Persevering in Prayer

Boots One of the hardest things to do in the interior life is to persevere: to keep going, to keep praying every day, especially when, for some reason, we miss a day.  It’s only natural.  If you’re learning to play an instrument, and you don’t practice, you don’t want to face your instructor; and if you continue not to practice, you’ll soon not be taking lessons.

But the fact is, you’re sometimes going to miss a day.  Sometimes you’ll just not feel like it, and you’ll go with that; other times you’ll honestly forget; other times something will come up that fills up the time you had available.

This morning, for example.  I was a little under the weather yesterday, and so I really needed my sleep; and I woke up about 4 AM, and when that happens I usually have trouble getting back to sleep.  Now, my alarm goes off at 5:45, so that I have time to pray Morning Prayer; and then I wake up the rest of the family at 6:15.

This morning, I not only got back to sleep, but I woke up at 6:15.  The alarm was going, but it’s a clock radio, and the volume had been turned down all the way.  I hadn’t heard it.  Instead, I woke up at the last possible minute I could get up without inconveniencing my family, having gotten the maximum possible amount of sleep.

Me, I call this a blessing.

But it meant that I didn’t have time to pray this morning.  This happens, and in this case it’s not that I forgot, or that I chose not to.  Sometimes it is.

The important thing, regardless of why you miss a prayer time, is to let it go.  Forget it.  Don’t let it make you feel guilty.  It happened; it’s past.  Instead, be sure to pray next time.  When you think of God, remember that He’s calling you, and respond.  The interior life is beginning, and beginning again.

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