Have you ever struggled with what to pray? Have you paused throughout your day realizing that you wished you had more time to pray? You certainly aren’t alone. Many of us are so busy that we forget to make time for prayer.
The best prayer for beginners or for those who are super busy is “Lord, increase our faith”. A prayer used by the first apostles! Often times when I am at my busiest I pray as I work offering short little prayers throughout the day. I make the practice of praying the Liturgy of the Hours as often as possible, this makes memorizing some favorite lines from the psalms easy. Sometimes even though I pray the Liturgy of the Hours, when I am at my busiest I ask my Guardian Angel to pray the hours for me and I will recite parts of memorized psalms as short little prayers throughout the day. Sometimes it means being creative! At times that we feel uninspired, a simply prayer to recite is “Lord, teach me to pray” and surely you’ve already begun!
On the other hand, sometimes prayer takes setting intentional time aside. A tradition of the Apostles and indeed of early monks is silent prayer late at night or very early in the morning. There does not have to be a specific formula to this form of prayer, it could be simple contemplation. God gave us human freedom and the intellect to best make use of our hours, days, and weeks and to prioritize those things most important. That does not mean that one must pray in only one way at all times, but rather to be in a prayerful spirit at all times.
Sometimes the best prayers are left unspoken and take the form of action: such as offering particularly difficult tasks done well, or spending a particular amount of time being particularly aware of the details and being especially diligent. There are so many different ways to pray that it’s important to try them all. It is good to pray with Scripture, to experience silence and listen for God, to recite the psalms like Jesus, to pray traditional prayers that the saints used on their journey to heaven, sing hymns, make prayerful actions, study the faith, or reflect on scripture passages to name a few options. The best part is that our prayer lives should fit our vocation like a glove. Each of us is unique and our spiritualties are unique. We are each given specific graces for the task God has entrusted us with, even and especially if we don’t know what that task is.
It is always important too to ask help from your guardian angel as they know us well. Guardian angels not only protect but they also guide and assist us on our pilgrimage home. It is good to ask their help in prayer.
So, take a few moments and commit yourself to one form of prayer or another discussed in this post for a specific amount of time, perhaps contemplative prayer for 5 minutes a day for a month. Take small steps, get messy, try things, be brave!
 Luke 17:5
 Contemplative prayer: Simply listen for God, and enjoy the silence.
 Vocation: the kind of life we are called to; married life, religious, or ordained; in addition, it may include the kind of work you do not just as a job but as what you contribute to society!
Husband & father of four, graduate from Quincy University and currently a grad student at Franciscan University. Director of Faith Formation & Youth Ministry for All Saints Parish since 2011.