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My Daily Prayer Routine




Mariette who blogs over at The Natural Catholic Mom posted her prayer routine awhile ago, and I loved the idea of sharing this. Hearing others' prayer routines always helps give me new ideas, and so I thought I'd share mine with you all as well.

My prayer routine changes based on the season of life that we are in, and what we feel is needed, but I wanted to give you this little rundown of what my usual daily prayer life looks like. This changes during different seasons or if we are doing a particular devotion or novena, but this is the baseline that I generally work from.

Morning

Morning Offering. I try to make my morning offering right when I open my eyes, before I sit up in bed, before I check my phone, before I do anything else. I think this practice helps me start the day off right, and it's especially helpful on nights that I've had a rough time sleeping or bad dreams. It's like a little morning reset that puts God at the front and center of my life. Here is the morning offering prayer I say:

Dear Lord, 

Thank you for this day.

I offer you my every thought, word, action, and deed of today.

Please help me my God, and make me good today.
Amen.


If I have another intention or two, something I particularly want to pray for or am thankful for I'll add that in at the end, but I try to keep it short and simple and not let it ramble because when prayer time gets unnecessarily long, I tend to avoid doing it.

In seasons like Lent or Advent, (or when I'm just in the swing of it) I also try to do the daily bible readings in the morning while I have coffee or breakfast. I use the Laudate app on my phone, but they can also be found on the USCCB website.

[Note: I know some of you prefer the Latin mass calendar, and for many things I do too, but I like to be doing the same daily bible readings as most of the rest of the Catholic world, and I like how these are set up. It works for me.]

Mealtimes

Whenever we have a meal, and sometimes with a snack too, we say grace. I say grace in my head or quietly to myself if I'm alone. Yes we say it in restaurants (did you know there is a special indulgence for doing so?) but we try not to make a big show of things, we just quickly and quietly say our prayer focusing on offering that respect to God. The grace we say is the usual Catholic mealtime prayer, which I have heard many Protestant friends say too. Here is what we say:

Bless us, oh Lord,
and these Thy gifts,
which we are about to receive 
from thy bounty.
Through Christ our Lord,
Amen.

Rosary



We aren't always in the habit of saying a family rosary, we fall into and out of it, but when we stick with it consistently it is easy and enjoyable and really helps. We say family rosary after dinner, and have the children get fully ready for bed first because they often fall asleep while we are praying.

My husband usually leads our rosary, and we sometimes invite the children to lead a prayer or a decade if they would like. Getting into the routine with the children is challenging for the first few days, but then they settle in and really enjoy it and ask us to have rosary time because they look forward to it.

On nights that we are very tired or not up for a full rosary, we try to at least say one decade. We don't always hold actual rosary beads, me especially because I usually have my youngest who likes to grab and bite them. If you want to pray the rosary but don't know how or don't have beads, send me a message and I will help you find resources.

If we don't pray a rosary at night, I sometimes try to join in One Hail Mary At A Time's Instagram live rosary in the morning. This is an awesome ministry, and it is so fun to see all the many prayer intentions from people participating all over the world. Kristin who runs it, is also super inspiring, as she is a full time working Mom of 7 who makes time to lead a rosary every morning.

I also love this sung Gregorian Chant rosary in Latin and often put this on while I am doing other tasks.

Bedtime Prayers

If we've just said a family rosary or even a decade, we add a St Michael's Prayer, Act of Contrition, and Our Father at the end. If we haven't, I try to say at least the St Michael's and Act of Contrition to myself every day before going to sleep. If the children are awake, we will sometimes say a little bedtime prayer asking for good dreams and thanking God for the day.

Sometimes we also say the Guardian Angel Prayer or the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep prayer with them. These things change depending on what fits the night, but for myself, I try always to do those two prayers before sleep: St Michael's Prayer and Act of Contrition.

St Michael's Prayer:
St Michael, Archangel
Defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil
May God rebuke him we humbly pray, 
And do thou Oh Prince of the Heavenly Hosts,
Cast into hell Satan,
And all the evil spirits which prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Act of Contrition:
Oh my God,
I am heartily sorry for having offended thee.
And I detest all my sins,
Because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell,
But most of all because I have offended Thee, my God,
Who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace,
to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
Amen.

Additional Prayers:

If we are saying a family or personal novena we will usually add that in at rosary or bedtime. Occasionally, we will pray a rosary in the car if we are driving home from somewhere at nighttime or if we have a decently long drive and know we may not have the chance to pray one later.

We also incorporate prayer into our daily lives. When I hear sirens I try to pray for those involved. When I drive past a church I try to make the sign of a cross, and when I drive past graveyards I try to remember to pray for the souls of those buried there. We attend mass every Sunday (except when we are ill) and we go to confession.

During special feast days, Lent, and Advent, we add in extra prayers and devotions. Sometimes we will say an extra saint's prayer before dinner, or spend time praying for some special intention in our lives or someone who needs prayers.

We sometimes write down or share prayer intentions and answered prayers, and sometimes we just keep these in the silence of our hearts. I like the idea of gratitude journaling, and have at various times done different forms of this but don't keep it up as a regular practice.

If something particularly big or bad happens, I try to say a few Memorares. Mother Teresa (now St. Teresa of Calcutta) once said that you can say a "flying emergency novena" by praying 9 Memorares in a row, so if there is a big emergency of some kind, I try to do this.

Memorare:
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.

Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.

O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.

Mother Teresa's Flying Emergency Novena:
Say the Memorare 9 times

~~~

So, that is our current, basic, family prayer routine and my personal one. It is not big or fancy, but it is what works for us right now. In the future, I would like to add in more liturgy of the hours type prayers, or at least things like the Angelus at noon.

Do you have family prayer routines that work well? I'd love to hear about them!

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