Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bringing Our Hearts Into Prayer, Part 3

All the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms. - Blaise Pascal (1623-62)
It is so important to have a regular prayer time everyday. This fidelity to prayer is something spiritual writers and saints write about frequently.
We want to pray. We hear the call deep in our hearts. We know, in order to really know God, we need to pray.
But we seem to find excuses. We have so much to do. We plan to pray but we run out of hours in the day.
And yet, we hear that call. We sense that nudge. God wants us to spend time with him.
Each of us needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy, then we need an hour – St. Francis de Sales
Fidelity to prayer is so important. Like an appointment we make with our doctor, we need to make an appointment with the Lord. We need to show up.
I don’t know why it is so hard for us to do this. Are we concerned about how to pray? Are we concerned about distractions or what to pray? Are we afraid of intimacy with God? Are we worried about what God might ask of us?
The only way to pray is to pray; and the way to pray well is to pray much. If one has no time for this, then one must at least pray regularly. But the less one prays, the worse it goes. - Dom John Chapman
So true. The less one prays, the worse it gets.
Praying daily at the same time and even the same place is ideal. Even when it is a struggle. Even when our prayer is dry.
Jacques Philippe wrote that fidelity to our daily prayer is even more important than the quality of our prayer (Time for God).
So instead of worrying about the “quality of our prayer,” we make our daily appointments. We remain faithful. We approach God with trust, knowing that He loves us just the way we are.
We bring our hearts into prayer.

Upcoming posts in this series – pray unceasingly, ways to pray, changes in our prayer
Bringing Our Hearts Into Prayer. Part 1
Bringing Our Hearts Into Prayer, Part 2
Time for God - Jacques Philippe



Colleen @ ID said...

Great Post Colleen, and I needed to read it! The quotes are spot on and I will go into my google calendar today and make my daily, recurring appointment. Thank you!

Karinann said...

I love this post and I too needed it. My life has been out of control with a crazy work schedule lately and I have been finding it hard to stick with my usual morning and evening prayer time- the evening especially. But yesterday as I was feeling too tired with the urge to just put on mindless TV, I had that nude you speak about telling me to just "show up" and God will do the rest. Glad I listened.
I love the quotes. I am reading Jacques Philippe's Called to Life right now and loving it.
Thanks for continuing this series on prayer~can't wait to read the upcoming installments.
Hugs & Blessings.

Colleen said...

Colleen, that is awesome! It really helps me to do that. God bless!

Karinann, I am reading that book, too. Go figure.
I am glad you listened too. I have been there, when it has been hard for me to stop and pray. Recently. God has a way of getting our attention and He got your's!! Cool!
Hugs and blessings.

Carol@simple_catholic said...

Beautiful post. Fidelity to prayer is the number one way for a successful prayer life. Thank you for that reminder.

Colleen said...

Carol, thank you! Fidelity to prayer is something we often don't think about. But Mother Teresa said, God doesn't want us to be successful. God just wants us to be faithful.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Having a regular prayer routine is necessary because we are creatures of habit. If we form a good habit, not matter what kind of mood we're in, if we "just show up" as you wrote about before, God will help us. I've thought lately that if my mother were still alive and asked me to spend time with her at a set time of day every day, would I tell her no? Not a chance. We know God loves us, so why would we put something else in the place of regular time for Him.

Kathleen Basi said...

Maybe I'm trying to sidestep the point, but I've found that as busy as I am, the only way to handle life is to integrate prayer into the day--to constantly turn and re-turn to it, to take moments here and there, to try to be still while nursing, to read devotions at that time, and sometimes just to take a moment to close my eyes and "look" upward.

Colleen said...

Barbara, I think I sometimes feel like God will still love me if I put aside my time with Him to do something else. And He will. But I will miss out on that close relationship with Him if I skip my time with Him. Putting God first makes all things better.

Kathleen, I am going to get to that in my post on "praying without ceasing." Which is what you are doing in a way.
Having a new born baby doesn't lend itself well to having a regular appointment with God.
Things come up in our lives that make that impossible. That is OK as long as we get back to it when we can. I should have added that to my article.
We all have to look at our own lives and figure out what works for us at the time.
Under your present circumstances, a regular prayer time every day just would not be practical. You are loving God by caring for your children and your new baby. You are living in the present moment which is awesome.
And you are keeping in touch with God every day in whatever way you can. That sounds like fidelity to me.

mary333 said...

Another great post on prayer, Colleen! I really needed this right now. It's funny how easily I get sidetracked by the circumstances of my life and my prayer time shrinks as a result. Sometimes I swear I can feel the grace leaking out of me when I slack on prayer. With Lent coming up this was the perfect post for me to read. Thank you.

mary333 said...

I forgot to add:
These quotes were perfect! Loved them!

God bless you, Colleen :)

Colleen said...

Mary, thank you! Glad you liked the quotes!
I think we all get sidetracked at some point. Especially when there is something new going on in our lives. Hope Lent helps you find the right track for yourself. I have missed you!