I've recently been blessed by helping a dear friend rediscover her faith. It's been very rewarding and I'm proud of her for humbling herself and trying to find God in her life. Every day she tells me, "I said my prayers today!" I encourage her all the while thinking, "Good gravy! At this point she has a better prayer life than I do!" You see, I have an ATROCIOUS prayer life and it was pointed out to me by a priest friend that it's very possible that God is using her to help me to find my prayer life as much as He is using me to help her to find her faith.
It's not like I haven't tried and worked on it. It's not like I don't have the desire to have a prayer life. It's not like I don't have the desire to have a passion for scripture or a great Marian devotion. It's just not there (yet.) I also realize that a great prayer life isn't going to happen over night. To be honest, I'm just lazy. So I guess I'm guilty of the sin of sloth and need to go to confession, huh? Here is the deal. I've been blessed and have felt God's presence in my prayers before. Talk about an experience that will knock your socks off. I'm just such a chuckle head and skip my prayers the next day. I don't keep it up. I just want it to come easy for me!
I'm reading a book now that I'm going to review in a couple of weeks. The book has a chapter on St. Teresa of Avila. She describes prayer life as "four methods of watering." She says that sometimes prayer is like pulling water from a well--it takes muscle and labor. Other times it's less difficult--like taking it from a water wheel. Sometimes it's as simple as taking water from the "river" that God provides. Finally, if God sees fit--he can provide a "spiritual rain" that requires nothing.
I really like this analogy because it reminds me that even though I'd like like to just sing in the rain and have this great prayer life I need to work on it and pull those buckets out of the well. For me that may mean working on saying the Liturgy of the Hours every day. Maybe I need to just be simple and say an "Our Father" and a "Hail Mary" every morning and evening and supplement that with the Liturgy of the Hours until that becomes habit.
I don't know. I know I need to do something. I've got a couple books such as "The 'R' Father" by Mark Hart and "The Better Part" by Fr. Bartunek. I'm hoping they give me some motivation and encouragement.
Jamie, I know exactly how you feel. I've been going through this myself and it's hard. As human beings, there is so much to distract us from God and to giving Him the time He deserves. And prayer can start off exciting and then can start feeling routine, which adds to the challenge.ReplyDelete
I've begun praying the LOTH too. My suggestion is to start slow with maybe one of the Hours (Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer) and then add additional ones. Right now I "try" to pray the three major Hours (Morning, Office of Readings & Evening Prayers). Sometimes I fail at it, but I keep going back to it.
I would recommend checking out DivineOffice.org if you haven't already. It's a great way to get started with the LOTH since they combine text and audio on their site to help people pray them.
When you are simply wandering around lift up your eyes to the sky and say "Father..." an dit makes a prayer life.ReplyDelete
When you drive your police car lift up your eyes and say "Father..." and it's a prayer life...
Many times and in many occasions we can pray, but we do not need a life full of prayers, yet life is a prayer itself, because our life, our personal story is the place where God talks to us.
Very nice blog, I pray for you from Rome
Do you have an ipod? I have a small app that helps me pray LOTH. You can even download the audio and listen. I don't do it as much as I would like, but I do recommend it.ReplyDelete
Brother Freddie - Thank you for those notes. I do speak to our Heavenly Father about every other minute. Sometimes I feel like a real nag. But I still feel like I should pray more.
I have an app for my Droid but I haven't used it yet.ReplyDelete