Time for Prayer

open hands evoking trust

How hard can it be to take 10, 15, 20 minutes a day for dedicated prayer or reflection and contemplation? And yet the commitment to any regular prayer practice can often feel like one more burden to “fit in” to our hectic schedules, one of those “shoulds” that my spiritual director often cautions me against. I often feel like I just have too much to do today and that my mind is just too preoccupied to truly center. Prayer will come easier when I’m less rushed. I have so much important stuff to get done today, I reason.

St. Ignatius warned retreatants that there would be times prayer felt dry and unproductive. His prescription: double our efforts at those times. When I feel like I can’t do 10 minutes of prayer, I need to do 20. I need to get back to the realization that it is only in these times of oneness with God when I can make sense of the preoccupations of my day.

Our prayer time is when we put ourselves at the disposal of God. Ignatius calls for a “great spirit and generosity toward their Creator and Lord,” when we approach our prayer time, “offering all their desires and freedom to him so that his Divine Majesty can make use of their persons and all they possess.” (Spiritual Exercises Annotation #5) It is in offering that short 10, 15, 20 minutes a day that we truly offer the whole of our lives to the will of God.

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Lisa Kelly
Lisa Kelly is a wife, mother, and Ignatian Associate living in Omaha, Nebraska. She works to help organizations integrate spirituality into their planning and systems. She and her husband, Tom, completed the 19th Annotation in 2005, just prior to spending two years living in the Dominican Republic with their three young children, supporting the work of the Jesuit Institute for Latin American Concern. Additionally they have lived in El Salvador and Bolivia for extended periods.


  1. Thank you for this post, recently I have found myself nodding off during my prayer time. When I awaken I find myself distracted by prayers and readings and other things still to do before the day ends. Perhaps there are others like me? One is certain, when I return to my time with Our Lord, calmness returns.
    Having followed your health journey I was happy to see your post. I pray for you and your family. Que Dios te bendiga y te favorezca.

  2. Thank you Lisa. Prayer grounds us in our faith as we spend time with God who loves us totally. I need that time even when I feel I’m too busy for the discipline of putting My relationship with God first helps me to set my priorities. Blessings!

  3. Thank you for your writings.
    So true to make time for prayer. Also brings one great peace and a beautiful way to start ones day.


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