From Routine to Ritual: Making More of My Time with God

By Charlotte Phillips

My prayer life, as with most other aspects of my life, ebbs and flows. There are times that prayer comes easily. I can sit, take a few deep breaths and immediately go to what my friend Becky refers to our “inner chapel” to spend one-on-one time with God. In these moments, my prayer feels deep and it naturally flows. I truly feel God’s presence.

Other times, however, my prayer can feel just the opposite. I will sit down to pray and feel distracted – “What’s for dinner tonight?” “Did I put the clothes in the dryer?” “Did I reply to that email?”

I’m sure we’ve all had these moments in prayer. Our lives are busy, and it is quite easy to become distracted.

I have come to realize the difference in these prayer experiences is often how I go into my prayer. Am I approaching my prayer as routine or as ritual?

The days I am more distracted, prayer is simply part of my daily routine – a task that needs to be checked off my to-do list. It feels like a one-sided conversation where I do all the talking; I do not take the time to hear what God is trying to say to me.

The days I have that deep prayer time with God, I am more intentional. I spend a few moments to take those deep breaths and place myself in the presence of God. On those days, my prayer time is ritual, sacred time between God and me.

Is your prayer time routine or ritual? What can you do to make more of your time with God?

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