Ever felt stuck in prayer, like you have no idea what to talk about? Sometimes it seems like it’d be easier if we could visibly see Him in human form like any of our friends here on earth, chatting with Him over coffee or a meal. And yes, He’s there in the Eucharist, but sometimes feeling stuck in prayer remains.
Here are a few tips, based on St. Ignatius of Loyola’s examen prayer:
Tell Him about your day
One thing friends do is tell them about what’s happening. And not just a list of “and then I went to class, and then I went to work”, but how you’re reacting to it. How did you feel when you got your midterm back? That concert you went to with friends, how was it?
Go through the highlights and the lowlights, the best things of the day and the worst, and give them all to Him. He wants to hear about it.
Some things are burdens, they weigh heavily on you. Tell Him about them. Whether it seems small (“I missed my alarm and now I’m tired”) or massive (“a family member is dying”), nothing is too small or too big for Him. Friends support each other in their grief, and Jesus is the best of friends.
Friends are there in your highest moments, and they rejoice with you. When did you feel the most blessed? What about the times you really saw God working in your life? When did you feel the happiest and most alive?
Where did you feel most tempted, or where do you expect to be in the near future? Ask for His forgiveness and His strength to get through it. And hit up Confession if you need to, extra sacramental grace is always awesome.
Hopes and dreams
“The glory of God is man fully alive,” St. Irenaeus once said. God made you to be fully alive. The desires of your heart and the hopes and dreams He’s placed there, are a clue to His will. Your desires (purified of all selfishness) is what He wants for you. So tell Him about your hopes and dreams and let Him show you how He will fulfill them and use those desires to build up His Kingdom.
Any friendship includes both talking and listening. Sometimes friends just sit in each other’s company without saying anything. Do that with Jesus. Just be with Him. You don’t have to do anything, you just have to be.
Things to Talk to God About: A Starter Guide for Prayer | LifeTeen
How Can I Pray? | Ignatian Spirituality