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 | By Candace Bryant-Lester

Got Time to Pray?

Think you don’t have time to pray? Think again! It doesn’t matter how much or little time you have – there is always time to pray. Here are some ideas for your prayer life depending on how much time you might have to dedicate to talking with the Lord.


“What if I have only five minutes?”

Give the “2fer” Prayer a try. Here are five things for which to pray – a convenient number you can count down on one hand!

  • How has God moved in your life lately? Praise God for 2 things.
  • What are you thankful for today? Thank God for 2 things.
  • Have you wronged someone? Be sorry for 2 things.
  • Have you promised to pray for someone recently? Pray for 2 people.
  • What do you need at this time? Pray for 2 things for yourself.

Picture each person or situation that comes to mind as you pray and contemplate them with sincerity. Then, sit and listen. God is usually found in the silence of our hearts – how is God speaking to you during your time of prayer?

“What if I can spare only 15 minutes or half an hour?”

Perfect! There are plenty of options if you can spare 15-30 minutes: chaplets, the rosary, Liturgy of the Hours, and more. But let’s assume you’re looking for something to come back to daily to make part of your prayer routine – a daily examen should absolutely be a part of it.

St. Ignatius practiced this simple, five-step daily examen that you can try today:

  1. Bring your attention to God’s presence and give thanks for it and your day.
  2. Offer a prayer that the Holy Spirit may grant you the grace to recognize his movements in your life.
  3. Review your day. Make note of the emotions you feel as you review the day in your mind, as well as where the Lord may have been moving in your daily life.
  4. Reflect on a few notable aspects of your day. What brought you closer to God? What took you further away from him? What brought you joy or made you feel troubled? Is there anything for which you need to ask for forgiveness?
  5. Finally, contemplate tomorrow and offer another prayer. How can you invite God into your tomorrow to live out his plan more effectively for your life? Offer an “Our Father” to recognize that his will be done.

“What if I have one hour?”

Maybe you’re having a rough day at work and want to spend your lunch hour getting in some quiet time with the Lord. Wise choice!

Withdraw to some place that is quiet and peaceful, if you can. Be still and stare at or contemplate some object of God’s creation, be it a tree, a flower or a fresh snowfall.

Bring yourself into a state of peace and calmness, resting in silence.

Tell God three things or people for which you are grateful and why. Reflect on gratitude and on how God is working in your life at this time.

“What if I’m really on-the-go and can’t take a break to pray?”

Hopefully, these instances are few and far between. In a pinch, though, you can do what the many religious have done throughout the centuries: pray your way through tasks.

Offer up your day and work to God by praying the sign of the cross before beginning your day. Pray for a person when you see their name on your screen. Offer the Lord words of praise for the roof over your head as you clean up the kitchen.

Using your daily actions as triggers to offer prayers of petition, praise, and thanksgiving is a surefire way to infuse your life with daily prayer.