Busy moms have few quiet or uninterrupted moments during the day. However, having a time to pray is crucial to spiritual health.
You probably make it a priority to share prayers with your children, but how often do you pray by yourself?
[quote type=”center”]The prayerful condition is the best of all conditions, for man in such a state communeth with God, especially when prayer is offered in private and at times when one’s mind is free, such as at midnight. Indeed prayer imparteth life.[/quote]
If you are looking for new ways to add prayers into your personal routine, read what these moms had to say about what is working (or not working) for them.
From mothers like you
[quote]I fall asleep nursing usually because I am so tired at the end is the day so I take whatever little quiet moment comes my way and it varies day to day. I have found that lighting candles at night [during family prayers] adds a level of reverence to the praying so that if I don’t get the alone time for my own I feel like I have the quality time. Also the prayer book app on my phone helps me a lot helps a lot. I normally wouldn’t get up to pray/ read in the middle of the night because my husband wakes up very easily but I find it very convenient to sit up, reach for the phone, and pray or read in the middle of the night.[/quote]
–Emily, mother of three children (6, 3, and 1 years)
[quote]I’ve been working really hard on establishing our morning prayer routine with my son, and this has made me mindful of my own routine. In theory, I would like to do it early in the morning before everyone is up, just to give me a calm and refreshing start to the day. But that seems to be more difficult to do. Just because my son might wake up earlier some days, or I might be too tired to wake up earlier myself. So generally the evenings is when I find my time. Just before bed. But that’s also been a struggle recently. Especially because I’ve been going to bed so late. I find I need to be more disciplined in setting a time for myself in the evenings where I really need to drop everything, say my prayers and sleep. So I get the rest, and spiritual sustenance I need for the next day. Easier said than done.[/quote]
-Anonymous, mother of a two year old and pregnant with baby #2
[quote]My new goal is to get up, take care of my personal hygiene, and pray before the girls wake up. Which means 5 am. So painful and not yet consistent, but so worth it. I find myself often feeling resentful of my children and the fact that they are not ‘allowing me’ to get ready and do the things I need to do to prepare for the day (crazy, I know). I have a hard time centering and grounding myself, probably because I haven’t prayed or set any spiritual intentions for the day. But when I get up, even 1/2 hour before the kids, I can take care of my shower and prayers, then turn my attention completely to them and their needs. We both deserve that. [/quote]
–Laurel, mother of a two and one year old
[quote]For my Obligatory Payer I will tell my children that I want to say it and ask them to be quiet and take care of the little one (2.5 years). That is usually no problem. The only other time I get to pray by myself is at night in bed before falling asleep, but usually I’m so tired by then that this praying time is usually quite short.[/quote]
–Kate, mother of three children (8, 6 and 2 years)
[quote]As for my own prayer life, I pray in the morning when daddy helps before [he leaves for] work, during nap time, and at night after my son goes to bed. That way teaching prayers and obligatories are done so I can be tuned in for the rest of the day and see the signs divine hand in the teaching work here. The routine has made teaching the Faith %100 better. [/quote]
–Kiely, mother of a two year old
Choosing a time for yourself
Depending on the age of your child(ren), their activities, and when/if they still take naps, there may be several different times of day you can dedicate to making a special prayer time for yourself. This time may shift in a few months when a child drops a nap or starts waking up an hour earlier, but it is important to remember that there can be a time during the day to pray and refresh our spirits if we make it a priority.
So take a few deep breaths, and let’s reflect on your current routine for saying prayers. Be honest with yourself and think about what you’d like to add, improve, or do differently. These questions may help:
- How do you feel when you have time to pray during the day? Does it help you meet life’s challenges with more joy, vision, and detachment? Are you getting enough of this currently?
- What time(s) do you currently pray?
- Is this working for you and your family?
- If not, what is another time during the day when might you like to try praying?
- What might you be able to give up or change in order to make more time to pray?
- How can you ensure you have a few minutes to pray, alone and uninterrupted, each day? (ex. set an alarm to get up earlier, ask daddy to watch the children at a certain time every day)
- Write yourself a plan and put it somewhere you see each day (ie on your prayer book by your bed side, on the fridge)
- Try your plan for a week and if it doesn’t work, review these questions again.
If you feel that you just can’t find the time to pray, you may have to make it.
When do you pray and what strength do you gather from this time spent in communion with God? What is your plan for making your prayer time more fruitful and consistent? Share your comments below.