Each month I will be sharing my personal prayer habit goals for the month and providing an update on my progress in developing prayer habits from the previous month. I hope that you can learn from my experiences just as I am learning daily about prayer myself.
At the end of March, these are the prayer habits that I currently practice:
- At dinner, we pray the Catholic Prayer Before Meals
- Before bedtime, we pray the “Now I lay me down to sleep prayer” with our daughter
- At night before we go to sleep, my wife and I ask for prayers for our needs and the needs of our friends and family
- Praying during blogging (still in development)
March Prayer Goal Report
I struggled a little bit with my prayer goals for March. I wanted to 1) pray before blogging and 2) live out my Lenten commitments. I learned a lot about inserting prayer into actions that don’t usually include prayer because I to be honest I failed to pray before blogging. I realized that if I didn’t consciously think through my routines and select specifically the times when I would pray, I would easily forget. A major challenge when adding prayer as a habit is breaking a deep-seeded routine that is already present. Since writing that post about my failure to pray before blogging, I have done a better job remembering to pray, though the prayers have been rushed and thin.
Lent is a great time to build prayer habits. My major Lenten commitments this year included giving up chocolate and growing in prayer through this blog. However, I have been very busy with some other projects and didn’t have much time to dedicate here. I also decided to read The Screwtape Letters, which I started a few weeks late into Lent. My hope is that with the new goals below, I will see some improvements.
Some changes I will make moving forward:
- Write out a routine and select the best place to insert prayer when adding it as a habit.
- Use practical and effective action triggers as reminders to pray and build habits.
April Prayer Habits Goals
1. Add Prayer Time to My Early Morning Routine
At first I was resistant to making this commitment. “I want to start small, I told myself, why try to set aside time to pray and fail again?” Finding time to pray is such a huge endeavor and I wanted to do it right. But why wait? I have been getting up at 5am to get work done and spend time with family at night. I’m super-productive and I was resistant to the idea of adding prayer at the beginning of the routine and run the risk of being unproductive.
2. Pray at the Beginning of Trips
Praying before trips is something I always think of doing but never remember to do either on my own or with my family. I have said simple one-sentence prayers of petition and Hail Mary’s at the beginning of a trip, but I would like to find some more specific prayers to use and keep them in our cars to pray together.