Find a path of prayer with Carrie Soukup as an answer to the struggle we all have to know and be with God.
Real prayer is not only for people who have the time. It's for people who are super, super busy, and super stressed out. And it is for the person who is blank inside and longs for more.
- If you are sick and tired of feeling disconnected from God …
- If you are done with your own irritations over the annoying things in your life ...
- If your breaks from your work are enjoyable for the moment but leave you empty ...
- If there's something going on in life that just does not quite feel right and you don't know how to get back to that stage of thriving ...
That's what I want to help you with.
You may benefit from learning (again) how to pray YOUR life.
Because I know what it is like.
I know what it feels like to have a deep intense longing for God and yet unable to respond. Or to be so busy that I feel like my head is spinning with all the things going on. And unable to respond to God because I was blank inside. Perhaps you can relate by reading a FREE first chapter of my book, Collection of Grace.
This can happen at many stages of life. In fact, I even felt this way after I had gone through four wonderful years of religious studies, two years of theology grad school, and a few years of being a missionary. It's possible to still feel that disconnection anytime we don't have a life of integrated prayer.
And for me when I became a new mom, I did not know how to hold on to the depth of prayer that I'd had in my past with my current crazy days. Brain numbing sleep-deprived moments.
I must confess that I'm a little older now and I have moved out of that wonderful swirly state of toddlerhood.
But we all still get that disconnect in different periods of our lives and. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a spiritual director who understood. Actually, I think it was an act of God. This person was able to see through my frustrations and into the calling that God had in my heart. And it wasn't a calling outside of my regular crazy wonderful, yummy, kid-friendly life. Nor was it a vapid slavish existence void of mystery and contemplation. I learned to pray my life.
The amazing thing is that there are very specific concrete things that you can do. In fact, there are about seven vital things that you can do to stay connected and have deep moments of peace in a crazy life.
So that wonderfully formative time of my life when I was going to spiritual direction with a fantastic priest from Opus Dei I was able to bring together all my years of theology and religious studies in my time being a missionary in a Bible study leader all of those things came to make sense in the nitty-gritty details of dishes and email and silence ... and I had a path. I still walk that path.
Because it is God who placed that longing next to the pain in your heart and it is God who wants to answer that.
Because in reality, there is little to nothing we can do to draw close to God. It is God himself who calls and draws and heals. And, of course, he does this. He constantly does this. What we can do is to respond with love to that call. We open ourselves to God who acts.
So, the big picture belongs to God. He is really the one in charge and our lives are in his hands but what is our part in letting God in? How do we respond to his love when we are super busy or blank inside? What can WE do to grow closer?
While there are probably billions of good answers to those questions, there is a tried and true path that Christians have been living for years. Monks, priests, sisters, saints, and holy people have for years, marked their day with prayer and converted everything they do into an act of love. So, to get very concrete, this means a plan of life. Things like:
- The morning and evening offering
- The practice of the presence of God.
- Connection with the Body of Christ
For a quick win, turn first to evening offering. Focus on this for a week or so, then integrate a new habit of opening to God.
If you would like someone to hold you by your hand as you go through this and slowly integrate each one of these pillars into your life, you may be interested in a 5 week online course to help you find your footing in prayer called “Framing your Life in Prayer.”
Saint Josemaría says that a plan for life is meant to fit like a glove and not everybody wears the same kinds of gloves as each other, so we need to figure out what God calls you to in your circumstances and personality.
With a path, you can feel like it's a brand-new day. These paths and practices are foundational and flexible -- applicable to most stages of your life. And even though you might still be feeling feelings of difficulty and stress, I think that with this approach to prayer you will be able to experience an uplifting faith in the midst of that.
God is with you through your faults, foibles, and frustrations. Progress is possible.
So what I want you to do is to commit to God and to yourself to open your mind and your heart to a refreshing time of integrating prayer in this season of your life. And if you're able to join the course with us that is fabulous. If it's just not right for you at this time, fine.
This endeavor is worth whatever you can put into it. I’ll be praying for you!
Copyright 2020 Carrie Soukup
Image: Lisa Fotios (2018), Pexels
About the Author
Carrie Soukup writes at GraceFinders.com, compelled by St. Therese, Brother Lawrence, and St. Ignatius to help others connect intimately with God in and through the craziness of life. She has served as a curriculum writer, campus minister, high school theology teacher and retreat director. On a great day, you can find her hiking or cycling with her husband and four children.