The following is an example of the prayer life of an older, retired woman. My intention with presenting these examples of prayer is to present real portraits of what people’s prayer life is like. Some of the things may resonate with you, some may not.
When: I do 30 minutes of meditation in the morning. On those rare days when I can make time, I do another 20 minutes in the afternoon.
Where: I try to do my meditation before the Blessed Sacrament although I have an ideal prayer room in my house. I just want to be in His Real Presence. Unfortunately, churches are usually not quite enough for prayer so I have a recording of white sound on my iPod. I plug in and the world goes away. It also serves as my timer.
What: I need very little to feed my period of prayer, a few words from the Liturgy of the Hours or the Mass are usually enough. Yesterday I took a few words from this week’s second Communion Antiphon: “I stand at the door”. That is it. That phrase just stirs my heart to love, to adore, to long after the Lord. When distractions come, I just return to the phrase, repeating it in my heart. Today I used a phrase from Ant. 2 of Morning Prayer: “I long to see my Lord”.
After about 20 minutes my attentiveness usually begins to fade, distractions become more of a problem and I have to feed myself with other phrases. Today for example I started turning to “Lord this is the people that longs to see Your face” and “You are my God, for You I long”.
I wonder if, since I begin to fade after 20 minutes, I should just stop then, and resolve to do 20 minutes in the afternoon. That to me is the ideal, twice a day. However I know that evenings tend to be very unpredictable and I fear I will miss the second prayer time and not be faithful to my schedule of 30 minutes of meditation a day.
I’m going through a moderate period of prayer right now. About a year ago my prayer became so intense that I never needed anything to sustain a deep sense of God’s presence and I could remain in prayer 30 minutes twice a day easily. Sometime I can hardly think of God for five minutes. Right now things are neither intense nor terrible.
Ending: I recollect myself in silence and then end with the prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart. Since I am usually doing this before Mass starts, I just remain in silence until the Mass begins.
And that is it, only one page.