I'm a 36 year old IT Manager at a University in Providence, RI who is currently discerning a priestly vocation.

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Your heart has to be prepared ahead of time through faith and prayer and grace and mercy and love and forgiveness so you can keep your heart open in hell, when hell happens.
— Fr. Richard Rohr

Brothers & Sisters,

I've been facilitating a prayer group during Lent at my home parish. It's based around Lectio Divina and strengthening our prayer life. After each hour-long session, I make sure I am available for questions from folks. I've noticed a consistent theme happening during these questions around having to do Lectio or whether or not the way a person currently prays is the right way or not. It's been fascinating to have these conversations, and I'd like to share some general thoughts today.

First of all, I'm not an expert on prayer but through the grace of God and the trust of my parish they've decided that I could facilitate this group and I hope and pray that I'm doing an ok job (if I'm not, please let me know!). At any rate, I really want to get the point across that we can (and should) always be growing in our prayer life. What works for you and your prayers might not be what works for me, but I can still learn something about the way you pray that I could try out and vice versa. I'm continually astounded at the different ways people pray. It's pretty amazing to see how God speaks to people in different ways and how He works within their lives.

Another thing that I always keep in mind is that I cannot continue to ask for things. Relationships, where one person continually requires something of the other, seem to never work out well so why would I want my relationship to Jesus to be one where I'm always asking and never giving something in return? So I often sit and listen in silence and see what He wants from me. It's in these moments of silence that I've been most moved in my faith and the path seems to become much more clear. I could never have seen that illumination had I not been willing to have a conversation with God, listen to Him and seek to understand the lessons He is teaching me.

You really just need to start praying. Use a psalm to help kick off that time that you're carving out of your day to pray. You can find a psalm to go with exactly how you're feeling right now, and that will help guide you and open your heart to God. A great site to visit is http://praythepsalms.org/ - I use this quite a bit to start a few minutes of prayer during my day when I don't have my bible with me.

Prayer doesn't need to be complicated, and I think we often overthink it. I feel that the act of slowing down enough to carve out those precious minutes are the hardest. Once we're there, and we have the time you're ready to start growing. So find 10 minutes and start praying. I'm not sure there's any excuse good enough to deny God 10 minutes of conversation each day.

Yours,
Jeff

Grace

Grace

Muddy Water

Muddy Water