Each month, I will be including an update on my monthly prayer goals and assessing the previous month’s successes and failures. In March and April, I was able to establish prayer a part of my daily routine and in May and June I am focusing on the actual prayer experience itself.
May Prayer Goal Report
In May I set a goal to remove distractions during prayer. I have implemented a couple of strategies to help increase focus with limited success. For instance, I found that when I shortened prayers to focus on the words rather than finishing prayers for the sake of finishing (i.e. the Liturgy of the Hours), I was able to attain more focus. I have found that the main challenge in personal prayer is knowing what to pray. I have begun praying with the daily readings on the USCCB website and that has added a level of consistency that I enjoy. I am considering inserting some novenas as a part of my morning prayer as well.
June Prayer Goal: Start a Prayer Journal
My wife and I have been working out with the P90X videos. For those of you who are not familiar with it, P90X is a very popular workout program that lasts 90 minutes each day for 90 days. We’ve been taking part in more of a P30X, but I’m happy we’ve added working out as one of our weekly habits.
One thing that struck me about the videos is the focus on writing things down. When you write things down, you can
- look back and observe your progress,
- make commitments for the next time,
- and reflect on your experience/success/failures.
It may be an odd place to find this kind of inspiration, but it made me think about the old prayer journals that I used to use in college and in graduate school. I think it is a practice worth testing out again. So my focus will be less on what to pray, but how each prayer went and what I experienced.
Prayer Books for June
I have been rereading little by little Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft. I read this book as a part of a Bible study back in college and wasn’t too impressed, but you can’t beat that title. I want to add a more thorough review here and share some insights before I move onto another text.