If you are busy like I am (and who isn’t busy these days), daily dedicated prayer time may seem out of reach. And yet we NEED daily prayer to help us cope with our overwhelming, stressful, too-busy lives. As Saint Francis de Sales famously said, “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer a day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour.”
For the past year or so I have struggled to develop a prayer routine that works for me. I tried getting up earlier in the morning, which I know works well for many people; but I often fell asleep while trying to pray, or hit the snooze button instead of getting up. The spirit may be willing but the flesh is indeed week.
I tried other times of day too, but my schedule is unpredictable, and nothing seemed to stick for long. Even my twice-weekly Mass and rosary walk that I kept up for an entire school year became a thing of the past once I no longer had a child in school right across the street from the church.
I realized that the best way for me to work prayer into my daily schedule was NOT to assign a definite time and place to it, but rather to make sure I fit it in any way I can. I found some apps that are helping me do that and I wanted to share them with you.
You may be familiar with the practice of Marian Consecration. I recently completed Father Michael Gaitley’s 33 Days to Morning Glory program for the second time. I wanted to pray a short consecration prayer every morning, and I keep this app open to the one I want to say.
This is the ultimate prayer app with just about every Catholic prayer you can imagine. What I love about it is that you can make a favorites list and then put it in the order you want. Here I have the next three prayers I want to say each day, and I will probably add more over time. For now, I say the Morning Offering, the Litany of Humility, and the Prayer for Generosity.
There are many rosary apps available, of course. And ideally I’d rather use an actual rosary anyway. But I can play this one and pray along while my hands are busy doing other things. I like that this one automatically opens up to the proper mysteries for the day, and I like that I can increase the replay speed a bit.
I have actually been using this for over a year. I start it as I pull out of the driveway to pick up my kids from school, and it is just about the perfect length for the ten-minute drive. This is a daily session based on Ignatian spirituality including music, scripture, reflection, and prayer.
This is a Catholic meditation app, and introduces you to different types of prayer, like Lectio Divina or the Examen. I use this in the evening after dinner when I typically sit out on the front porch for some alone time. I love that you can choose five, ten, or fifteen minute guided mediation and prayer sessions.
With the help of these apps, I find I am able to meet my prayer goals most days. All told, I am consistently praying over 30 minutes a day now and I feel hopeful that I will be able to add more over time and will be able to continue this routine.
Have you used these apps? Do you have any other favorite prayer apps?