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Samantha Stephenson offers 10 tips (and a little reality check) for all those times we think we are “too busy” to pray. Print out this list of helpful tips.

There is no such thing as “too busy to pray.” I know that life can be crazy, and there is real value in knowing our limits and being gentle with ourselves. This is not one of those posts. If you need one of those posts, read THIS instead. This is a tough love post, a “come to Jesus” post (literally!). This is an “I love you just the way you are but too much to let you stay that way” post. I know I need this list, and I think you do too.

For your kick-in-the-pants list of ways to prioritize prayer, read on.  

  • Pray first thing in the morning. If you make it the first thing you do every morning, you won’t ever run out of time.  

  • Pick a Scripture verse that inspires you. Write it on a post-it (or print it out) and put it on the wall in front of your toilet. Seriously. You spend several quality minutes sitting here in quiet each day. Make them count. Change the verse each time you clean your toilet.  

  • Take a social-media hiatus. Delete the apps from your phone. Every time you have the impulse to scroll, offer a prayer instead. Finally, a way to honor St. Paul’s call to “pray continually!” 

  • Use recorded prayers. Whether you have a long commute or spend time at the sink doing dishes each day, you can pray along with a recorded Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet as you go about tasks that do not require your mental attention. Check out the Family Rosary app, Together We Pray, for a recorded Rosary. It's free for iOS and Android.

  • Listen to worship music. Set aside some time to create a playlist of songs that speak to you (or use one that’s already been curated on Spotify. Here’s a great one by Blessed Is She).  

  • Make a date with Jesus. Look up daily Mass, Confession, or Adoration times and pencil something into your calendar. You can’t sustain a romance with someone you never see. 

  • As you work, clean, or make a meal, offer a prayer of gratitude for the person who will benefit.  

  • Before turning on Netflix, take 20 minutes to journal, read Scripture, or relax with a good book. Pick something that will refresh you rather than merely helping you zone out.  

  • When you feel frustrated with someone, make a conscious effort to see and love Jesus in that person. If you are like me, this will provide you with ample prayer opportunities throughout your day. 

  • At the end of the day, review it with an examination of conscience like this one from IgnatianSpirituality.com or this one, shared by Loyola Press. Leave yourself a note on your pillow so you don’t forget. Ask God to help you see where He showed up, and how you missed opportunities. Sit in gratitude. Ask for help to do better next time.  


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I know I need this list, and I think you do too. A
kick-in-the-pants list of ways to prioritize prayer. #CatholicMom

Download a printable version of this list


How do you pray when you feel too busy to pray? 

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Copyright 2024 Samantha Stephenson
Images: Canva