a bad day i try to say another rosary. 

I hope this helps… Just get in a routine and do what makes you feel closest to god.


#17

My rule of thumb is to watch an hour with Christ, at minimum. I can’t do an hour straight…but broken up throughout the day it is doable. I think it is important to consecrate your day at the beginning. I think at the end of the day it is important to have an examination of conscience. And somewhere in the middle of the day, to have something that refocuses you on Christ. I also believe that a Gospel reading and meditation are integral to my prayer life. I espouse a daily Rosary, too. Our faith is filled with many devotions and prayers that you can try.


#18

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