I must confess, I struggle to pray consistently. I can relate to Mike Yaconelli when he writes in his book, Messy Spirituality, that the only constant in his spiritual life is his inconsistency. What’s so important in my life that I can’t get a regular prayer routine going? When things are going rough I seem to ALWAYS remember to pray, and when people ask me to pray for them I offer up prayers for their intentions, but when things are going great I tend to be a coaster…just coasting along until I need my hand held again by God for when the next crisis arises.
St. Josemarie Escriva talks about the ‘Heroic Moment’ – that first waking moment of the day when we should bend a knee in prayer. I love this concept, but hitting snooze on my phone alarm tends to be my first waking moment. With each confession, I am strengthened by sacramental graces and a firm purpose of amendment to improve, but alas all that grace leaks out of me and I gradually fall back into my lazy ways.
When I find myself recognizing this fault in myself, I try to remember some of the things that help me get back on track:
Adoration – I have a weekly time set aside to Adore for one hour at a nearby parish and it is always a blessing to me, especially when my week has had too little prayer. If anything, “I just look at Him and He looks at me,” as Saint John Vianney once said. It’s a humbling time to say, “Sorry Jesus. I promise to do better.”
In Conversation with God – These reflections on the daily Mass readings are outstanding and challenging. Not only am I reading Scripture and inspirational quotes from the saints, the author really confronts me to put my faith into practice with the spiritual direction offered. I sometimes highlight the words that I find most compelling to reread again when I’m struggling. I guess it’s time to do some rereading.
iCatholicMusic – If singing is praying twice, then what am I so worried about? This Catholic music station at 90.7FM (and app and website) is great stuff. I find myself singing along and downloading new music from Catholic artists I’ve never heard of and now love. Just having the music playing in the background is like a constant prayer for me and my singing along really lifts up my heart and mind.
Is prayer a struggle for you? What helps you the most in times of dryness? What gets you back on track after a lazy spell?