Daily Prayer Routines
Life makes many demands on today’s families, and lives are often full and hectic. Finding the time for prayer can seem difficult - especially if you aren’t sure where to begin or how to pray as a family.
Prayer is a Gift
One reason many of us don't pray more often or more consistently is because we have questions and uncertainties about prayer. We worry that we’re doing it wrong or that it’s not really working. One of the best ways to combat the neutralizing effect this doubt can have on your prayer life is to remember that prayer is a gift.
“[Prayer] is not what we do but what God does in us, how God loves us, addresses us, looks at us, enlightens us, forgives us, heals us, purifies us and eventually transforms us.” Dominican Nuns Ireland Family Day Address (www.dominicannuns.ie)
God is constantly seeking us. Like the father who daily scanned the horizon for his prodigal son, God waits patiently for us. Prayer is the gift, given to us by God, to respond to His call and to seek him in return. Every moment of prayer begins, not with us, but with God’s call to us - the desire for union with him that he has placed deep within our hearts.
Our prayer is a response to that call. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says,
“Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort” (2725).
Make an Intentional Plan
John Piper, in his book Desiring God, says that a main hindrance to prayer is our lack of planning:
"If you want to take a four-week vacation, you don't just get up one summer morning and say, 'Hey, let's go today!' You won't have anything ready. You won't know where to go. Nothing has been planned."
Take the time to create a plan for your own personal prayer life. It doesn’t have to be rigidly followed, but can serve as a grounding reminder -- a thriving, regular, consistent time of worship of and communion with God in prayer.
Tools to Help
We have developed four tools to help you get started developing your personal prayer routine...
1. Prayer Plan Worksheet
This free downloadable worksheet can help walk you through the steps to creating your first prayer plan. In it you will find:
- questions to help you think about your daily schedule
- suggestions and examples that have worked for others, and
- tips for expanding your personal prayer routine into a family routine
Download it today and get started identifying the where, when, and how of your personal prayer plan.
We've adding a regular series to our blog called How Do You Pray? In it we will feature the daily prayer routines of people of a variety of ages, households, work situations, schedules, and faith backgrounds. Take a look at these prayer routines to get new ideas or encounter something that might work for you.
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If you're looking for new ideas or resources to add to your prayer routine, check out our Prayer Resource Guide. Whether your prayer is formal or informal, verbal or nonverbal, active or contemplative, the suggestions in this Resource Guide will renew your prayer life by establishing and deepening your relationship with Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
The Resource Guide is broken down by resource level (Emerging, Moderate, Strong/High, and Family) and by resource type (Print, Audio, Video, Web). The cost of the resources vary, but many are free!
Take our Burning Hearts Survey and one of our Disciples will help you idenitfy the resources best for your level and learning style.. After taking the survey, we'll send you this sample page from the Prayer Resource Guide at no charge!