Apr 21, 2016

Prayer of the Unholy

I have a confession to make:  I’m awful at prayer.  I stink at prayer time with my husband, my children, and for myself.  I don’t set aside that quiet time with God to talk to Him, get to know Him and His Will for my life.  I turn on a litany of morning podcasts from the Laudate app while I’m grading papers in the early morning hours, and usually call that good.  Fortunately, He has been so good to me, despite our lack of communication, and given me very clear “Holy Spirit Moments” when I just know this is the direction I’m supposed to go.

Oh, and I’m just full of excuses (yes, I’m an excuses girl, boo hoo!):  it’s my parents’ fault because we never grew up praying anywhere but at a meal; my father was Baptist and my mother was Catholic, so I never knew the Hail Mary until I was an adult; my kids make prayer a most “unholy” time; I’m always nursing/changing/getting a baby to sleep; my husband works retail hours, and his schedule is never the same day-to-day or week-to-week; he’s no help either because he’s not Catholic and he didn’t grow up with the habit of daily prayer either.

I’m a sanguine temperament, and we sanguines need our hands held every time we start something new.  I just don’t have that person in my life right now.  Yes…yes…I know I need to rise above the detriments of my temperament, but I’m just not there yet.  I’ve had to confess this so many times and hear my sweet priest say, “You have to make prayer time sacrosanct every day!  Just stop everything and pray at a certain time every day!”  (See above for litany of excuses why this doesn’t happen.)

However, my son was studying about prayer in his catechism this week.  There are two types of prayer, mental and vocal.  The Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary are vocal prayers, of course.  I started thinking about the mental prayer, though.  How many times am I doing dishes, folding laundry, or just walking around the house picking up junk and thinking in my head of the friend of a friend whose son is in the hospital, the co-worker of my husband’s who was baptized yesterday or just people in my life who I love.  I don’t know why these people will be in my mind and heart, but I’ve concluded (or maybe deluded) that just THINKING of them – not even saying mentally “Father bless them and keep them.” – is praying for them.  God knows the desires of my heart.  I hope He accepts these scraps that are my prayers; I hope Our Sweet Mother catches them before they get to His Throne and wraps them up a little nicer for me.

My biggest hope and most frequent request is for you all who are MUCH better at it to please, PLEASE pray for me!


  1. I think that those prayers that come to you in moments of mental quiet (ALWAYS doing the dishes or folding laundry for me!) can be some of the most simple and heartfelt. God hears and loves them as much as any other!

  2. I love this! Thank God He accepts our imperfect prayers. Thank you for this reflection.

  3. My very favorite line you wrote is this hope Our Sweet Mother catches them before they get to His Throne and wraps them up a little nicer for me. That is just perfect! Thank you.


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