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.