Courtney Vallejo shares encouragement and tips for getting started on a daily morning prayer routine.
I’ve had the privilege of spending the last seven weeks participating in a prayer group called "Invitation to Personal Prayer." I knew I had a prayer life, but honestly, I’ve spent so many of the last survival parenting years as a “desperate” pray-er, (if that’s a word.) My morning prayer times came seldom and far between, because I couldn’t get up any earlier than my children, so my prayers came during the day in small desperate pleas for the Lord to help me put out whatever fire was currently underway.
Reflecting back over my journey, I noticed that in the past, my prayer time greatly lacked because I felt like I needed a plan for my prayer time. I needed to schedule it at an exact time and get up and follow my personal agenda of my list of prayers. I also felt like the idea of having the “right form of morning prayer,” was something that sometimes spoke to my heart but often felt overwhelming.
I learned over the last seven weeks that I do need a bit of routine, but I also need to allow the Lord space to work. In the group we were encouraged to find a prayer space. Again, this something that I’d tried to have in the past, but I never felt like I'd created a space where I could enter in and relax. I often felt interrupted or distracted by my family, if I was praying there, once they were up and moving.
This time I tried praying outside in the backyard and I’ve found it to be a lovely prayer space. It’s quiet and still, but I can also hear the simple breeze in the trees, which reminds me of God speaking in the wind. I can feel the fresh air on my face, although it’s getting a bit chilly in winter! My family can be up and moving and I’m oblivious to it, because I’m outside and apart from the noise.
Mostly, I’ve learned to rest and be still. I always wanted to skip morning prayer because I wanted to sleep in and get “more rest,” but I’m reminded of the verse,
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
I have found real rest in spending time each morning with our Lord through the Scriptures, reflection, and our conversations.
Another grace I received was noticing that I dreaded my prayer time ending, because it meant that I had to “leave” the presence of the Lord, since our time was up. Recently I decided to invite Him to leave our prayer space and come inside with me. I invite Him to come alongside me for the day, instead of leaving Him outside at the table.
For those of you with young children, I get that; I’ve been there. This group I was a part of was only older women, and they all said the same things we say: they’re just so busy, and it’s hard to find the time to pray. I learned that life may not slow down the way we wish as we age, so it's better to learn to initiate our prayer time now, even if by baby steps, so that we can spend our life growing in prayer, not just waiting for when things slow down and we have time.
Here are a few morning prayer ideas I’ve picked up along the way:
- Create a prayer space. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a place you can go away and be alone with the Lord. (Closets work!)
- Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? Grab a journal, a pen, and your Bible and sit down with that Scripture tomorrow. If you don’t have a favorite Scripture verse, use the daily readings from USCCB.org.
- Start your time with prayer by asking the Holy Spirit to open yourself to what the Lord wishes to share with you. I suggest the "Come Holy Spirit" prayer.
- Spend time reading and re-reading the Scriptures, looking for words that stand out. Then ask the Lord what He wants to share with you through those words.
- Next, imagine yourself in the Scripture passage and allow yourself to use your senses to be immersed in the Scripture.
- Finally, take the time to pray for your personal intentions and for those who have asked for your prayers. The Devil doesn’t like when we pray, so I suggest we end our time of prayer with the St. Michael the Archangel prayer.
I pray that each of us can work on making a specific space to spend time with the Lord each day, and that we will be rejuvenated and filled up by His love, which He desires to pour out on us and our families.
Copyright 2022 Courtney Vallejo
Images: copyright 2022 Courtney Vallejo, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Courtney Vallejo is a convert to the Catholic faith. She and her husband are homeschooling parents of three adopted children. She loves speaking at women's groups and Catholic conferences! Courtney is a Barton tutor for Dyslexic children. She writes for her own blog, CourtneyVallejo.com. She is also the co-founder of AMomRevolution.com and has a master's degree in Film Production.