How I “Got Over Myself” and Started to Enjoy My Prayer Time

From a very early age I remember thinking that rote prayers were my only options for prayer. And as a 3rd grader, this was so BORING. Even when making petitions on other people’s behalf, it felt like I was being forced to write a thank you note for an ugly sweater I never wanted.

And that bordom in prayer followed me into adulthood until I finally had the bright idea that my prayers could be conversational and filled with creativity and imagination.

But even then I had to get over the massive, judgemental hurdle of “I’m praying the wrong way.” I would edit my inner most thoughts to sound stiff and formal because I was pre-judging my prayers, as if God didn’t know what was really on my heart anyway.

So instead of words, I started using images and feelings in my prayers as well. For example, when praying for a sick friend, I’d imagine surronding them in comforting love, seeing a peaceful smile on there face, and ask for healing – both my version of what “healing” is and whatever that means for God and my friend.

And I would use whatever words came without trying to “fancy them up.”

We all have those people in our life where we edit what we say and how we act arount them. And for me that is very tiring. No wonder my edited prayers were draining. 

Especially when praying for the things I want – which has been a harder struggle – I tend to self-edit the most. As if I’m not worthy to even ask. “I shouldn’t as for that” “that sounds selfish” — so much judgment that makes it seem as if God is unapproachable and doesn’t know us intimately already anyway.

There is no “wrong” way to pray. We’re limited only by our imaginations. If what was once working for you (in terms of holding your attention, keeping you coming back for more), pehaps it’s time to expirement with something different.

My friend Jessy paints her prayers. I have certain plants in my garden that remind me of specific people. So even if I didn’t want that sun gold tomato for myself, I planted it for my friend Jen because I send up a small prayer for her every time I see the plant. Or lemon verbena for my friend Kim (except that I LOVE lemon verbena and use it every day in my water).

Options are infinite. I’m still finding new ways to interact with God in prayer that I get excited about!

Love to all,

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My new favorite novena – the Surrender novena – is how I’ve been starting my days this last week. It’s amazing. And it holds my attention all day long. 

So many times during the day I re-surrender to Jesus.


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