In between all the meetings, packing lunches, homework, sports, lessons, cooking, cleaning, laundry, work deadlines, etc., finding ‘quality time’ for our spouse and children can be quite a challenge.
Yet what if we were to add daily personal prayer to our schedule? Would we be throwing a wrench into our all ready jam-packed to-do list?
Personal prayer can easily be brushed aside as an “additional chore.” However, personal prayer surprisingly recharges the busy mom in countless ways. We no longer run on spare tires and are given the opportunity to see our daily routine from a different perspective.
St. Gianna Beretta Molla, physician and mother of four, once said that “the stillness of prayer is the most essential condition for fruitful action. Before all else, the disciple kneels down.” During days we feel we are on top of our game, prayer adds direction to enhancing family life, being more available to our spouse, or developing a particular virtue in our children. During days we fail and become perfect examples of how-not-to-parent, prayer teaches us humility and serves as our ‘reset button’ to begin again and do things better.
How do we pray? In his book, “Listening to God in Prayer,” Fr. Julio Penacoba delves into the knots and bolts of personal prayer. Below are a few steps adapted from his book.
- Make a schedule
– This can be as short as 10-15 minutes per day.
– Some moms prefer to schedule their prayer time prior to the early morning madness or the afternoon rush hour.
– Have a set spiritual reading, such as the Bible or a good spiritual reading book.
– Choose a quiet place. This can be during quick breaks at work, at the chapel, or in the study while the children are taking a nap.
– Consider keeping a prayer journal to write down your reflections.
- Talk, Listen
– God is interested in the huge and little things in our day.
- St. Josemaria Escriva so eloquently wrote: “To pray is to talk to God, but about what? About Him, about yourself; joys, sorrows, successes, and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation. In a word: to get to know Him and to get to know yourself: to get acquainted.”
- Respond: Keep it simple
– It is easy for us to become overwhelmed with life’s many concerns; as such, it is recommended that we focus on one resolution.
– Sample areas of resolution: Do we need to ask for forgiveness or to say ‘thank you’? Is there a particular area we are working on, such as improving communication with our spouse or child, having an orderly home, or resolving not to gossip at work?
The benefits of personal prayer far outweigh the ‘time lost to praying.’ An immediate benefit is the sudden order in love. Constant personal prayer adds peace to our heart and our home. St. Catherine of Siena once said, “by humble, continual and faithful prayer, the soul acquires, with time and perseverance, every virtue.” I conclude with a resounding “Amen.”
Escriva, J. (1963). The Way. All Saints Press.
Pelucchi, G. (2002). Saint Gianna Beretta Molla: A Woman’s Life. Boston, MA: Pauline Books.
Penacoba, J (n.d.). Listening to God in Prayer. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/frjuliopenacoba/home
Siena, C. (2007). Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena. NY, NY: Cosimobooks.
Written by Tricia for worldurbanista.com
About the author: Tricia Santos is based in Dallas, Tx with her husband and their 4 children. She is a university adjunct assistant professor and a consultant speech-language pathologist for two hospitals. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of the Philippines and graduate degrees from Columbia University and the University of Texas at Dallas. In her spare time, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, telling stories to children, and listening to inspirational talks on EWTN and from Lighthouse Catholic Media.