Making Room for Prayer

Prayer Space

 The alarm goes off.  Thanks to iOS7, its a nice little tinkling diddy, rousing me from a night’s precious sleep at 5am.  

Yes, you read that right…5 am.  

This is my daily prayer time.  

This past year’s increased discipline for getting healthy has roused a yawning, stretching, awakening holistic form of discipline and a desire to create space for more.  More quiet, more peace, more silence, more God…more prayer.  

So funny, because its taken me almost 4 decades of living in this world to know just how important this is to my existence.  Like oxygen-to-the-soul important.   

I’ve attended two retreats in the past year.  BOTH had to do with the overwhelming importance of prayer.  (sometimes I’m a bit thick…and God has to introduce an idea several times) Though I will write a bit more in the future about the specifics of the retreat content, here was the gist of those 2 retreats:

Making time for daily prayer is as essential to the soul as water is to the body.

Prayer is protection.  It is “soul hydration.”  It is communion.  It is a silent conversation.  More fittingly, it is what one of my retreat leaders called “The Eternal Staring Contest.”  

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Street Name: Mother Teresa, was once asked what she says to God in her daily prayer and she replied, “I don’t talk, I simply listen.”
Believing he understood her meaning, the reporter then asked what God said to her.  She simply replied,  “He doesn’t talk. He simply listens.”

Nail? Meet head. 

But, yet, knowing the importance of this in our own lives, we let daily distractions/schedule get in our way.  We let those things drive our day – not even giving 5 minutes in the silence of our hearts – leaving us unprotected and disconnected and flailing around in a world that knows no such discipline.  

This is true in my own life.  The past year I have struggled to have this time of prayer.  I tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and freaking failed.  My spiritual director at the umpteenth mention of the fact that I desire this set-aside time simply said “You have to fight for prayer time.”  And by fighting for it, the grace did come in that the more I failed, the more I truly desired it.  

In the failure and success, I have seen and do see God in the small things and in the big things.  This time keeps me oriented throughout my day, held fast by His place in my soul, as if He were the compass and I am the needle.   

This newfound beginning-to-my-day came with another inkling to create space just for prayer.  My husband might change that word “inkling” to an Impassioned Weekend In Which I Forced Him To Rearrange All The Furniture on our first floor until the above was achieved.  When it was complete, at once I felt drawn to this space, and suddenly fighting for that time became -at times- fighting the urge to want to lose myself in that space for the remainder of the day.  

Do I do this time perfectly every time?  No. Does every morning hold such promise and joy at 5am?  Ugh, no. 

I believe developing a love for fitness led comfortably to this newfound place of prayer because just as I make time for fitness and as I overcome the worries and cares of how far I can push my body, prayer has given me a place to pursue and seek the weakness in my soul and strengthen it. 

So, my friends, 5am is where my day begins and ends – always pointing me in the right direction.   My small, yet humble advice for you?  Create space for Him today… and let Him quench your soul.

“From the moment a soul has the grace to know God, she must seek.”  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta 


  1. Toni Vaeth says

    Thank you, Joia, for putting into words what goes through my mind every day. I do fight to make time to run at least a mile or two every day – I need to use that same energy to fight to make time to pray in my very busy life. Everyone’s life is busy but we need to work hard for what is precious to us. Thank you for your blog.