I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog lately but it certainly isn’t because of a lack of anything to say! I just can’t figure out how to put it into words. All I can say is that I feel like I am being transformed inside, bit by bit. I have had wonderful prayer experiences with the Lord and am learning much through my reading, but right now I’m having trouble pulling it all together.
All I can say is that my prayer time has been vibrant of late and I wanted to share with you how and where I pray. These prayer experiences are not typical but are precisely a result of the transformation going on which is helping me to find the Lord in every place imaginable.
Technology definitely plays a role in my prayer time and so does my workout routine. Just to give you some teasers.
My morning prayer routine begins at 7:45 every morning with the beeper going off on my iTouch, reminding me to pray for my ministry. Usually I am getting ready for work at this point so I take a moment to pray the Jesus prayer 3 times: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Sometimes I think of specific intentions such as the upcoming retreat presentation I am to give with my partner Ann on June 11 in NH; oftentimes I don’t think of any specific intention, just that the Lord Jesus have mercy on me as I struggle to serve Him.
Each day I set up my iTouch for the long ride in to work (which, by the way, I find to be a real blessing). After downloading the daily readings from the USCCB podcast, I choose music that will first, quiet my mind and heart – songs that I can pray, and then secondly, music that will inspire me to study the Word.
Songs that I use to pray include
- “The Jesus Prayer” by John Michael Talbot off his brand new album, Worship and Bow Down (which you can get on iTunes exclusively; the CD will be available in June on his website)
- “Agnus Dei” by Michael John Poirier from his Be With Us Today album
- Another “Jesus Prayer” by Deacon Chuck Stevens which you can download for free from his website along with all the other songs from his excellent Harvest of Love album.
The beauty of these songs is that they stay with you throughout the day, effectively facilitating non-stop prayer. These are songs I definitely want playing forever on the radio in my head!
Songs that I use to prepare me to hear the Word of God include
- “Lectio Divina,” also off of John Michael Talbot‘s Worship and Bow Down album . What’s cool about this song is that it actually teaches you how to pray the scriptures using the technique of Lectio Divina (which is basically reading, praying, meditating and then contemplating the Word of God, usually by focusing on a single verse and speaking it out loud several times)
- “Breathe,” in this case, sung by Annie Karto from her Perfect Sacrifice album
- And a new one I tried today, “Come True Light” from Sarah Hart‘s Saint Song album.
These songs prepare my heart and mind to hear the Word and meditate upon it.
After hearing the USCCB podcast, I will then listen to chant to help me focus on the verses from scripture that struck me. The Norbertine Fathers provide wonderful chant music.
Finally I listen to music that will inspire praise. Lately I’ve been listening to Steve Angrisano‘s Live: Songs from the Road album (great to sing along with).
By the time I get into work, my head and heart are full of the Lord.
Prayer Throughout the Day
I use my iTouch plus Google Calendar to help me remember to pray throughout the day. As I have it with me most of the time, it acts like the bells in the monastery, summoning me to prayer. At the moment I have 4 times set up:
- 7:45 am, to pray for my ministry
- 10:30 am, to pray for those who are unemployed
- 12 noon, the Angelus, asking for Mary’s intercession for prayer intentions I keep in a prayer journal
(on my iTouch, of course!)
- 3:00 pm, a portion of the Divine Mercy prayer, again remembering prayer intentions
Each time is short as I am at work, but it really helps me to stay focused on the Lord
This is admittedly the weakest part of my prayer routine. Strangely enough, I find it most difficult to pray at this time, probably because all I want to do is sleep! Sometimes I listen to daily mass on the CatholicTV app (I could listen on TV but the light from the TV keeps me awake!) or I will listen to the Divine Office night prayers on their podcast. A lot of times though I will give in and watch House Hunters on HGTV (that show is very addicting ).
Night prayer is a discipline I will have to work on.
Next time I’ll talk about praying while I work out. Some of the most intense prayer I’ve ever experienced has been on the treadmill
What are your prayer routines?