9 Secrets To Transforming Your Prayer Life, also how to begin and grow in your prayer life.
How do you see God?
It is not a secret that the things you believe about God are basically what inform your prayer life. If you believe God is loving, and understand that his love for us has no boundaries, you are better positioned to have a healthier prayer life than if you believed him to be a stern judge for instance.
Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful, but our attitude towards prayer needs to be constantly worked on. Our knowledge and view of God need to keep growing and maturing so that our prayer lives can be better.
Be quiet, be still:
Your physical posture, the place you pray, and the things around you can affect your focus and mindset while you pray. So, pick a place you can have the quietest time. If this is not possible, do not be discouraged still, you can still pray in a noisy place or a place that brings you so much distraction. Even though the former is more desirable, it doesn’t mean that is the only place you can pray. The constant struggle to center your mind on God is an effort that God welcomes, insofar as the distractions are not coming from us or things we are holding onto that we can put down or do without for a while.
Prayer should be enjoyed:
Well, not literally enjoyed, at least not all the time. But, prayer should not be thought of as a chore you have to do. Prayer needs to be seen as an opportunity to encounter Jesus who loves us and is always there for us. This is why i said our attitude towards prayer need to change and grow constantly. Do not be in a hurry just because you promised to say a rosary every day or this or that Novena. Before you begin, ask Our Lady to give you her laser-sharp focus so that you can meditate on each word and allow the Holy Spirit to both pray with you and transform you from your words and His in your heart.
We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.Romans 8:26
9 Secrets To Transforming Your Prayer Life
When you are too lazy to pray:
Sometimes we get lazy to utter a word of prayer. Sometimes because prayer seems like a useless engagement with no physical results or something it is just spiritual weariness.
Whichever it is, all you need to do is simply begin. I recommend saying a passionate “Hail Mary”. When you know you need to pray and cannot seem to find the strength to begin, Mary has a way of gaining for us the grace to begin. The be honest, those times you feel discouraged to pray and pray anyway, that is when God actually appreciates our efforts the most. This is because at that time we are being tested to see how far we have come. If we always need “candy” or if we can handle the dry deserts leading to His Holy Mountain!
Make it regular:
If you are having issues beginning a life of prayer, PLEASE DO NOT START BIG. Starting big can be too risky, as risky as soaring too high before you have actually learned to fly. The fall can be really devastating. Starting small guarantees two things:
- You will find it easy to follow thorugh everyday.
- You will be able to form a habit, albeit of saying short prayers daily.
This is particularly helpful for when you start getting discouraged, you remember the prayers aren’t so long, so you find the strength faster to not only pray but pray with the required keenness of mind.
When you have kept this habit for at last 3 months, you can begin adding a little more things here and there. Before you know it, you can pray for an hour without thinking about it.
Having a spiritual director helps a lot. Usually a priest you prayerfully choose to guide you in your quest for devotion. You needn’t see this priest regularly, you just need to have a channel of communication open, receive wise counsel and encouragement. This person can recommend where to begin and when to change things up.
A Spiritual Guide isn’t absolutely required, but it is necessary if you want to really soar high in your prayer/spiritual life.
Fasting has always been at the center of deep prayer commitment. It has to be frequent, but not necessarily big. It can be small but regular acts of self-denial or actual fasting from food. Self-denial means for instance going a while without talking (if your day-to-day doesn’t require this and if you find you enjoy talking a lot), going a while without screens, or sugar or something else you really enjoy. Or giving up something important to you or sacrificing your place in line for someone else. It can be anything you offer to God as a sacrifice to help bring you closer to Him in prayer. Fasting also helps you become more spiritually disciplined and consequently more capable to maintain a prayer life.
Studying the Scriptures can help a lot. For a beginner, i however recommend reading stories of Saints and how they lived their own prayer lives. Do not be too focused on miracles and flashy occurrences, those things won’t happen to you. You should NEVER pray to have those extraordinary gifts as they can be your own undoing. All you need to focus on when you read their stories is how they loved God and saw God in everyone and everything. How they sacrificed and suffered for other people’s sins and offered penances for them. How their words and actions converted souls to Jesus. Focus on these and learn a thing or two as you begin to ascend to God.
Finally, set an alarm:
Prioritize prayer, set an alarm, never forget.
May God bless and bring you to himself.
9 Secrets To Transforming Your Prayer Life