Here’s how to step up your daily prayer time

Here’s how to step up your daily prayer time

We know that we are called to spend time with the Lord every day. But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, we aren’t always fulfilling that call. If you are having a hard time getting started with a routine prayer life, this is for you! In a recent homily, Fr. Mark outlines the basic tools that you need to get started with a realistic and fulfilling prayer life.


How Long should my prayer time be?

If you’re just starting out with a daily prayer time, 10 minutes is a good place to begin. This is only a starting point, though – after a few weeks you’re going to want to bump that number up. They say that 10 minutes is the amount of time that you give someone that you don’t really want to meet with. We certainly don’t want to give the Lord the same treatment!

20 minutes a day is legit; that can be a longterm reality. That being said, 30 minutes a day is biblical and heavenly. We see this in Revelation chapter 8: “There was silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Revelation 8:1).

Many also see Jesus’ words at the agony in the garden as a challenge to spend an hour in prayer a day: “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40) This is also seen as a call for consecrated souls – for priests and those in consecrated life. Fr. Bob Bedard, the founder of the Companions of the Cross, always urged his priests to spend an hour before the Blessed Sacrament every day.

Whatever you choose, God loves it when we exercise our free will to spend time with Him. Bring it to the Lord and He will guide you to the right time.

When Should I pray?

The most typical time for our daily appointment with the Lord is first thing in the morning. We see Jesus living this out in his prayer life. This comes from the Israelites in the Old Testament wandering through the desert. God would send them mana from heaven to feed them each day, but the mana had to be picked before the sun came out or it would go bad.

While first thing in the morning is the most common, suggested time, every one of us is unique – so we need to find the time that works best for our circumstances. Many people have their prayer time before bed. There were also many Saints and mystics who took their prayer time either before or after daily Mass. Others found it best to pray each day at 3:00 pm, the time of our Lord’s death on the cross.

Again, the Lord gives us the ability to choose whatever time is right for us. The key here is consistency – whatever time you choose, make it the same time and the same length every day.

How Should I pray?

Don’t jam-pack your prayer time with devotions, vocal prayers, and busyness. Your prayer time is supposed to be a time of communing with God. It’s not meant to be an anxious, fast-paced recitation.

The classic structure for this daily appointment with the Lord begins in the Word. Read from your Bible or read the daily Mass readings. Jesus says in the Gospel of John: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Additionally, there should be a time of listening. Many people use a notebook during this time to write down the inspirations or messages that God is giving you.


Ultimately, the person who prays every day is living in the glory and love of God. People living in the love of God are the people who change the world because they know their mission and they know the message that God has given them. The call is simple: be men and women of unremitting prayer.

2 Comments

  1. Joanne Lafleur

    Amen 🙏.
    Truly appreciate all teachings sent via e-mail and YouTube.
    I cannot attend Mass physically but I can attend with YouTube.

    God Bless you all for speaking His Good News and being there and praying for us all parishioners.

    God Bless You All

  2. Sylvie Barrett

    Thank you for this timely encouragement as we enter Lent! God bless you always, dear Fr Mark!

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