I’m a cradle Catholic. I went to a Catholic preschool, a Catholic grade school (Academy of the Sacred Heart), and now currently attend a Catholic high school (Cor Jesu Academy). #CatholicEducationSinceDiapers My family and I go to mass every Sunday, I go to a Catholic girl’s camp every summer, and I have theology class every other day. I should have a perfect prayer life, right? If only it was that easy.

Discover New Ways to Pray

For a while I was going through the motions. I sat through Mass every Sunday and I had all the right answers in religion class. However, something was missing. I didn’t have a personal relationship with God. Having a prayer life is hard. It took me a while to find a way to pray that worked for me. I tried a lot of methods. Memorized prayer didn’t work for me. I was just mindlessly repeating the same words. It wasn’t personal. Another method I decided to try was a prayer journal, but every time I would sit down ready to write I felt awkward and I didn’t know what to write. Recently I discovered some new ways to pray.

1) Texting God

Question time, don’t worry I’ll keep it easy. Do you have a phone? Do you text your friends on that phone? Well God is your friend so why not text him. I text God. I made him a contact in my phone, gave him a number (1-800-3inone or 1-800-346-663). Of course this is not a real number and God doesn’t text me back. However, when I hit send I feel like it goes somewhere as opposed to a prayer journal that just sits in a notebook on my dresser. I know God hears me anyway.

2) Adoration on Live Stream

Some other ways I like to pray are to just sit in silence. Just be with God. This is why I really like Adoration. Sitting with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is amazing, but life can get really busy. It’s hard to find time to go to an adoration chapel. I found this amazing website called Savior.org. It’s mission is to increase awareness and devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist. That is why they live stream Adoration! I have it book marked on my laptop. Sometimes during a study or afterschool, I feel overwhelmed and I want a moment to be alone with God. I pull this website up on my laptop and turn on some music or just sit so I can refresh and get on with my work. This by no means beats sitting with Jesus in real adoration, but it’s better than nothing when you can’t make it to an adoration chapel.

3) Painting a Prayer

I’m also really into art. I like to draw and paint. I can even make it a prayer. If I’m ever feeling down, I just sit down and draw or paint, and give it to God and I always feel better when I’m done. I’m not saying you have to pick up a paint brush if you aren’t into that. You can make anything you do a prayer. Just offer it to God and let him do the rest.

4) Don’t Know How to Pray? Admit it.

You may be saying to yourself, “All this stuff sounds great, but I don’t even know how to pray.” This is an excuse we all buy into at one point or another, but one of my favorite quotes proves this wrong. “You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God and once you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray’ rest assured you have begun to do so.” – St. Josemaria Escrivá the founder of Opus Dei

A Prayer Challenge

I would like to propose a challenge to you. Find a new way to pray. Whether you feel like your prayer life couldn’t get any better, you feel like it couldn’t get any worse, or you are someplace in between, find a new way to pray. It could be something that worked for me, something that didn’t work for me, or something that you come up with on your own. Remember, everyone prays differently, and no excuses.

Written by Madeline Hammell
Madeline is a freshman at Cor Jesu Academy, and oldest of five siblings. She is a member of the REAP Team. She loves to read, listen to music, and draw. She runs Cross Country, but not because she likes to run. She just wants to justify her excessive pizza and cookie eating. You can usually find her at school, driving to or from school, or someplace sleeping.