“Lord, teach us to pray!” was the request of the disciples, and it’s true that we’re all searching for a prayer life that will keep us centered on God, even when we’re not actually on our knees. This week and next week we’ll look at some things you can do to enrich your prayer life and bring yourself into a space that’s mindful and meaningful. This week it’s three things you can do to prepare for prayer:
- Set your prayer time apart. You won’t pray regularly unless you plan for it, and weaving it into the rhythm of your daily life will help form the habit. You might write your prayer time in your daily planner, or pray right before or after meals, or choose a time that’s reasonable and set an alarm to remind yourself. You always make time for the things you need: work, appointments, etc. This is just as important, so make sure you don’t approach prayer haphazardly. It won’t happen unless you make it happen.
- Separate yourself from distractions. Don’t leave your phone on, turn off the radio, the television, anything that is distracting. If possible, go somewhere alone: outside, in a separate room, even in a hallway or a parked car, etc. Finding solitude is one of the best conduits for prayer.
- Be present to the Presence. “The body ought to pray as well as the soul. Body and soul are both better for it.” (C.S. Lewis) You don’t have to kneel or stand, though many people find that helps. Just be present in your body as well as your mind. You are conversing with God, so enter into the conversation with respect and awe.
Preparing your prayer is the best way to ensure you will continue it into the rest of your life’s events and duties. Now that you’re prepared, next time we’ll take on the practice of prayer itself!