As summer slips away and we get ready to step into autumn, we notice a shift taking place all around us. School has begun for students of all ages. Relaxed days transform into steady routines. Hot, humid temperatures are replaced by a crispness in the air. And perhaps there is even a tinge of crimson on the green trees.
Fall Welcomes Change
As we observe the seasons moving from one to another, we welcome the refreshing changes that fall promises. We also sense a desire for change in our hearts, too. We are ready to settle into something new. Ready to get back into the swing of things. Ready to return to the patterns that keep life running smoothly and steadily.
This may include restoring our sleep habits and meal plans, dusting off our planner, or preparing the mudroom to welcome backpacks, football cleats, fall jackets, and sports bags.
This certainly includes the one thing that comes above all else: our prayer life.
Ways to Renew Your Prayer Life this Fall
Perhaps the ease of summer allowed our prayer routine to simply float along, like on a gentle wave. But now it’s time to bring it back to the steadiness of shore.
And since fall is a natural season of order and routine, we can easily set a new pace for prayer in our lives. Below are five ways to renew our prayer life this fall.
1. Pray Scripturally
One simple way to return to a more intentional habit of prayer is by incorporating lectio divina into your daily routine. This simply means praying with Scripture. I suggest beginning with the Psalm or Gospel from daily Mass.
These simple steps can be your guide:
- Spend a few minutes settling down. Notice your cares and concerns. Jot down a few feeling words.
- As you settle into prayer, invite God to approach you. Notice His presence and enter into it.
- Read the Scripture passage slowly several times.
- Highlight words and phrases that stand out to you. This is usually God’s personal message for you, so pay close attention.
- Notice what rises in your heart: thoughts, emotions, memories, hopes, fears, or dreams. Offer them to God.
- Listen for His response, through Scripture or a stirring in your heart.
- Converse with God about your experience. This could include journaling.
- Conclude by thanking God for this time with Him.
2. Pray Liturgically
Another way to renew prayer is by living liturgically. Take note of various feast days and devotions that are honored and celebrated this fall. Pick one or two each month, and find ways to incorporate them into your daily life.
Here are a couple ideas to spark your creativity:
- Befriend the angels with the feasts of the Archangels (September 29th) and Guardian Angels (October 2nd). Learn more about the angels in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 325-354. And incorporate the Angel of God prayer on a daily basis.
- October is dedicated to the Rosary, and on October 7th, we honor Our Lady of the Rosary (or Our Lady of Victory). This is a perfect time to add the Rosary to your prayer repertoire. To begin, here is a step-by-step guide.
3. Pray Adoringly
If you feel stuck or dry in your prayer routine, a simple way to persevere is by praising and adoring God. Reminding ourselves that prayer sets aside time to offer due worship to God for all that He is and all that He does gives us a springboard for deeper, rooted prayer.
To begin, here are a few ways to praise and adore the Lord:
- Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. No words are required. Simply be in His presence.
- Sing (or listen to) praise and worship music.
- Pray with the different names of Jesus.
- Write your own litany of gratitude for all that God has done in your life.
4. Pray Creatively
For those who are eager to try something new this fall, why not explore prayer through a creative outlet? Bible or prayer journaling invites us to use our holy imaginations to pray incorporating various art materials—from paint to pens to washi tape—to capture our insights and inspirations.
Catholic artist Ingrid Blixt has created a series of devotional kits for those who desire to pray creatively. They include beautiful elements, such as stickers and die cuts, inspiring devotionals, Bible verses, and journaling prompts. Kits are available for different liturgical seasons and various themes.
5. Pray Physically
Perhaps fall has us eager to not only renew our prayer but also to renew our exercise routine. We can incorporate them both by going on prayer walks with the Lord or Rosary walks with Our Lady. We can also utilize Catholic exercise programs, such as SoulCore or Pietra Fitness, which focus our attention on God while strengthening the gift of our bodies as temples of His Holy Spirit.
Does your prayer life need renewal? How do you plan on refreshing it this fall?