The new year is a great chance to start a new prayer routine, if you don’t already have one in place. Here are five tips for adding more prayer to your days.
1. Make a Holy Hour.
If you don’t already make a holy hour, it’s never a bad time to begin. It doesn’t have to be a whole hour but can be just a few minutes. Make your holy visit with your prayer intentions in mind. For example, as I began the new homeschool year, I asked Jesus to put good things in my child’s path and to guide me about what his needs this year are.
Perhaps you will pray for good friends, teachers, coaches,or events to assist your child in his growth. Being specific is important…you know what your family’s needs are. I have made many holy hours but this year’s National IHM homeschool and Parent Conference from Coleen Billing’s talk on Simplifying Our Hearts and Our homes reminded and encouraged me to do it with guidance from the Lord as part of my worshiping purpose.
2. Seek the Intersession of a Saint.
Consider seeking the intersession of a Saint for the Year. Teach your children to also go to this saint for help. Pick a saint that you feel can truly assist you and your family with your needs for the year. This year we chose St. Martin of Tours because he was a soldier and is the patron of our parish. I intend to place an image of this saint in our school room. But any relevant place where you can put a statue or holy card will remind you to pray and seek their intersession is great.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
We should seek the help of this great “cloud of witnesses” and not forget that we have their constant intersession.
3. Pick out a scripture for the year, for strength.
Being a parent isn’t easy. We need to have encouragement. Reflecting on an encouraging scripture regularly will remind us that God is with us in our endeavors and that will be encouraging. Read and reread it when you come to difficulties. It will comfort you.
My passage for the year is: “From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’ ” Matthew 26:64.This passage reminds me that the Lord’s promises are always kept and that all things will be fulfilled in Him. Your passage should have meaning for you. Place it where is can be seen every day.
4. Refresh or designate a “Grace Place” in your home or garden.
It’s important to make space for grace to flow. Focus on using the place of prayer to instruct your children throughout the year on one faith focus. My youngest doesn’t yet know about many saints. So this year we are focusing on the Church Triumphant. It is hard to remember to pray. Making a new focal point in your home and having with it a purpose will be a constant reminder. Just a few ideas are :
- Create an area for prayer with a small altar or table.
- Add a holy water font and bless your self when coming and going as a daily reminder of your baptism.
- Plant a Mary Garden.
- Begin a Rosary Devotion at Supper clean up time.
- Buy a new statue for devotion and keep fresh flowers.
5. Try a new devotion linked with an activity.
For example there are many interesting books out that incorporate faith into daily living. Read or cook with the Saints. Turn a hobby into a prayer. Since I love to garden every seed or new flower I plant can be a prayer that I have. So the garden is really a “Spiritual Bouquet”. This can be done with any activity. Run to the Rosary. Clean while praying for the people whom objects you may be tending to. Or download an app of the Divine Office and pray while you put on your make up or are doing dishes. There is no limit, possibilities are endless!
I really believe that by simple prayerful beginnings, the direction we head in can be altered and our position can be renewed. As Catholic Moms we have an abundance of beauty and faith traditions right at our fingertips. We just need to kneel down a bit to see them.
If Stephanie isn’t making her new house a home, cooking, or homeschooling she may be writing over at Harrington Harmonies.