Do you want to improve your prayer life?

Sister Mary Grace, S.V., of the Sisters of Life discussed methods for improving our prayer lives at the Fellowship of Catholic University Students 2023 SEEK Conference in January.

Here's a snippet of her list:

1. Prayer is "the reason for our creation."

Prayer is not just "a good habit. (...) It is the matrix of our lives as Christians--the guide that lights the way. (...) It is a commitment "by reason of our creation; it is constant contact with Christ," but also election because we choose “the God who chose us first."

2. Prayer can change your day at any time.

"There is not a single moment in your life when [God] does not look at you with love."

You may feel lonely or misunderstood, but it's always a good time for "some time with God." It's like "hitting the pause button" and choosing to "be fully in the present," out of future plans and past worries.

3. Nobody wants you happier than God. Ask him what is necessary.

Many times the problem is not that we don't pray enough, but that we "give up" or "minimize" what we need.

In addition to "basic needs" and "legitimate desires," we must dive "deeper to the next level" of requests like inner peace, charity, and grace.

4. No matter how deep the abyss is, the light always shines.

To combat bad thoughts, lies, or temptations, let's focus "on what we're doing; say a simple but repetitive prayer to replace the lie, such as 'Jesus, I trust You.'"

"This practice will train our mind [and] strengthen our heart."

5. Seek the Father and the health of holiness

Sometimes "we seek our will and not the Father's."

Following his will even in prayer can lead to what Sister Grace calls "the health of holiness."

According to research, "20 minutes of prayer a day reduces stress, anxiety, and feelings of loneliness."

6. Rest in God: Turn off your cell phone and open scripture.

"If you exchange your cell phone for the scriptures, you are likely to rest better and not just sleep, but rest from idleness."

Praying is an activity "that gives life and rests the heart and lifts up the eyes."

Watch her full talk below:

Click here if you cannot see the video above.

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