Hearing God's Voice

Stop Beating Yourself Up About Morning Prayer

3 Minute Read - By Jenna Kandas

The Young Catholic Woman

Before I had kids, I had such a wonderful prayer life. Early mornings filled with journaling, scripture, and hot coffee. Hah! Who am I kidding - that was always my dream for prayer time.

Year after year, I’d go on retreat and come home filled with determination to wake up early enough to have a solid hour prayer session before getting ready for work, then reality would strike and I’d hit snooze repeatedly until I was sure to be late to work. Oh, if only I knew then what I know now - early morning wake ups never get any easier, especially if you add two sweet babies under two. I used to complain if I didn’t clock a solid 9 hours of sleep and now I consider it a success if I get a broken 5 or 6 hours. (Side note, I’d like to give a shoutout to all my mom friends who listened to my griping and charitably tried to bring me back to reality; I get it now!)

Anyway, my point is that I’ve always had an excuse to not make my “dream” prayer time happen, even when I had all the determination in the world; even when I would set multiple alarms; even when I’d swear this was the only way I would be able to pray, I failed. And for a long time that failure kept me from trying other types of prayer. I was so fixated on morning prayer that I never considered the fact that all the Lord wanted from me was TIME. He didn’t care if it was first thing in the morning, or after work, or during my lunch hour. All He needs is me to sit down, in the silence, and allow Him to work. If I could just start there, then over time, I could change it up and try mornings again.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta reminds us that “In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”

Each of our prayer lives look different as we are each uniquely created, and even throughout our lives, our prayers will change. As we go through the various seasons of life, different times, spaces, or written prayers will speak to our hearts more so than others, and I think it’s important to allow that to happen. So often, I feel like I get stuck in a rut; stuck in the idea of how something should be rather than allowing it to be what it actually is. When I was younger, I wanted my prayer life to be journaling and silence spent with the Lord, but that wasn’t what it was. And that wasn’t what I needed - I needed to wrestle with Him and His will in prayer in order to soften my heart enough to agree to follow Him - and looking back, what a gift that time was!

In this current season, I don’t have the time to constantly wrestle with His will; it’s more like a quick, quiet prayer whispered between feedings and diapers, and then maybe a final prayer of gratitude at the end of the day. Not just because the day is over and we all survived, but because He gave me two beautiful gifts to care for and love, and in those two little people, I am finally starting to understand His undeniable love for me, and how He’s just patiently waiting for whatever little time I can give Him. I’m forever grateful that Jesus is outside of time and space so He can take my two minutes and work miracles.

So sisters, no matter what season you find yourself in currently, take a breath and let it be. Allow yourself to pray in the manner in which you need, and not in some constructed, far-fetching way which isn’t conducive to your life. This season too shall pass, and maybe the next season will bring with your dream prayer session - we can wait together.

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