Or “I already prayed today.”
Or “I pray in the mornings and at night. Praying again isn’t necessary.”
These are the thoughts that pop into our heads. I know because I think them sometimes.
From just a moment ago:
“I spent ten minutes praying the examen this morning, do I really need to pray it again? St. Ignatius required the examen to be prayed twice, but I’m no Jesuit and I’m certainly not a priest. I have lots of other things I need to do. And my girls could wake up from their naps at any moment!”
Yes, We Need to Pray
But is prayer only an obligation? Do we only pray when it is necessary–when we need it the most?
Prayer has to be habitual–and habits only form from conscious choices. This is how any virtue is formed.
“All virtue consists in the free-will, and hence virtue is called an elective or voluntary habit.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, On Prayer and Contemplative Life
Choose prayer. We need to choose prayer.
There is a voice in our heads (not our own) that fights against our call to prayer. Fight back.
If you have a few minutes, don’t be afraid to spend it in prayer. Make prayer habitual, but don’t hide in your habits.