Does your life ever feel so busy you feel overwhelmed just thinking about it? Trust me, I get it. As a new mom working outside the home and moving soon, I feel like I never have time for anything, let alone prayer. Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to pray. I would love nothing more than to crack open the Bible or sit and write in a prayer journal. But I seriously feel like I Don’t. Have. Time.
Turns out, I have way more time than I think I do, and I bet I can find some extra time in your busy day for prayer too!
Here are my top 5 ways to incorporate prayer into your busy lifestyle:
1. Pray right when you wake up. So if you’re anything like me, mornings are total chaos. Before I had our daughter, I would literally press snooze for a half hour then spring out of bed 15 minutes before I had to be at work, brush my teeth, pull on clothes, and leave. Not much time for prayer in there. Now I’m not going to try to say that everyone can become a morning person, set your alarm and hour earlier, etc. But I will suggest waking up maybe 10 minutes earlier. You don’t even have to get out of bed. Just quiet your mind and talk to God. Struggling for words or coherent thoughts at that hour? No problem. There’s a prayer for that! Try the memorare or the morning offering . (Side note- one of my absolute favorite things about being Catholic is the vast array for prewritten prayers just waiting to be prayed! You can literally find one to any saint or for any need/desire/mood/situation you find yourself in!) I also like getting the daily Blessed is She emails with a link to the daily readings plus a reflection (you’ll need a little bit more time for this so maybe set your alarm 15 minutes early instead of 10).
2. Slow your scroll! If I prayed every time I had a couple minutes of downtime instead of reaching for my phone to scroll Facebook to fill an elevator ride at work or a commercial break during my favorite show, I would be full of graces!! I’ll admit I can be somewhat addicted to my phone- and I often find myself lamenting that there isn’t even anything that interesting to look at. I fill my time and empty space looking at my phone and I’m realizing this is such a HUGE opportunity to turn to prayer instead! Seriously, just try it. Instead of scrolling through Facebook next time you are walking down the hallway at work or stuck on an awkward elevator ride, try saying a prayer instead. Sure, you won’t have time for a full rosary or a lengthy profound conversation with God, but try giving him these little moments. A simple Our Father, Hail Mary, or Glory Be will do the trick! Or you can try a short repetitive prayer like “Jesus I trust in you.” Heck, you can even spend those few minutes just chatting with God and telling him what’s on your heart. What are you struggling with? Are you remembering to put your trust in Him?
3. Pray before meals. If you grew up in a Catholic household, this may seem like a no-brainer… “Bless us oh Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through the bounty of Christ, our Lord. Amen.” Instead of racing through this familiar prayer, take the time to really listen to the words and reflect on them. In our family, we add on our intentions and thanksgiving prayers too. Also I don’t know about you, but I seem to forget to pray before breakfast and lunch… something about eating at work or on the fly I guess doesn’t make it feel as routine. While it’s good to have this as a routine, make sure you are also taking the time to reflect on the prayer each time before you eat and even while enjoying your delicious food with or without company.
4. Turn up the music! One year I gave up secular music for Lent and found the local Christian music station. I was feeling burnt out from “popular music” because for some reason in my late 20s I started actually listening to the words of these songs and overall felt pretty disgusted in the messages I was hearing (I know I probably sound a few decades older by saying that, but it’s true!) Anyway, I started listening to Christian music every time I was in the car. I’m not going to lie, at first I was super resistant to it. I pictured Christian radio to be either gospel choirs or Gregorian chant, but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Some of my favorite singers/groups are Matt Maher, Chris Tomlin, Switchfoot (my early 2000s self approves), and Sarah Kroeger. Honestly you might be surprised by how your mood improves listening to music with positive messages. Plus music is definitely a form of prayer and a way to give some more time to God that you may otherwise spend mindlessly flipping through radio stations. I like tuning into my local station because they usually talk about events coming up in our area, but I also really like The Message on SiriusXM. (Pro-tip: if you can’t find a radio station you like , try making a pandora or YouTube playlist!)
5. Pray before bed. This is something I always struggle with because by the end of the night I’m So. Stinking. Tired. It’s easy to just run a quick list of what I’m thankful for and a few intentions but much more than that and I’m out. I have been known to start rosaries before bed and almost always fall asleep before they are finished. Growing up, my mom always said that if you fall asleep during a rosary, the Angels will finish it for you. When prayer before bed was my only real prayer time for the day, this felt like I really wasn’t praying at all. But now that I’ve incorporated prayer more consistently through my day, I can turn to Momma Mary to help comfort me to sleep at night after a hard or long day. I still try to finish the whole thing but if I don’t, I don’t stress about it. (I do try to pray rosaries more during waking hours though because it is such a beautiful and powerful devotion!)
So what do you think?! It’s totally possible to squeeze in a little more intentional prayer throughout your busy days! It might seem awkward at first especially if you are praying through your days at work if you aren’t used to doing that, or even at home with kiddos- but you will be surprised at how it can change your attitude and outlook on your day! Give it a try this week and let me know what you think- I’d love to hear about your prayer experiences!