I even considered sleeping in and not going to Mass at 7. Depression is that way. However, God had other plans. Pixie needed to go outside, and I had to get up, go downstairs and open the door for her. So, I was up. When she came upstairs, she demanded her breakfast. After looking around the kitchen, I found her “cup.” That finished the process of waking up.
I showered. Threw on some mismatched clothes. (I’m at that age where I can do that now!) I drove to Mass, and I sat in the back for fear of crying. That’s fine. I have found i can focus more on the Mass when I sit in the back. I pulled my veil over my face, and I listened as the Mass began.
At best, I can say, prayer was difficult.
I came home, and the tears began. I wanted to pray, but I knew I would have to distract myself.
I offered this up to God.
It it was His Will, I knew I had to bear this for Him.
I lay down for a nap. I felt like my head had just rested on the arm of the couch when my phone went off.
God had other plans.
I put dinner in the crockpot, and, this time, I did remember to plug in the crockpot. I looked at my calendar. I paid some bills. Everything I did was on auto control. I couldn’t think. It was just that kind of day.
I took Pixie for a walk. She was tired, and we came home shortly.
I ate lunch. I tried to say my Rosary.
Prayer was not coming easily.
I doubt that it will today, but that’s just what it is.
I offered that up, and moved on in my day.
Now, I have to think. What do you do when prayer is blocked or non-existent?
There are many reasons why a person would have difficulty in prayer.
Mother Theresa suffered an ongoing dark night of the soul while she lived.
Spiritual dryness is another reason for difficulty.
Pain can make prayer almost impossible.
Depression is another reason.
When we feel we cannot pray, that is the time when we
MOST NEED TO PRAY!
So what do you do?
I’ve developed a few strategies that might help.
1) If you have a regular prayer time set up, a date with the Lord, it is IMPORTANT that you keep this date no matter how you feel. This is when you need God the most, even if all you do is sit in the presence of God, and let Him love you in the silence and stillness.
2) If you have no words, use rote prayer such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be. Let the Holy Spirit guide you as you pray. Recite each prayer slowly. Think about the words and what they mean. This is when you need to return to your spiritual childhood in prayer. These words will help.
3) Use your Bible. Find the passages that you love the best. Ask God to show you what it is He wants you to learn or hear. His Sacred Word is precious. You are precious in His sight.
4) Even if you don’t feel like praying, BEGIN. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and comfort you. When the distractions come, and they will, stop. Breathe. Return to your prayer. God will be with you as you pray.
5) If you cannot find your prayer voice through your voice, write your prayer thought in your prayer journal. God can see and hear what we write, too. Tell Him how you feel. Ask Him what He wants you to do. Feel blessed that he sees You and hears You, and most of all,
6) If all else fails, simply sit or kneel and offer your sufferings to God. He will accept your prayer of offering with love and joy.
7) As soon as you can, Rejoice in the Lord!
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Philippians 4: 4-8