Make Time to Pray

Jan 22, 2023

Fr. Michael Schleupner continues his series on spiritual wellness today and focuses on prayer. Do you have a favorite method of prayer? If so, please comment and share. Are you seeking a new way to pray? There are several suggestions below.

Spiritual Wellness – 3
Make Time to Pray

Dear Friends,prayer, lent
Maybe it sounds obvious or even trite, but it is important to state this. Spiritual wellness must include some time to pray.

For the overwhelming majority of us, this does not mean that we are in church every day. It does mean that we intentionally plan a time, if possible, every day, when we can pray. “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.” That’s a definition of prayer that is almost 1300 years old. I think it is still good. The question is: Why is prayer important for spiritual wellness?

The first thing to say is that the essence of faith is a relationship with God, and prayer is an essential expression of this. Prayer is our way of communicating with the Almighty One, with our Creator, with the transcendent One, with God, with Jesus. We need this spiritual communication or exchange to be healthy spiritually. We can have this and pray in various ways.

  • We can speak to God in prayers that we have learned. The most familiar example of this is the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus himself left us. Other examples would be the Hail Mary, the rosary, the chaplet, and novenas.
  • Another way of communicating with God is to pray in our own words. We may praise God for the beauty of a sunset, thank God for our health, express our sorrow for being impatient, or ask God to assist us with a family problem. We might also reflect on a passage of Scripture and talk with God about what this means to us and what God may be calling us to do here.
  • And then we might pray just by being silent and still. Here we are giving God a chance to break through and speak to us. We are opening ourselves just to the presence of God. We might engage in this kind of prayer sitting before the Blessed Sacrament or at home in a chair or even when walking alone by ourselves in silence. The idea is that prayer is not just my speaking to God; it is also opening myself to listen to God speaking to me.

Once again, spiritual wellness demands that we tend to the world of the spirit. Praying is an essential way of doing that.

~Father Michael Schleupner

Quotation above from De Fide Orthodoxa, 3, 24, by St. John of Damascus, usually known as Saint John Damascene.

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