The St. Paul's Way - Daily Prayer

posted Jul 15, 2016, 1:23 AM by Jack Austin
When the St. Paul's way was launched, I was pleased to be challenged to develop healthy habits. Perhaps the one I've found most fulfilling so far is daily prayer.
Of course I knew perfectly well before that praying brings one closer to God, and that praying more can only be a good thing; but I only knew it in an intellectual sense. The only way I can explain it is that I knew it in my head, and now I know it in my heart.
When I was a child my parents, grandparents, and teachers would say, "Practice makes perfect." This is one of those phrases that really got into my mind, and permeates a lot of my thinking. Something that was clear to me from them saying this was that perfection isn't a default in this life, that we are in a world where things left alone will always get worse (see 2nd law of thermodynamics). What they meant when they told me that practice makes perfect, was that in practising things -in repeating good habits and disciplines- I would in some way be reversing that process and bringing perfection into the world.
As I have grown up I've inevitably found that some practices bring more perfection than others, and that daily prayer is certainly one of them. As I've been developing this habit of praying daily, it's brought my life more and more in tune with God. When I make a point of praying first thing in the morning, I get to see so much more of God in the world around me, and a lot of the time coincidences happen! Praying at lunchtime helps me through the rest of the day with Christ at the centre. Reading through a compline service before bed provides a great opportunity to look back on my day and see where God has been at work, and it is a great space to offer the day's thoughts up to God, and to go to sleep trusting in Him.
I've found that having a day punctuated with prayer in this way really promotes prayer in all situations. I find myself speaking to God in everything I do, and it feels so natural when the habit is developed.
Every time I pray, I invite the perfect one into my life, into this world. It really is a practice that makes perfect.