During my most recent trip to Confession, the priest gave me a penance that I had never had before. He told me to pray for my family, in my own words, for five minutes. I exited the confessional, headed to a pew in the back of the church, and began to pray.
As a former Protestant who is very used to extemporaneous prayer, I am embarrassed to say that it was really difficult to pray for five minutes, non-stop. My mind kept wandering, I became distracted by anyone who came in or went out of the church, my body was fidgety. Those five minutes of prayer were becoming exhausting!
I love it when Scripture is really clear. Like in today’s Gospel: “Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1)
There’s no wiggle room when it comes to interpreting this parable. Jesus spells it out up front. We need to pray, all the time, without becoming weary.
But do we actually do it?
I always thought I had a pretty good prayer life. But my experience after Confession last week was a bit of a rude awakening. It got me thinking, how often do I really sit before God and just pray? Honestly?
Not that often.
And when I compare what little time I do spend in prayer with the amount of time I spend scrolling through Facebook, texting my friends, or watching Netflix EACH DAY, I feel sick inside.
So here’s a challenge for me and for you, my sisters in Christ. If you haven’t already formed a habit of daily prayer, start with just five minutes. Silence your phone, set a timer, and just pray.
There is nothing more important than time with Our Lord. Jesus even calls it a necessity. We need Him, just like we need sustenance for our bodies and breath for our lungs.
So what are you waiting for? Start praying.
Anna Coyne is a Saint Paul native, wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic faith. When not chasing after her two young children you can probably find her playing the piano, knitting, tripping over wooden train sets, or writing. Find out more about her here.