August and September are very busy months for my family! In just a few short days I will have seven children head back to school ranging from 21 to 5 years old. I know that this is a time that is full of plotting, planning, and anticipating what this year will look like, and yet, this is the perfect opportunity to “reset” our prayer life and make sure we are plugged into our faith. 

Back to the basics will include getting college kids to college and the rest of the family back on a school schedule. The basics include packing lunches, no more sleeping in, and returning to the routines that guide our life during the year. 

In our book, Pray Fully: Simple Steps for Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Michele Faehnle and I write about the importance of deepening and developing a personal prayer life. This prayer life is where our friendship with Christ begins and extends to every aspect of our life. 

Now a prayer life of a priest, like my brother, or a religious will be different than a mother, father, or even a single person, regardless, the truth is that prayer is an essential aspect of our day, and we must carve out times so that we can experience the Lord and come to know His ways.

Here are Five Helpful Suggestions that have allowed me to grow close to Jesus:

  1. Plug into the Sacraments!

    When is the last time you went to confession? Now be honest, was it connected to a fish fry or even preparing for Christmas? NOW is the perfect time to hit the spiritual reset button and schedule (yes, schedule) a trip to Church to go to confession. This is where we not only seek Christ’s forgiveness for our sins but we are set free from the bondage of sin! This is where we take an internal look at our current state in light of our relationship with Christ. Don’t just go “infrequently”, rather make this part of your own rhythm of life. 

  2. Personal Prayer Time:

    Mornings matter; don’t let the day slip past you. Open your Bible and connect to the daily readings, come to know the ways of the Lord… Make sure that you carve out time to pray each day. 

  3. Have a Heart-to-Heart with Jesus-

    No matter how busy you are seek to hear his heartbeat in your life. Come to know the voice of the Lord by having a relationship with him.  

  4. Sunday is the day we reset our life and refocus on the Lord.

    Mass is the perfect fulfillment of the Commandment to honor the Lord’s Day. Do not fight the Lord’s gift of personal rest and renewal, and make this the best day of the week! With that in mind, make going to Mass as a family a priority.

  5. Jesus tells us what to think about, how to direct our thought.

When we take time out to work on our thoughts we are able to better focus on the Lord.  An easy way to do this is to begin the day focusing on Philippians 4:8. 

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there in any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things… 

To learn more, visit where Emily has free Bible Studies and materials for her books including more about Pray Fully: Simple Steps for Becoming a Woman (or man of course ).