Once Upon a Time I Ran
I yearn for the day that my prayer life is poppin’. No more of this mediocre, on occasion, ebb and flow, prayer life. I want to get to a state of holiness and stay there forever. I feel like I am living in a constant state of fluctuation, especially when it comes to prayer. Sometimes I feel like a rockstar; God is my number one priority, and no matter the situation, I lean on prayer. But then I find myself having other priorities. And usually, I can come up with a pretty good excuse that I tell myself. “Well, at least you still go to mass every Sunday.” And “Just because you might not talk to God every day, doesn’t mean he’s not there and you’re going to hell.”
Every time I get in a rut, I look forward to the next stage in life and try to do better than. I will tell myself, “When you get back home, you will read your Bible and spend morning coffee in prayer.” Or “When you get back to school you will be walking distance from church and will have time to go to daily mass.” Or my classic and all-time favorite, “Once lent hits, you will be incredibly holy.”
This only works for maybe a few months or weeks. And then I sink back into the zombie Catholic lifestyle. I don’t lose my faith AND I am still technically practicing because I pray before meals and go to mass, but my prayer life is lacking! My friendship with Jesus gets awkward and rather than catching him up on my life, I just find something else to do.
As I get older, I find that the spans get a little longer and I am improving, but I know I can do better. I want an amazing prayer life, but why is it so hard to maintain? And why do I need some change in my life to encourage me to pick up my Bible?
My sister Abby once told me at a confirmation retreat, “Your prayer life is a muscle. You need to work on it and practice it in order for it to be strong.” It is funny to me to think about having to practice praying, but she is right! It gets much easier when you work at it. Anyone that works out knows that it becomes a lot easier and honestly more fun when you are in shape and strong. But as soon as you stop working out, you lose your progress much faster than you gained it. The only thing that stays with you is muscle memory.
I realize I will never be perfect, but I still want to get as close to ‘poppin’ as I can! The journey to the kingdom of heaven is a long and challenging one. Having a strong prayer life will help to carry you through. But who knows the storm that is in store for us father up the path. Rather than waiting for the worst to hit, we can use the flat and easy part of the path to get strong and make us ready. We can only hope our muscle memory will aid us in starting back up again when we get stopped. Everyone’s prayer life looks different, but join me in the journey as we strive to reach the all-time end goal!
-Your Sister in Faith and ‘Workout’ Prayer Partner,