Well, we are halfway through the Lenten season and, as one would with a big project, a check-in is a good idea. How is your Lent going? Did you give up something? Or, instead, did you decide to change something for the forty days? Perhaps, like me, you are trying to pray more. While I am not giving something up, such as candy or soda, I’m instead giving time to God. I am making an effort to think about something else for just a moment and pray.
However, this is not going as well as I would like it to. They say it takes 21 days to break and habit and praying is not a habit I have. Therefore, it would theoretically take 21 days to get into the habit of praying.
I’ve recently been trying to strengthen my faith life and one way to do this is through prayer. But, since my praying has not been as successful as I would like it to be, I will not be dropping it after Lent. I won’t throw in the towel on Monday, April 17th with a “well, that didn’t work. Better luck next year!” because that’s not how prayer works. As we're reminded in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Perhaps you did give up something for Lent, but it’s not going very well. Try praying instead of giving in. As Bryan said, there’s an uncomfortable feeling that comes with fasting. Any time you have to change up your normal flow of things, it can throw a wrench in the system. When you feel tempted, pray. Ask God to help you get past your temptation. And then thank him, because you have the “freedom to be wholly yourself without this and, at the same time, acknowledge the gift of its existence in the world” (“Christ”).
Don’t forget to not be too hard on yourself, you are only human. If you fall off track, it’s not too late to get back up.
“Christ Our Life.” 8 Ways to Pray During Lent. Loyola Press. Accessed 23 Mar. 2017. www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/lent/articles/8-ways-to-pray-during-lent