“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
How does one remember to pray “unceasingly” as we are commanded to do? Unless we are a hermit or cloistered nun, it seams next to impossible! It’s actually different that you might have in mind, and more possible than you might imagine, though. Here are some practical ways to always pray unceasingly:
1. Start Your Day Praying
When we first wake up in the morning, we can begin our day by offering it to the Lord. A great way to remember to do this is put a prayer card on the bathroom mirror so Jesus is stairing us right in the face. When we start the day by inviting the Lord into it, He will guide our day so things run smoother than they would have without Him.
2. Pray Before Eating Breakfast
We should always pray before eating our meals, from a simple, “Thank you for this food” to the more formal,
“Bless us o’Lord and these our gifts, which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” My 2 year old knows this prayer! Offering gratitude for the food and gifts that we’ve been given is the best way to thank God for the simple things He’s given us.
3. Check Out a Morning Funny
After we first get working in the morning, it’s good to take a mid-morning break. Check out what’s new on epicPew and take a break by playing a game in out “Play” content. This is filled with pop quizzes and games that can give us that mind break we need to continue the day.
4. Pray Before Eating Lunch
This may be our first social meal of the day, when we are eating with co-workers and it may seem like a social faux pas to stand up, ask everyone to hold hands and pray over the whole cafeteria, but there is nothing wrong with us taking a moment to silence ourselves and say a prayer before digging in. Cross yourself – it doesn’t matter who’s watching – and say a small prayer to continue giving the day to God. We can also take this opportunity to ask God to help us through the rest of our day, too. Don’t let that prayer pass you by.
5. Afternoon Prayer Time
Now, this is the time when the afternoon is dragging on and we can no longer focus on our work. Take this time to do some stretching, or if you are able to, take a quick walk outside and go enjoy nature. God created all of this; the warmth of the sun, the birds in the air, the wind blowing the leaves. Take a deep breath and thank God for the great outdoors. Ask him to complete your work, and help with any struggles.
6. After Work Break
OK, so we’ve had a long day that hasn’t quite gone as expected & now it’s time to decompress. Check out the latest news & Catholic information on epicPew. Yeah, we shamelessly plug ourselves. But whatever – check in on your favorite, responsible, Catholic news source. They will keep us to date on everything Catholic from news from the Pope to the latest hot button issues to Catholic saints & tradition. They have it all in one convenient site!
7. Dinner Prayer
This is an easy one with all of our family in one place (unless your family is like mine where by the time I sit down with my dinner, everyone else is done with theirs!). Even if the kids are praying over only a few bites left, praying as a family over dinner is an awesome way to invite Jesus to join the family for dinner. Think about it, Jesus loved eating with his friends too, so don’t forget to invite Him to dinner!
8. Night Family Prayers
Our nighttime routine is snack, ready for bed & family prayer. Even the older ones must join, because prayer is so important to establish. We say our “God bless mommy, daddy, ….” all our family members. Then, each child says something they are thankful for & something they are sorry for during that day. We conclude with a standard prayer like the Our Father. Kiss & hugs, and off to bed.
9. Nighttime Decompression
Instead of watching some immortal movie or show on TV, we can all watch something faith based on the Watch tab at epicPew. They have amazing content from video of the Pope to Jim Gaffigan’s college address to Catholic apologizists discussing topics of faith. There is so much content we may forget to go to bed!
10. Sweet Dreams
Finally, the sweet bliss of sleep is coming, but before nodding off completely, say a prayer to thank God for another day, mention some specific blessings and ask Him for any needs.
God should be in our thoughts and minds from the moment we rise to the time we lay our heads down to sleep.