How to reigniting your spiritual life – Keeping the main thing, the main thing.

When I was a missionary with NET ministries the first thing they had us do was to improve on/start/deepen our prayer lives. It was quite fitting that establishing a daily prayer routine was our first training priority, seeing as our goal was is to keep Christ at the centre of our hearts, minds, days, lives etc. It was a struggle at times to stay faithful to daily prayer but when you are in such a faith filled and encouraging environment it’s not hard to get back on track.

What I experienced was that when you take the time to pray you  n e v e r  regret it afterwards, but when my life was not ordered the way it should be {Christ first} things really seemed to be more frustrating, I felt more flustered, emotional, scattered… in short I felt ‘out of order’ when my priorities were not rightly ordered.

The main thing, is to keep the main thing, the main thing.

Somebody told me this advice back in 2011. How true it is. If we want to live an ordered life, all we need to do is to keep what should be our main focus, in the most important spot. Simple, right?

Since wrapping up my time as a missionary, I have had prayer that is beautiful and deep. Times where it has been dry, but I have remained faithful to taking it daily. Mostly however, I have to say that the past few years personal prayer has been a struggle. It’s been something that I think about doing, and know I should be doing, but when it comes down to it for some reason I just don’t get it done. I find I end up frustrated, annoyed, upset with myself, and short tempered, emotional, scattered… sound familiar? (Flash back to a couple paragraphs ago). I still go to mass every Sunday, say grace before meals, say small prayer requests and thanksgivings during the day, say a Rosary a few times a week… But, it just isn’t enough.

What’s the problem? I know it is important, I desire to do it… so??

In the past few years who I am has changed.

Just being childlike…

I was single and I had less responsibilities. I used to have more freedom with my time, if prayer didn’t happen in the morning, I could do if after work, in the evening, basically anytime.

Now I am a wife, a mother, a homemaker, cook, cleaning lady, zombie (or so it can feel like from the lack of sleep).

just married

Newly a Mommy ...

I L O V E who I am now. It is so extremely wonderful and challenging and good! But I have to say I seem to have forgotten to live that advice I heard a few years back. “to keep the main thing, the main thing.” I have let my other priorities slip into the position of most important and slowly my prayer life has been shuffled out of the top 2, then the top 5, then the top 10 … I am sure some of you might be here with me in this struggle. To take time for daily prayer is a small sacrifice for us. And sacrifice is hard, even if it’s small.

So, what can we do?

Establish a routine! Chose a time that you know you will have available every day to dedicate to your relationship with The Lord. Maybe it’s before breakfast. The first thing you do when you wake up. When your children are at school before you get into your plans for the day. When your baby goes down for a nap (this ones for me!). Before you go to bed for the evening. Prayer is certainly the best way to start the day. It would be ideal to get it done in the morning. But life isn’t usually ideal. So, chose a time that you know realistically you will have the most success with.

Decide what you will pray with. Some people read scripture, some people journal, say a devotional prayer, read the readings for the day, read a meditation for the day, etc. Personally I like reading the Magnificat, which you can buy monthly and it has the daily readings & reflections. I also LOVE doing Lectio Divina (Divine Reading, in latin). I will write another post on how I pray that way and what it’s all about.

Where will you pray? What atmosphere helps you get into a prayerful state best? Probably not sitting at the kitchen table when everybody is around and chatting (not for me anyways). Where do you experience God most? In a chapel? Church? Adoration? In Nature? Sitting on your bed with your bible? Try to get to that place as often as you can for your prayer time.

Dedicate a minimum amount of time that you want to take for prayer. You can always go longer, no such thing as too much prayer! Maybe you take 10 minutes to start, then after a week 15, 20, 30, 60. Find a realistic amount of time and stick to it.

Be patient with The Lord. The vast majority of the population does not experience The Lord speaking to them in an auditory way, or even a clear and obvious way. Patiently wait to experience how it is that The Lord speaks to you. Your relationship with Him is one of a kind, so how he communicates with you will very likely look different than with other people.

Finally, be patient with yourself. Prayer is a sacrifice, and it’s easy to miss a day. Don’t get down on yourself if it happens. You are working on building a habit (and a great one it is!) it takes time.

So, lets start today!

Living an ordered life will certainly help you to reignite your spiritual life, or to fan that flame into a roaring fire. Just keep the main thing, the main thing! And remember, you will never regret taking the time to pray.

Remember on my welcome page how I said we were going to race to the cross? Well, this right here is the first and most important step.   On your mark, get set, go!
– Emily


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