The Disciplines of Lent: On Prayer

Life is complicated and sometimes we need simple directionseven when it comes to prayer.

When asked how to improve one’s prayer time, Thomas Merton is said to have responded, “Take the time. Simply take the time to pray regularly, and you will become more prayerful.”

I appreciate how direct and simply put Merton’s message is. He is giving us easy-to-follow directions:

  • Step 1: Make prayer a priority.
  • Step 2: Be consistent with your prayer time.

These directions are the prayer equivalent of the Nike phrase “Just Do It!”

To have a close relationship with our creator, we need to submit ourselves to Him. He wants to transform our hearts, after all! While creating a habit of prayer is just that simple, sometimes we need practical applications to help us with our logistics. Life is busy and full of distractions.

So, this Lent here are some practical applications to help us 1) make prayer a priority and 2) be consistent with our prayer life.

First, this Lent cut out any excessive time on your phone, tablet, or TV. Take back some of that time to designate for prayer. Wake up earlier than you normally do, even if it’s just ten minutes earlier, and start your day with a Lenten devotional. You can follow the Dan Sharp daily devotional, use a book from your church or pastor, or follow along with the prayers on your favorite app.

Secondly, do a mid-day devotional. This can be prayers that you have memorized that you can pray while you are washing dishes or driving kids to and from activities.

And, lastly, incorporate prayer time at the end of the day. It can be an examen of sorts, a recap of your day, your time to sit with God to check in and listen to what God wants to tell you or reveal to you. This can be a time to discern if something needs to be adjusted in your life. Listen in to what God is calling you to do.

Every time we renew our dedication to make prayer a priority and commit to praying consistently, we draw closer to God.

When we draw closer to God, He transforms our hearts. That is what Lent is for: a renewing of ourselves so that God can transform us!

“Take the time. Simply take the time to pray regularly, and you will become more prayerful.”

— Thomas Merton

Thank you, Thomas Merton, for giving us simple directions on prayer.

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About the author

Maureen Roe is the Administrative Assistant at IWS. She holds a Culinary Arts Degree from American River College and B.A. from George Fox University. She joined IWS in May of 2023 as a part-time administrator and is passionate about her faith life, family, and food. She has many years of experience as a teacher’s assistant and administrator for Catholic schools. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her amazing husband, boy/girl teenage twins, and dog.