Dear Novena, please help my awkward prayer life
March 30, 2018
Prayer is always something I have struggled with. I find it difficult to know what to say to God. Everyone says to speak from your heart. God understands your words no matter what. All of that is true, but I’ve never found it helpful in my prayer life. I’m hesitant to approach God because of my unworthiness and smallness. He already gave his Son’s life for me. What more could I ask for?! Despite this, I know he is calling me to communion with him.
One thing I find so helpful is the set prayers of the Catholic Church. These help me as I discover my own voice. They give me ideas of how I can more personally approach God. For now, though, they speak to my heart and give me confidence to speak to God through other people’s words.
Today is Good Friday. On this day the Church starts a Novena called the Divine Mercy Novena. This Novena is said in preparation for Divine Mercy Sunday, which is celebrated the Sunday after Easter. I have never done a Novena before, but this is the perfect opportunity to start!
At Catholic.org they define a Novena as “nine days’ private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces.” Nine days of prayer is SUPER intimidating to me, considering I struggle to do a nightly prayer, but the way a Novena provides structure gives me way more confidence.
I downloaded an app on my iPhone called Pray: The Catholic Novena App. It has suggested Novena’s, which are the ones that the whole Church is participating in at the time. You click on the Novena and you can schedule a time in your calendar to do it. I have mine set for every night at 9pm because this is the only for sure time Cooper will be asleep! Do what works for you. Consistency helps build habits.
One of the worlds favorite quotes on prayer is by C.S. Lewis “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.’’
WE need prayer. It helps unite us more firmly to God’s will. Start where you are. Start with a simple glance to heaven asking God to change your heart and show you the way. Then watch closely for the special graces he provides.
Have any of you ever done a Novena? What was your experience with it?
To learn more about Novena’s check out this website: https://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=36553