Who remembers prayer time at bedtime? I do. I also remember occasionally praying before meals - usually because we were in the presence of people we thought we should pray in front of or people who usually prayed before a meal. I remember praying at church and I remember praying before meals when I went to camp.
How much of your daily time do you spend in prayer? Let's run through some "basics" and how long it takes to say them.
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep and if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen." ~ 9 seconds (this was the start of my bedtime prayers as a child)
"Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. May angels watch me through the night and wake me in the morning light. Amen." ~ 10 seconds
"In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord. Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen." ~ 20 seconds
"God is great. God is good. Let us thank Him for our food. Amen." ~ 5 seconds
Okay - so since this is a Catholic blog we'll go with the Catholic option for meal time and the longest "standard" bedtime prayer you can get away with in public.
One at each meal and bedtime = 1 minute, 10 seconds
1/1440th of your day in prayer.
I will freely admit that fitting in prayer is hard, especially when you aren't used to it or fell out of the habit. I will also share that there have been days that the only addition to the above prayers has been "Lord, help me get through this!!!!" and that's okay too.
But outside of chaos and especially IN chaos, we need to be in prayer. The word "prayer" occurs over 100 times in the Bible, the word "pray" another 100+ - so one could easily surmise it should be something we take seriously. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to "pray without ceasing".
Now, I'm a HUGE fan of the Rosary and that's what prompted this post. I have family coming in 2 days to my home who are not Catholic and I was discussing with some other Catholic ladies how to approach our "Family Rosary" with them here and I began to muse on the amount of time it takes to pray a Rosary vs. the amount of time in a day.
For the record, it is 1/72nd of your day. That's it. Just 1/72 - less than 1 minute per hour of the day when it's all crunched out.
Is that really too much to ask? I 1/72 of time for the Lord and His Blessed Mother too much of your time? Can you think of a better investment for your soul you could make with 1/72 of your day?