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Slow Down: How to Pray Mindfully

When we take the time to pray and talk to God, our whole day goes better. We find hope in knowing that a higher power is watching over us. We find peace in understanding that He guides our every step. We find joy in knowing that there’s no such thing as fruitless prayer

But when we practice our faith through prayer and worship, do we ever find ourselves distracted from those pious moments, our minds clouded with endless gunk? 

While every prayer is fruitful, even if said hastily or halfheartedly, slowing down in your spiritual life can have countless benefits religiously, personally, and even psychologically. Here are a few reasons why mindfulness in spirituality can be wonderful and some ways to incorporate it into your daily life.

Communicate Intentionally

One of the great joys of Christianity is knowing that Jesus desires a personal relationship with you. He’s not just your Lord but also your father and your friend. Think of your valued earthly relationships for a minute. How do you keep them healthy? 

A crucial component to fostering great relationships is open, honest, and loving communication. You love the people that you’re close to and strive for intentional communication. 

When we pause between our petitions or slow down and talk to God before darting off to our next event, we tell Him that we value our time with Him. We show Him that we will patiently respond to His will whenever He’s ready to communicate it to us.

These days, with everything so readily available to us, patiently communicating with—and listening to—God can not only strengthen our relationship with Him but our virtue as well. 

Be Grateful for Today

Stewardship is a hallmark of Christianity. We are called to use our time and talents for the good of society and the greater glory of God. With the current events of the pandemic, natural disasters, and more, it’s plain to see just how precious each earthly moment is. 

And yet, when we have health, wealth, or what may seem like years of life ahead of us, we can take our time for granted. We can start to think, “this is my time, I can do what I want with it,” and fill it with meaningless and prayerless activity. 

But when we slow down, put a pause on all that’s unnecessary in our life, and dedicate a few more peaceful moments to our prayer life, we discover that we can always make room in our schedules for conversion with our Creator. The problem most likely isn’t a lack of time, but a lack of time well-spent. 

Pray Mindfully

We may already know that slowing down and living our faith will make us more humble, more prudent, and all-around happier, but did you know that practicing mindfulness in daily prayer can also contribute to a more fulfilling day? Think of the last time you felt as though you wasted time—it likely wasn’t during intentional prayer. 

By compartmentalizing our day and setting aside moments for spiritual activity (i.e., repeating a pious phrase slowly or taking five minutes of silence in the morning), we’re calmer, more patient, and much more equipped to spend the rest of the day as Christian stewards.

4 Simple Steps to a More Meaningful Spiritual Life

1. Start each day with a morning offering and mean every word you recite. 

2. Pray the Our Father anytime you feel tempted to judge another person. 

3. Stay a few minutes after church or go a few minutes early to spend extra time with God

4. Set a timer for 15 minutes each day to do some spiritual reading or sit in silent prayer. 

Be a rebel in this chaotic world. Slow down and spend some time in prayer.

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