In a busy season of parenting very young children, Jena Muhr seeks little ways to incorporate prayer into her daily routine.
I have a hard time concentrating on prayer first thing in the morning. Oftentimes when the alarm goes off at 5 AM I am far too tired to focus on prayer and will not remember what I’m reading; it will often lull me back to sleep. Instead, I need to start moving first thing—otherwise I might never peel myself out of bed. I often have a difficult time praying at night too. My brain and my heart are too tired from the day and can’t take any more in. And once the kids are awake, forget about it. So what do I do instead? How have I incorporated prayer into my everyday life without these set times of devotion?
Instead of a single time of prayer for the day, I prefer to say a thousand little prayers each day. A prayer that a phone call goes well. A prayer that the gas line will move quickly. A prayer that the car will be fixed in time to pick up the kids from school. A prayer that my husband’s meeting goes well. A prayer when the ambulance or fire truck passes us on the road. A prayer that the kids will eat the new dinner recipe I made.
But most of all, prayers of thanksgiving. Thank you, God, for that phone call going well. Thank you, God, for the gas line moving quickly (even when it doesn’t seem to, it could always take longer). Thank you, God, for mechanics that work hard. Thank you, God, for my husband and how hard he works to support our family. Thank you, God, for our community helpers. Thank you for my children, my beautiful, mess-making, picky-eating children.
I find that if I sprinkle prayer into each of my days, it allows me to stay rooted in my faith. God’s presence in my day is greater. And I maintain a more focused, patient and thankful life.
The drawback to this practice is that it does not increase the depth of my knowledge or growth in my faith. I definitely need additional practice in continuing to cultivate that deeper connection and understanding with my faith. I have done novenas throughout the years but, try as I might, life happens—and they sometimes remain unstarted or unfinished. But at this phase of my life, sometimes the thousand quick prayers are all that I can handle during a day. And I’m trying to be OK with this.
I have seen blessings come from this practice and I am seeing it passed to my children. When they lose a toy, I hear “Tony, Tony, look around” coming from the playroom. Or I hear the 3-year-old start saying a Hail Mary when she hears sirens. Or I see the baby try and do the Sign of the Cross before dinner. They’ve heard me say a million little prayers throughout their short lives. Rooting my family's day in prayer and faith is a small way that I can help my children grow in their faith and feel that God is continually present in their lives.
Someday I will be able to read the Bible cover to cover or read the great writings of the popes. Right now, I don’t have the focus to dive into those works, but I can say a thousand little prayers a day for those that I love. One small, prayer-filled habit can change an average day into a truly blessed one.
Copyright 2022 Jena Muhr
About the Author
Jena Muhr is a born and raised Catholic from Southern California. A wife and mom to three littles. she enjoys writing, crafting, cooking, and running all the time. Jena is a supporter of mental health and is working to save the world one run at a time.