Prayer-Time Tips (and Women’s Reading Resources) for Lent
Some recommendations for these 40 days
Prayer is vital — for ourselves, our family and friends, co-workers and communities, and the world. It is one of the three pillars of Lent, after all. Are you still looking for prayer ideas as Lent progresses?
Here are some suggestions for your prayer time:
- Schedule it. Remember to make a date with Jesus! Set a time and place to meet every day.
- If you like to write, keep a journal. Writing your prayers can be helpful. Plus, you can look back to see how your prayers have been answered. I enjoy this method.
- Reflect on Scripture. Meditate on a specific Bible story. Put yourself in the story. Think about what the passage means in your life.
- Read prayer books. The prayers of others can inspire us. Check out saints’ autobiographies like St. Thérèse’s Story of a Soul. According to St. Gregory, “Spiritual books are like a mirror which God places before us in order that we may see ourselves in them and hence correct our faults and adorn ourselves with every virtue.” Father John Bartunek’s The Better Part is also an excellent prayer companion.
- Listen to music. Classical music can help set a prayerful mood. Or check out Christian/Catholic music with song lyrics that are worthy of reflection.
- Start a prayer group. Gather your friends together to pray the Rosary. Leave time for special intentions, too!
(The above, minus the introduction, is an excerpt from The Plans God Has for You: Hopeful Lessons for Young Women.)
The Blessed Is She Made New devotional offers 52 devotions. I read it before Lent, but it is a timely read for these 40 days, as it focuses on myriad things on a woman’s heart and offers questions for reflection. From insecurity to hope, the writers cover all with heartfelt honesty (including some difficult subjects) and grace, always pointing to Christ.
As Nell O’Leary, the managing editor of Blessed Is She, writes, “Let Jesus remind you that He loves you and wants to help you. Let Him teach you how to ask, trust, and let go of what happens.” Jesus, I trust in you.
Writer Liz Kelly also reflects, “The words from Jeremiah for today’s reflection sing in my soul. I believe in them so deeply, for me — and for you, sister. ‘For surely I know the plans I have for you. … If you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord’ (Jeremiah 29:11, 13-14).”
As someone whose favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, I heartily agree.
She concludes this particular reflection, “Trust in the Father’s plan; trust that it is His ardent desire that you flourish. Nothing less. And if you’re a little low on trust, that’s all right. You can borrow Jeremiah’s and mine.”
We Are Beloved calls readers to prayerful reflection via the words of Servant of God Thea Bowman. I have been learning more about her since the Register has covered her cause. Her insights are encouraging and hopeful, such as “Remember who you are and whose you are.” (One caveat: There is a reference to centering prayer.)
Called by Name, a devotional, offers a variety of reflections and topics, too, perfect for short snippets of time to reflect and pray.
Awaken My Heart Prayer Journal: With thought-provoking queries about trusting God to friendship, relationships and everything in between, this is a prayerful journey worth taking. Sprinkled throughout are encouraging saint quotes and short prayers.
The Handy Little Guide to Prayer is a primer to highlight the types of prayer — from the Rosary to novenas — as well as the why — including, of course, why the Mass is the ultimate “must” prayer — and the how — from Mass and adoration to journaling and reading Scripture. I particularly appreciated the included saintly wisdom on prayer (including when enduring spiritual dryness).
Pray without ceasing. — 1 Thessalonians 5:17