Ever feel like you don’t have time to pray?
Not exactly sure where to fit your prayer time in between school, homework, soccer practice, family dinner, babysitting, work, and those seven or eight hours of sleep you are supposed to get every night?
Or maybe you were starting to find that balance between prayer and work last semester but now that your schedule has changed, you feel like you have to start all over again.
I feel you. As a missionary, prayer is a part of my daily life. In fact, the first three hours or so of my day is devoted to prayer at my mission base in Houston. But all that went away in December.
I went home for a month to go to a bunch of doctor’s appointments. Suddenly, the natural rhythm of prayer I had developed was gone. My morning routine of prayer just wasn’t sustainable at home. My prayer would have to be mixed in with picking up my brother from school, running errands for my mom, and of course, doctor’s appointments.
Faced with this new schedule, there was a temptation to not keep up with my prayer. Some days, I did better than others. The days that I prayed were the days that worked. When I didn’t pray, the day was hard. And it wasn’t the days themselves that really changed. But when I invited God into my day, He gave me the strength to handle my life better.
But I still couldn’t keep my “normal” routine. I had to find a new rhythm of prayer, maybe now that you are deep into second semester you are too.
The beauty of the Catholic Church is that we are not alone. We are members of a Church with over two thousand years of experience in living the Christian life. Other people have struggled to find room in their life for prayer. So the Church developed some awesome prayers that are meant to fit into a crazy schedule!
I rediscovered some of them while I was home and now I want to introduce (or re-introduce) them to you. Two of them can be prayed in ten minutes or less.
This prayer takes no more than 5 minutes tops. It is simple prayer remembering the moment the angel Gabriel came to Mary invited her to be the Mother of God, and Mary said yes. The Angelus is traditionally prayed at 6 AM, 12 PM, and 6 PM. The prayer centers on three Hail Marys with short prayers mixed in between them.
This prayer can be a beautiful way to refocus on God and renew your “yes” to follow Him in the middle of whatever you may be doing at six, noon, and six. Like me, you may not always notice when 5:59 become 6:00 or when 11:59 becomes noon, so it’s okay to give yourself the whole hour to get the prayer in. You can find the prayers here.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet
I’ve timed it, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet takes about seven minutes to pray from start to finish. Like the Angelus, it is another prayer that is traditionally said at a particular time of day; this one at three o’clock in the afternoon. It is actually a whole set of prayers prayed on Rosary beads.
The prayers essentially ask for the world to be more open to God’s mercy and forgiveness which Jesus won for us on the cross. But it is also a way for you to give God your sins and shortcomings of the day and personally receive His love and mercy, or to ask for a spirit of forgiveness for those who have annoyed or offended you that day. And the same as the Angelus, it’s okay if you start praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:17 or 3:47 and not exactly three o’clock. You can find the prayers for the Divine Mercy Chaplet here.
Now, a rosary can feel like a huge time commitment. Praying a whole set of mysteries straight through may take you close to 25 minutes. But praying a decade will only take five minutes or so. If you can squeeze in five minutes of prayer five times a day, you’ve said a whole rosary!
The rosary can be an easy way to not only get closer to Mary, but to get to know Jesus Christ, too. Praying five decades a day with the mysteries of the Rosary that go along with every decade give you a great opportunity to walk with Jesus during key moments in His life. Here is where you can download a guide to praying the Rosary.
Your life maybe crazy, your schedule may be constantly changing, but God wants to be in the midst of it all. So I invite you to pick one of these prayers, find a time that works in your day, set your phone alarm to remind you and pray it every day this week.
Let God into your schedule.