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SIMPLE40 - Day 8 - Prayer Priorities


As we are on this journey to simplify our lives this Lent, our first priority must be our prayer life and relationship with God. There is much to learn about prayer, keeping in mind that this journey we are on to encounter God has many stages and seasons. Not only that, but we are each led to Him in different, unique ways. In my life, God seems to like going about things gradually. Sometimes this is really frustrating! But, nevertheless, we are not left to our own devices as there are many things we can do to progress and deepen our prayer life and relationship with God. One of these things is to consciously include time in your day for prayer. This is why one of the requirements for SIMPLE40 is to "bookend" your day in prayer. By giving God some time first thing in the morning, you are setting the tone for your day and giving Him the rightful place in your life. He, in turn, will bless your efforts and give you the strength to live your vocation well. It will serve you well to continue the conversation with God throughout the day, simply by sharing your thoughts with Him, thanking Him for little blessings, and asking Him for help when you need it. There is nothing too small to ask for or to be grateful for. He is always there, and you can address Him at any time, in any place, for any intention. Keep in mind that prayer does not have to contain words. It can be silence. It can be listening. It can be our good works. It can be love. What matters in prayer is not what we do but what God does in us during those moments...(God's presence) heals and sanctifies us. ~Fr. Jacque Philippe One final note on prayer: Keep it simple, meaningful and intentional. You do not need to keep up with every devotion out there. Instead, choose what speaks to your heart and be consistent. As you seek to grow in simplicity, ask God to help you discover the things that will be most pleasing to Him. With Christ at the center of your life, you will find that the rest of the demands of life can be put in their proper place and order. Some questions to ponder... 1) Is God first in your life? 2) Where has He led you thus far? 3) Are you willing to go where He is leading you? There are so many incredible resources out there to help you grow in prayer. I just recently got the Hallow app and am impressed by the amount of content they have. I also enjoy the FORMED website/app as well as Laudate for daily readings and to look up scripture verses, prayers and prepare for confession.

 

SPIRITUAL

Distractions in prayer happen to all of us, all the time. How to handle these distractions is addressed beautifully by St. Francis de Sales:

If the heart wanders or is distracted, bring it back to the point quite gently and replace it tenderly in its Master's presence. And even if you did nothing during the whole of your hour but bring your heart back and place it again in Our Lord's presence, though it went away every time you brought it back, your hour would be very well employed. It gives me solace to think that if St. Francis wrote this, he probably experienced it! There is hope for all of us!

 

SELF

Knowing yourself is a critical component of growing in simplicity. Things are a lot less complicated when you know your abilities, gifts and tendencies, but maybe more importantly, your weaknesses and triggers. Take a look at the temperament chart again and choose ONE trigger that you just cannot stand. How do you deal with it? Do you let it complicate your life? Do you spend too much mental energy on it? How does God want you to react to this trigger? Pray about it and put effort into decreasing the negative effect of this trigger.


MC Temperament Assessment Chart
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Download PDF • 103KB

For example: I am sanguine and a trigger for me is monotony. Instead of complaining about doing the same thing over and over, I turn to gratitude for the opportunity to.....(FILL IN THE BLANK)... I also try to recognize that this season will soon shift and pray the surrender prayer over and over in my head: Jesus, I surrender it all to you, take care of everything. Sure enough, the negative effect of the trigger does not have the same power over me.


Here are some other examples of "mini-prayers" that can help you with a trigger:

  1. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

  2. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me.

  3. Jesus, I trust in you.

  4. Be not afraid!

  5. Precious Blood of Jesus, wash over me and protect me from the wickedness and snares of the devil.

  6. Come, Holy Spirit

  7. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me.

  8. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

  9. Pray, hope, don't worry.

  10. Thank you, Jesus.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2 The link below is to a more contemporary Lenten playlist that I enjoy, put together by Heather Khym on Spotify.

 

SERVICE

Pray for all those suffering religious persecution. Did you know that Christian persecution is on the rise? Check out the work of Gia Chacon to find out what we can do to raise awareness and provide for those in need around the world.




 

today's recipe

Green Chili Turkey Burgers This recipe is so incredibly simple and delicious. These burgers freeze well, so I always at least double this recipe. 1 lb. Ground turkey 2 4 oz cans green chilies 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped 2 teaspoons cumin 2 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon sea salt In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients. Form into 6-8 patties and grill. Serve with avocado, guacamole, salsa. Eat how you like...on a bun, in a wrap, on a bed of greens.

 

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