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5 best prayers for your daily devotion

Are you trying to get a routine in daily prayers and just don't know where and how to start? We offer you the 5 best prayers for your daily devotion. They are picked to fit even a very busy schedule with job and family. If you are a beginner in daily praying don't try them all at once. Take it easy and include one after another into your schedule and remember: the goal is not to pray all five every single day, the goal is to grow in your relationship with God.

This article will give you a short description of the following 5 praying methods and an explanation as to why we think they are worth praying every day.



Why are these the best prayers for daily devotion?

And why is neither the Eucharist nor Adoration part of this list? Well, if you have time and accesss to participate daily in a celebration of the Eucharist, then you belong to a very privileged minority on our globe. For this list we opted to include only forms of prayer that anyone can do anywhere and at anytime. This alone ensures that the list is an aid to daily prayer for everyone.

All 5 have a long tradition throughout church history and there is a flexibility to every one of them that allow them to be integrated into any daily routine.


Centering Prayer

There are several names for basically the same kind of prayer. No matter if you call it Centering Prayer, Contemplative Prayer or Prayer of Quiet this form of prayer is a form of christian meditation. The various authors writing about this form of prayer suggest different verses to return to during the meditation, but their aim is always to spend time in the loving presence of God. Whenever your spirit starts to wander it is pulled back to the awareness of God's presence through a constant repitition of a selected verse. We suggest to start your day with 10 to 20 minutes of this meditative prayer.




Lectio Divina

The second form of prayer that we highly recommend is the ancient way of reading the Holy Bible, the so called Lectio Divina (divine reading). It is not a time of Bible study but rather a deep prayer. We are so used today to read very fast that this form of prayer needs quite a bit of time to get used to it. In Lectio Divina it is not about reading a lot of the scripture, but about ruminating the Word of God so that it descends into our hearts. To start with Lectio Divina you choose a section of the Scripture, e.g. the gospel of the day and read it once. Then you read the same text again and stop on words or phrases that stand out to you. Stay with them and repeat reading them. Get into a dialogue with God about those words and ask Him what He wants to tell you today through these words. This prayer can easily fill an hour, but if you don't have the time: don't worry, just do only a paragraph of the gospel and set a timer on the amount of time you have. Even 5 minutes of Lectio Divina is better than none!


Rosary or Chapelet of Divine Mercy

We put those two together in one point for two reasons:

  1. you need the same "tool" for both prayers

  2. for someone with family and job we recommend to either choose one or the other to pray on a daily basis

Whether you choose the rosary or the Chapelet of Divine Mercy depends on both your personal preference and the time available. While a rosary usually takes 20-30 minutes (and might be more suited for a day off), the Chapelet of Divine Mercy can be prayed in 5-10 minutes (e.g. during lunch-break).


Picture of a hand holding a Rosary


Liturgy of the hours

This form of prayer is an obligation for priests and religious people. Why should laypeople join us in praying the liturgy of the hours? We do not suggest to you to pray every single one of them since your schedule is quite different from our monastic schedule. But if you manage to include e.g. the Evening Prayer (Vespers) or the Night Prayer (Compline) you become a member of a huge praying community around the globe and throughout the centuries. The Liturgy of the hours is being prayed since the beginning of Christianity as it evolved from the jewish tradition of praying the Psalms. Knowing that Jesus also prayed with the Psalms we can say that joining the official prayer of the Church we unite ourselves with Christ praying.


Evening Examen

The Examen is a tradition very much encouraged by Ignatius of Loyola. It helps a lot on the spiritual journey to pause, look back, review, pray and learn from the experiences of the day. Every night before going to bed you should reflect on your deeds and encounters. Find at least one thing your grateful for and give thanks to God. Don't forget to ponder about what went well and what you could have done better. Where there moments when you were particularly close to God? Is there a lesson He gave you today to learn?

This prayer in which you try to see your life through the eyes of God will help you a lot to grow into a deeper relationship with God.


standing desk with a wooden cross and an icon
Sr. Pauline's prayer area

Summary

In this article we described the 5 best forms of prayer for your daily devotion.

We recommend to start the day with 10 to 20 minutes of Centering Prayer. With time this practice will help you keep an awareness of the presence of God throughout your day.

Before going to work it is a good idea to sit down for a couple of minutes to read in the Scripture. The Lectio Divina will let Gods word permeate your heart and form it according to His divine heart.

Around noon you might want to pray a Rosary or a Chapelet of the Divine Mercy and bring you life and the whole world in front of His throne.

We suggest to pray Vespers or Compline in the evening to join the body of Christ in his official prayer.

Before going to sleep an Evening Examen is the right form of prayer to wrap the day up and teach you over time to be more conscious about God's work on you.


Soon you'll find detailed instructions on every form of prayer in this blog.





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