4 Steps to Reignite Your Prayer LifeDeepening your communication with God is a marathon, not a sprint. Prayer isn't easy. It can be hard to tune out the noisy world, the seemingly constant activity and the competition for your attention. How can you find the quiet time needed for focused prayer? Angela Reed, an associate professor of theology at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, has four simple steps to help you grow in the habit of prayer.
Four steps to reignite your prayer life:
1. Read Scripture prayerfully by focusing on "formation" rather than "information."
Read a brief biblical passage several times (a few verses from the Psalms or the Gospels often work well). Consider these questions/comments in silence between the readings, pausing for a few minutes each time:
2. Reflect on the events of the day by asking how God seems to be most present and active to you.
One way of listening for God is to ask two simple questions at the end of the day:
"These questions are based upon Ignatius of Loyola's notion of consolation and desolation," Reed said. "Through the course of a day, we may see signs of God's goodness in many people and circumstances. We may also become aware of ways in which the world does not reflect the goodness of God. After reflecting on the questions, respond to God in prayer, perhaps with thanksgiving, confession and intercession. This prayer practice can be especially meaningful for families. Small children may want to talk about what they were most and least thankful for."
3. Try out a simple form of prayer that allows for deepening reflection through repetition.
The Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
"It can be shortened or altered as needed," Reed said. "We can pray these words while driving, exercising, making dinner or just about any other kind of activity. It can be especially helpful when we feel frustrated or angry with someone. The prayer reminds us that we are all in need of God's mercy."
4. Explore the possibility of shaping the activities of the day around prayer, rather than the other way around.