Tuesday, November 18, 2014

N.A.S.--How Do You Pray at Home?




I'm linking up with the N.A.S. girls this week! I loved their topic:

How do you pray at home? Do you have a special place in your house? How do you make that area special? Comfy chair? Prayer cards? What suggestions do you have to make a home altar? If you don't do this, in what ways can you begin?


Prayer is one of my favorite topics! Not because I'm particularly good at it, but because I want to be! I think it's one of the greatest gifts to us from God-- how amazing is it that He not only brought us into being but that He wants to continually commune with us. This infinite, powerful God allows us to talk to Him any time!!


My main prayer time would be in the morning. I love to start my day with prayer. I used to pray in the car on the way to work, but a few years ago I challenged myself during Advent to get up 30-40 minutes earlier and pray at home by the light of a candle with a cup of tea. It pretty much changed my{prayer} life. I've done it ever since! (with an occasional miss here and there after a late night or on a rushed morning-- you know, always keeping it real!)


Even though prayer is simply raising our minds and hearts to God, I do find that atmosphere and outer circumstances can be more or less conducive to that. I love to have a cup of tea or coffee and curl up under a blanket...the same way I would be less distracted catching up with a girlfriend than if we were in the middle of a loud, crazy party. We're more likely to connect with God if we take the time to remove distractions, calm our minds and hearts, and prepare to focus on quality time with Him. 


I do actually have a "prayer spot" but I generally just use it for morning prayers, although sometimes I retreat to it after a crazy or stressful or emotional day. It's a corner of my couch in the guest room, where the end table has a basket of devotional, printed prayers, and books on my favorite saints. Several of my religious pictures hang in that room and help me focus as well. 


My favorite aids to prayer are the rosary, the Litany of Humility (Laura P., it gets less intimidating as you pray it, seriously! Sometimes I find myself actually desiring those things, haha!), the Mass readings for the day, and a list of intentions from my women's group. I also honestly just love spontaneous prayer. It helps me feel connected to God when I just talk to Him from my heart or pause and reflect on His truths and promises about His love and care for me individually. 


Despite my love of prayer, I definitely get distracted or allow other things to take priority! My goal for improvement would be to be more intentional during my prayer (and not get habitual or monotonous) as well as to challenge myself to lengthen the time I set aside to pray in the morning and evening (too often I find myself cutting off 5-10 minutes here and there, waiting until I'm too tired, and so on). 


I just went to a spiritual retreat a few weeks ago and purchased this book on prayer by one of the speakers, beautiful and Spirit-led Sister Ann Shields of Renewal Ministries:




I look forward to being challenged and inspired to go ever deeper with the Lord.

Looking forward to reading all of your thoughts, too, ladies!

Check out the other posts on prayer at Jen's blog!

9 comments:

  1. I just love your concept of putting aside time in the morning to pray with a cup of tea or coffee. That sounds so delightful! It makes me happy just thinking about doing that. Maybe I can work on trying that :-) Thanks for the note on the Litany of Humility. Honestly, I haven't been saying it regularly because I feel like asking for that extreme amount of humility is not being completely honest with myself or God. I know it sounds crazy. Arg! I do want to be more humble, and just saying this makes me realize how very much I DO need to work on it. So maybe it's one of those things where you have to start off just asking for the grace to really desire it. Aaaand now I'm going to go start saying it :-) Would love to hear any suggestions for books too!

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    1. I used to think it was a radical prayer and even kind of weird! Okay, sometimes I still think that, haha! But one comfort I've received from praying it is that if I'm struggling with feeling left out/inadequate/lonely, etc. the prayer reminds me that it's okay-- there's grace and sanctity in being little, forgotten, making mistakes, not chosen, etc. So it calms my soul to think those difficult feelings can actually help make me a saint.

      Hope that makes sense! :)

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  2. Excellent post!!! I have learnt many things form here. I have also website where you can ivsit and pass your leasure time. In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. To get more information, visit here……………
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    1. So true, Anna! I have had many in my life who have helped my little light burn more brightly when it was ready to go out...I'm so happy if I can do the same for others.

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  3. Great stuff, Laura... as always. :)

    You are always so good at balancing your honesty about life with encouraging us to be better. Which I appreciate and aspire to be like!

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    1. That's two touching comments from you in a week, girl. You're just warming my heart. <3 Know that I admire you too!!

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  4. I am not a candlelight kind of girl, but I am in awe of your ability to get up that much earlier specifically for prayer. When I was in college, I started work at 8 a.m. two or three days a week, and for a time, I managed to get up for the Liturgy of the Hours before work. It enriched my prayer life so much. I ought to get back in the habit....

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    1. Yay! Go for it! Although I definitely struggle sometimes with my focus that early in the morning if I didn't sleep long or well! I just figure God still sees my sacrifice even if my words and thoughts are a little fuzzy... ;)

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