How to incorporate prayer into your life
What is prayer? This is quite the open-ended question, ripe for interpretation and discussion. Likely, our colleagues, friends, and family are familiar with the concept, and speaking about your prayer life is not an uncommon occurrence. Let us ask ourselves, how commonplace have we made prayer in our everyday?
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers nor be your go-to spiritual advisor. I, too, am a busy working spouse and parent, who wonders at how quickly the hours have slipped by. I do, however, have the habit of prayer, the desire to deepen my relationship with God, and the honesty of human frailty.
Foolproof Steps to An Abundant Prayer Life:
- Decide why you wish to incorporate more regular prayer. We must identify our why to sustain our commitment.
- Identify your preferred type(s) of prayer: meditative, spontaneous, prayer journaling, song, prayer walks, contemplative, conversational, communal, or repetitive to name a few.
- Identify your preferred location for prayer: specific room, chapel, outdoors, or in the car.
- Identify and seize opportunities to naturally interject prayer into your day. One of the blessings of this digital age is the spiritual aids available at our fingertips. Just a few sweeps of the smartphone can access individual or communal prayer as you drive to campus (swipe the smartphone only with the car in Park, please), take care of housework, (much better than TV to fold the laundry) or as you tidy up and lock your office door for the evening.
- Give yourself grace. Nothing in this earthly life is foolproof, and we are imperfect beings. If intentional prayer escapes you one day, remember that God desires our flawed hearts, not perfection. Turn to the Lord in very honest, conversational prayer as you would a trusted friend.
Watching the faithful example of loved ones with a consistent prayer life left me yearning to achieve the peace that seemed to follow. Taking this aspiration into my adult years has led me down a path rich with beautiful, meaningful friendship and bookshelves filled with scripture studies, lives, and lessons of the saints and devotionals speaking straight into the souls of busy mothers.
Through all of these lessons, the one which I wish to share is the beauty that comes with embracing the everyday mundane in prayer. Grounding ourselves in prayer through our familial or professional acts of service fills our actions with love and allows the light of Christ to shine through our example in ways that far more elaborate efforts may never.
Andrea Raines is an instructor of nursing in the College of Nursing and assists with the Cover the Campus prayer project.