Struggling with prayer?

24/11/08 | Posted by ellen

I am struggling with prayer at the moment. Autumn is drifting toward winter and I have had couple of nasty colds already, I rush out early in the morning and seem to be tired when I get home after work, I have a lot of work to do and family life is demanding. I don't offer these as excuses but as examples of the things that seem to get in the way of my prayer. I am sure I could find time to fit the discipline in but the truth is many days I haven't...

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 How to pray?

I really want to have a regular special time for prayer - I want that special time to focus on and with God, to reflect on the things that concern me, to bring to God those who are in need. I often make the excuse ‘look I am praying all the time, I am with God in everything, God is in the ordinary and I am in God’. But I wonder if this is really enough - Does God not deserve special time, set apart away from the ordinary?

Anyway, I have been trying to gather some advice or handy hints about how to get a daily prayer routine, here are some of the results:

  • a priest friend suggested having a prayer partner who you meet with at least once a week and go over the same discipline - perhaps the order of daily prayer that is here at rejesus, or the Church of England daily prayer, or the Northumbria Community daily prayer
  • a female friend suggested finding a special place in your house - she has an icon placed in the corner of a room which she goes to for prayer. She feels it helps her to focus and to make the time special.
  • keep a prayer diary - this seems to be a very popular prayer device. It helps to keep the names of those you have prayed for, of events you are holding close to your heart and a record of how you are feeling about your prayer life. Sometimes it is good to look back on where you have been with your prayers and reflect on how things are going.
  • mix it up - I love routine but it is also my downfall, in that I get fidgety widgety and want to be way doing something about the problems I am sharing with God. It has been suggested that it can be useful to give in to this feeling every so often, do something different. Getting the balance between routine and spontaneity seems to be important.
  • isolation, distraction and despair - these are my greatest fears when praying. I have found that sharing these feelings with others has helped but also letting God into these (my guilty secrets) has started the healing process

I am sure you have your tips and hints (if you do please let me know).

 

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I used to feel so guilty about how badly organised my prayer life was, I felt I was always playing catch up, never quite getting around to praying for the people and situations I knew I should. It all changed when I accepted that I am not a routine person and that I have a busy, noisy life. Now I pray on the go. I have quiet prayer time in my car to and from work when I can unburden my heart. I thank God for all he has done for me while I walk the dog. I pray for people and situations as they arise during the day, I know if I mean to pray for someone later it will never happen. If I do or think a foolish thing I ask God for forgiveness right away (so that’s quite often!). This has transformed my life as I seem to be constantly in prayer instead of never quite finding the time. I’m sure this wouldn’t work for everyone but it certainly fits in with my lifestyle at the moment.

#1. By J Gibbon on February 21, 2009

i thought i was mad doing this, i seemed to be chatting with God all the time.

#2. By deb on February 26, 2009

It could just be the two of us Deb but it seems very practical and natural to me.

#3. By J Gibbon on February 26, 2009

I agree…chatting to God all the time is practical and natural. In addition I have found calving out ‘quality God time’ has been a great blessing also. Thanks for your encouragement and comments. xxx

#4. By ellen on February 26, 2009

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