“Until you realize that prayer is the most important thing in life, you will never have time for prayer.” -Fr. Hilary, OSB
Living in the peace of Christ can only come through a strong relationship with Him that’s rooted in prayer. Prayer compels us to fix our eyes on the One who can deliver us from the storms of our life. Unfortunately, our modern day lives are full of distractions that pull us away from Christ and keep our attention focused on the chaos around us, robbing us of peace and pulling us deeper into anxiety.
This Lent, let’s respond to the Church’s call to recommit to prayer by adding more of it into our daily lives. Through deeper, more frequent prayer, we can put on the armor of Christ that will protect us from Satan’s frequent attacks.
5 Ways to Increase Your Prayer Time in Lent:
- Morning Offering and Bedtime Prayers
- The Angelus
- Meal Prayer
- Daily Rosary
- Mental Prayer and Journaling
Start and End the Day in Prayer
Starting and ending the day in prayer reminds us that we belong entirely to the Lord and directs our attention to the need to serve Him instead of ourselves during the day.
Set aside a time in the morning to pray the Morning Offering to offer yourself in service to the Lord and ask for his protection. At the end of the day, perform an examination of conscience [https://usgraceforce.com/confession/]. Consider whether your behavior during the day was befitting a child of God and offer an Act of Contrition.
Greet Your Mother Through the Angelus
Another way to add more prayer to your day during Lent is to start praying the Angelus. The Angelus is an ancient Catholic custom that has us stop what we’re doing to greet Our Blessed Mother for a moment, prayed at 6 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m.
Remembering our mother during the day helps us grow in childlike faith and gives us the daily opportunity to meditate on the Incarnation and Resurrection of our Lord. Nothing could be more important for us to remember! We owe our eternal lives to the fact that Jesus became man and died for our sins. Praying the Angelus reminds us of God’s infinite goodness towards us through Mary.
Saying Grace Before and After Meals
Thanking God for the gift of nourishment is a simple but powerful way to acknowledge His goodness and our dependence on Him. Additionally, making the sign of the cross and spending a moment in prayer before a meal is a powerful witness to those around us of the reality and prominence of God in our lives. This simple, humble prayer strengthens us in the fight and encourages others to do the same.
Likewise, a prayer of thanksgiving after a meal is a fitting way to conclude and reorient your mind to God. We receive all things--even our double cheeseburgers--from the goodness of God.
The Rosary as a Shortcut to Jesus
One of the most cherished Marian devotions in the Catholic Church is the rosary. Like little children, the rosary has us calling upon our mother over and over again to hear our needs.
Lent is a wonderful time to establish the daily habit of praying the rosary. Through meditating on the mysteries of the life of Christ, the rosary offers us a “shortcut” to Jesus through the heart of Mary, whom Jesus never refuses!
Contemplating God Through Mental Prayer
Being battle-ready requires deep, heartfelt prayer with the Lord. This Lent, make time each day for mental prayer. Mental prayer is a time of silence focused on God where you love God through dialogue, meditate on His words, and contemplate His Face.
To make time for mental prayer, examine the possibilities for quiet time with God that your schedule allows. Are you busy from morning until night? Get up a few minutes earlier than usual, when the house is still quiet, to get in your mental prayer. Is there a natural lull in your day after lunch? Retreat to your room, car, or breakroom to spend time with Jesus to gain strength for the rest of your day. Attending daily Mass? Arrive early or stay afterward to pray your mental prayer before the tabernacle, where our Lord waits for us in the True Presence.
Journaling is also a great tool to use with mental prayer. By documenting your needs and prayers to the Lord as well as His responses, you can keep track of how your relationship with Him is strengthening or what repeated weak points need shoring up.
The Peace Through Strength Prayer Journal
Available for pre-order now! The Peace Through Strength Prayer Journal is your tool for focusing the eyes of your heart on the Lord in order to grow strong in His love and peace.
The peace of Christ is worth fighting for! But you don’t need to battle alone. Join us in the 90 Days to Peace Campaign with the US Grace Force lead by Father Richard Heilman and unite your prayers and sacrifices with Catholics from around the world as we fight to grow strong in God and His peace. Receive spiritual reflections from Fr. Richard Heilman and join our Facebook group to connect with others on the journey.