A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Praying Without Ceasing

Posted on: January 21, 2013

  • In: Faith | Prayer
  • Comments Off on Praying Without Ceasing

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to make time for prayer. To me, that involves setting aside a decent stretch of time to pray a set of mysteries on my rosary or a prayer request list. So I may feel I don’t really have time to pray on a given day.

But I’ve been ignoring another option.

While rereading The Confirmed Catholic’s Companion: A Guide to Abundant Living today, I came across an interesting bit of advice. Under the heading “Odd Moments Prayer,” author Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND, offers this suggestion:

Pray during spare time, while:

  • you are on hold on the phone,
  • waiting for traffic lights to turn green,
  • standing in a checkout line,
  • waiting for a bus or plane,
  • waiting for an appointment,
  • waiting for something to download.

This advice could not have come at a better time. For me, time spent waiting is often time spent feeling impatient. Why couldn’t I use these “odd moments” to pray?

Not only would prayer be a better use of my time, it would also be a stress reliever. I think sharing my cares and concerns with God—asking for his guidance, wisdom, comfort or healing for myself or others—would make it hard to focus on the slow pace of traffic or the lengthy download time for a software update.

And as I write, I can think of other moments when I could be praying. Moments when I’m not waiting but rather doing simple tasks such as these:

  • sorting or folding laundry;
  • doing the dishes;
  • taking out the compost or recycling; or
  • wrapping gifts.

In Ephesians 6:18, St. Paul tells us to “Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition).

Today we are so busy with chores, errands, work, our kids’ activities, and even church commitments that prayer time easily slides to the back burner. A ten- or fifteen-minute block of uninterrupted time may be more than many of us can manage. But taking advantage of these brief moments can help us follow St. Paul’s guidance…and draw closer to God.

What “odd moments” could you turn into prayer time?

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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