So you’ve decided to pray (again!). What should I do? Below you will find an outline of how you might spend 10 minutes in prayer.
First off you need to quiet your mind and emotions. You’re going to go on a little “retreat” away from the world.
Find a place away from the usual noise (away from TV, lap top, cell phone). I find a comfortable chair lends to my time in prayer . . . though it may be a quiet walk or time in your car or at your desk. It’s nice to have a crucifix nearby or a holy picture to glance at.
++ Once you’re situated, make the Sign of the Cross and tell God in your own words (in your mind) that you have come to be with Him and ask His presence for these few minutes. Something like: “Here I am Lord. Please be with me in this prayer.”
++ Three deep breaths helps to quiet the mind.
++ Now it’s time for the mind to chew on something. Two things can help here: 1. Recall a sentence from scripture (“The Lord is my Shepherd.” “I will be with you to the end of the world.” Find something that speaks to you). OR 2. Remember a time that you felt close to God . . . let it speak to you again.)
++ You’ve now begun to pray. For the next few minutes trust that God is with you as you sit there. The Holy Spirit will guide your thoughts (don’t worry if the world keeps popping into your mind, just whisper your word again . . . “Good Shepherd” OR “Lord” OR “I love you.”)
++ When you feel you’ve reached a place in your mind where things seem quiet(er), find a word or a sentence that speaks what’s in your heart. I’ll say something like, “Lord . . . be with me today . . . help me please you to- day . . . don’t let me forget what I need to remember . . . be with X, he/she needs your help . . . thank you Lord . . . and best of all for me, I love telling God, “I love you.”
These utterances should be slow and spaced with silences. Let them bubble up again and again like you’d coo to your baby. “I love you Lord.”
++ You’re on the home stretch now. When you’ve quieted yourself, spoken your bible sentence or remembrance, told God your thought for the day ……………… be quiet for about a minute. Do nothing. It’s God’s time to do whatever his grace desires for you. Just sit. He’s with you.
++ Time to finish your prayer. Perhaps to end with an Our Father/Hail Mary. Maybe you have a special need to ask of God; now’s a good time.
++ Make the Sign of the Cross and be on your way.
You may feel that nothing happened during these 10 minutes. In fact the devil wants you to feel that it’s been a total waste of time. The fact is the devil hates it when you pray. You become a sign to him that his kingdom is bankrupt. He hates being reminded of that and will try anything to get you to stop praying.
So here we go. Let’s start praying again. Start where you can. If praying every day is something that can’t happen right now how about 3 times a week? Can you do that?
Remember . . . God will help you. The Holy Spirit is already praying in you and for you!