Each month I write out my prayer goals for the month. My hope is that little by little I will be able to become better at prayer and enter more deeply into a relationship with God. I also hope that by sharing my experiences, others might find some inspiration and motivation to add some prayer habits to their lives.
June Prayer Report: My Prayer Journal
My goals for June 2011 were to start a prayer journal. This was a practice I have done many times in my life. As a teacher and retreat leader I found it to be an excellent way to lead others through personal reflection.
Journaling has really been a nice addition to my morning prayer routine. On the seven days that I added journaling to prayer this month, I was really able to enter more deeply into the daily readings of the Church.
By reflecting more deeply on a passage from the Bible each day through a journal, God opened my eyes to a few things and reminded me of what is important in my life. I wouldn’t say these things were great epiphanies, but little bits of truth add up to a much fuller life of grace.
Some of the themes that came up while praying through a journal:
- Focus on what makes me passionate, not what reasonably makes sense or strategically has the best ROI (2 Cor 6:1-10)
- Christians are called to be unusual (Mt 5:38-42)
- Can I have the faith of Abraham to trust in God to bring me out of my comfort zone and provide great blessings? (Gn 12:1-9)
- God is my shield! (Gn 15:1-2)
- What is most important to me and in what order? It should be: 1) God, 2) Family (spouse first), 3) Others especially those in greatest need, and 4) everything else (Gn 22:1b-19)
July Prayer Habit: Memorize Traditional Catholic Prayers
Catholics are known for their rosaries, novenas, and traditional prayers. Though I’ve memorized and prayed many traditional Catholic prayers like the Hail Mary and the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet, there are many novenas and prayers that I often stumble to get through.
My hope is that as I memorize and pray with these traditional prayers, I will update the Catholic Prayers page here at Prayer Habits. The page has been sparse from the very beginning and needs some updating.
Prayerbook for July
Next week I start a three week intensive course on John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. I won’t have much time for extra reading (or blogging), but the Pope’s catechesis on the theology of the body is rich is spiritual inspiration. Since I now have this prayer blog, it only makes sense that I will be pulling some of the prayerful themes and quotes out of his work. I’ll be sharing some of these quotes on Twitter and my (currently empty) Facebook page for Prayer Habits. Check them out if you are interested.