by Maria Smith, SVDPRS Parent
What is prayer, but a conversation with God? One of the great things about our Faith is that we can approach God in the Trinity – Father, Son, Holy Spirit. And just as there are many ways to communicate, so there are many ways to converse with God. We can pray solo, or in a group; anywhere, anytime – God is available 24/7! Some types of prayer are more appealing than others. If you haven’t found a style that you’re comfortable with, don’t give up! Try spending some time outdoors, immersed in God’s creation – that might help get the conversation started! Devotions are a great way to build a habit of prayer. One of my favorites is the Rosary. I reflect on how the various Mysteries play out in my own life. These reflections give me an added insight to current and past situations (Joyous, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious), which brings me great comfort, guidance and inspiration. Visual Faith is a fun, creative way to draw closer to God in the form of bible-journaling, sketching, doodles, etc. Religious icons & statues help direct our prayers. They’re not just for church – we can add items to our homes (the domestic church) as a visual reminder/witness to our faith.
There are many ways of integrating prayer into our days. Adopt an “attitude of gratitude” by finding 1-3 things to be grateful for each day (a hug, a chat with a friend, making it in/out of the school parking lot at drop-off before the gates close)! Acknowledging our gratefulness to God on a regular basis, even in little things, will open our eyes to His other great blessings in our lives. Attending to our various day-to-day activities at home/work/school is also form of prayer! A great opportunity to live “prayerfully” is by practicing some of the Corporal/Spiritual Works of Mercy. As parents, we get plenty of practice: feed the hungry/give drink to the thirsty/clothe the naked/shelter the homeless/visit the sick/visit the imprisoned/bury the dead; instruct the ignorant/counsel the doubtful/admonish the sinner/comfort the sorrowful/bear wrongs patiently/forgive offenses willingly/pray for the living and the dead. Bear wrongs patiently and forgive offenses willingly? To say the struggle is real is an understatement! Family life is hectic, but we can still squeeze in pockets of shared prayer within our household – grace before/after meals; attending Mass; being mindful of feast days/memorials and observing seasonal liturgical practices throughout the year (Advent/Lent/Easter/Ordinary Time). You can even incorporate prayer into your fitness routine! Think outside the box - it just takes a little internal shift in our thinking. My prayers to all the families at SVdPRS (past, present & future): The LORD bless you and keep you! The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! (Numbers 6:24-26)
Websites/books for further exploration:
Fit For Eternal Life (Kevin Vost)
The Rosary Workout (Peggy Bowes)
77 Ways To Pray With Your Kids (Jerry Windley-Daoust)