There’s no doubt that the pace of our culture continues to get busier and faster. Our days are more cramped with appointments, commitments, and to-do lists. I watch as my own family and families around me seem to leave home earlier in the morning and return later in the evening as we attempt to make more time to accomplish all that we need to do.
How can daily prayer time find its place within this reality?
We each have within us a gift to help: an inner chapel, a space within us where God resides. This means that at any point in our day we have a sacred space where we can pause for prayer. If we apply St. Ignatius’s wisdom of preparing the night before for the next day’s prayer, we can intentionally come to this space within the busyness of our lives—even when we are on the go.
Taking with us our desire to grow in our relationship with God and the gift of our inner chapel, our time for prayer can occur in the moments of pause, travel, and waiting that are part of our weekly schedules. Let me give you a few examples.
There was a season of my life when there was a gap of about 30 minutes between my youngest child’s carpool line and my other children’s carpool line. I found myself having 20–30 minutes of waiting and stillness as my youngest fell asleep during the commute and wait for my older two. I realized there was built-in daily prayer time. I began to prepare for this prayer time by keeping in my car my journal, a Bible, and other prayer materials. Each day, I would turn the radio off and go to my inner chapel in that carpool line with my youngest napping in her car seat.
I’ve also watched my spiritual directees incorporate prayer into their daily, on-the-go lives.
- A mother of three found her time to go to her inner chapel as she waited during her preschool daughter’s dance class. She brought her journal with her, and this time became a sacred time of reviewing her week of prayer.
- A father of a middle-school-aged son used his son’s multiple baseball practices each week as a time to pray the Examen using the Reimagining the Examen app as a guide.
- A working professional used her time driving to work to listen to a daily reflection on the Gospel using the Pray as You Go app.
- A school teacher would begin her break by going to her inner chapel and reading the daily Scripture reflection via Sacred Space.
These are just a handful of examples of how I witness people tap into sacred space and the gift of the chapel that moves with us even when life is busy.
What about you? How have you learned to incorporate prayer into your life on-the-go?