Let’s be honest: Prayer can be hard to maintain after college. Many responsibilities with work and family can make it difficult to consciously make time for prayer each day, every day. But it is so important to build and maintain a prayer life — and it is so worth it!
Your prayer life will probably look different than when you were in college. You may not be able to make it to a chapel regularly or have the same flexibility in your schedule for prayer. That’s okay! The essential part is to find some time to deepen your relationship with Christ through daily communication with Him.
Why is daily prayer important?
As Christians, our goal is to become more like Christ and to live a life in tune with the Holy Spirit so that we may do the Father’s will. Praying daily helps us to build an intimate relationship with God and helps us to be more receptive to His grace. Intimacy is necessary in our evangelization efforts: We are filled with faith, hope and love when we pray, and it is through the overflow of these virtues that we are able to share the gospel.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help Your Prayer Life Thrive
1. What time am I praying today, and for how long?
2. Where am I praying?
3. Who is holding me accountable for my daily prayer?
A good goal is to know the answer to these questions at the start of each day. That way, you make prayer a part of your day, instead of having a vague plan or a missed opportunity for prayer.
Ways to Pray
Mental prayer is a simple conversation with God. If it’s hard to start that conversation, begin by thinking of the three Persons of the Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit. Which Person do you best relate to right now: The Father, Who loves, holds and delights in you? The Son, Who is your brother, friend and savior? The Holy Spirit, Who dwells within you, revealing God’s word and unveiling His will? Allow your prayer to flow from this relationship. Speak to God as you would a close friend.
For a more in-depth description, check out these resources:
Meditate on the life of Christ through the Gospel of Luke:
What to Read
Pick a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) and commit to reading a chapter a day. Just one. Allow yourself to enter into the Scripture and the events of Christ’s life as shown through these evangelists. Don’t rush through it, but rather meditate with it and ask God what He wants you to take with you from the chapter.
You can also read through the daily readings through the USCCB’s site or mobile apps such as Laudete or iBreviary. Sit with the Scripture the Church has chosen for the day; place yourself within the story or ask God to reveal how He is speaking to you through the words.
Recommended Resources on Prayer
Time for God by Jacques Philippe
Meditation and Contemplation by Timothy M. Gallagher, OMV
Prayer Primer by Fr. Thomas Dubay
Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales
Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, O.C.S.O.
Interior Freedom by Jacques Philippe