We have already considered the necessity of prayer for cultivating a relationship with God, not so we can ask Him to make our lives easier or better but so we can receive the gift of Himself. Now, we’ll hear advice from the women of the FemCatholic Forum on how we can incorporate prayer into our increasingly hectic lives. When asked, “What does prayer look like in your life?”, they shared the following:
Some women pray conversationally throughout the day.
"Prayer is simply a part of life, all day, every day, a running conversation in my head."
"If I tell someone I’ll pray for them, I often take a quick moment to do it right then."
"If something good happens, I try to remember to quickly thank God."
"I spend a lot of my day immersed in prayer, but it took me until my 40s to get to this point. I’d like to go back and tell my anxious 15-year-old self to just chill out about the whole thing."
Some women add prayer to daily routine.
"I have a couple of favorite short prayers that I read mindfully while my coffee brews in the morning."
"I pray every time I wash dishes. It's a simple reminder that my daily service to my family is a prayer in and of itself."
"On my lunch break, I set a timer for about 15 to 20 minutes and sit in front of the Divine Mercy image. Sometimes, I read a short passage or two from Scripture or a spiritual reading. Other times, I journal."
"If I see an ambulance or fire truck, I say a quick prayer."
"I’m a student, so I offer my classes for a particular intention or in thanksgiving. This keeps me plugged in with God, but also keeps me accountable to pay attention in class and get my work done."
Some women pray on their commute.
"Taking advantage of downtime in the subway has been a huge help. I'll think to myself, 'I have 10 minutes before my stop. I'll pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet.'"
"At one point, I felt God’s presence with me out of the blue while driving down the road. It was so comforting. I started formulating my concerns and questions for God in my head and feeling His care in return as I was driving to work."
"I take the subway to work every morning and, since I don't get much signal on the train, I load the Blessed is She readings and devotional before I get on the train."
"I find it helpful to say a Morning Offering, which I do in the car with my kids on the way to school."
"When I started a new job with a long, regular commute 5 years ago, I listened to a Scriptural rosary podcast one of the first times that I made the drive. To my surprise, I loved how it helped focus my mental prayer."
Some women crave silence and solitude.
"I sense that the Church needs more listening and contemplative prayer. Keep in mind, my kids are older (17, 19 and 21), so it's easier for me to say that! I could hardly breathe when they were little."
"Creating a sacred space where you can go to pray is helpful."
"I plan silent retreats twice a year. Most retreat centers have silent retreats or allow you to make your own and offer spiritual direction if you want it. Some of mine have been group retreats and some have been private."
"Combining movement and prayer is meaningful, especially in nature."
"I know I need more silence in my life. Sometimes, I just sit, let my mind spin, and try to be aware of God's presence."
Some women visit their parish chapels to pray.
"When I first became Catholic, I loved the Mass for prayer. I would go to Mass on weekdays as much as my schedule reasonably allowed. Focusing on the Liturgy and praying during and after Communion nourished me."
"I visit our perpetual Adoration chapel when I'm coming or going from church or school, even if it's just for a few minutes."
"Our moms’ group at church hosts the Divine Mercy Chaplet every day at 3:00pm, right before 3:15pm pickup, so I try to arrive a few minutes early for that."
Some women journal their prayers.
"I jot down loose prayers in a journal. I meditate on the previous day and ask God to reveal any wrongdoings. I write my sins in the journal and ask for His forgiveness. Then, I make a list of blessings in my life and thank God for them. Finally, I write down my petitions for others and myself."
"I read Scripture and then journal my thoughts, pausing as I write to listen to the Holy Spirit's inspiration."
Some women pray the Liturgy of the Hours (the universal, daily prayers of the Church).
"Morning and evening prayer bookend my day, and I find that the days I start with morning prayer are especially productive."
"I use the Give Us This Day books for morning prayer, evening prayer, and to read the daily Mass readings."
"My family likes to end the day by praying night prayer together."
"I love prayer apps! Once I admitted I needed help with structure, my prayer life exploded. I use the Magnificat app as the backbone of my current prayer life, modeled on the Divine Office."
Each response shared in the Forum reflected what the Catechism tells us: "There are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray" (CCC 2672). And as St. Edith Stein tells us, "[T]he life of an authentic Catholic woman is also a liturgical life ... her whole life must be formed by this life of prayer" (Essays on Woman 57).
The life of an authentic Catholic woman is also a liturgical life.