"the lay faithful 'live in the world, that is, in every one of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very fabric of their existence is woven'. They are persons who live an ordinary life in the world: they study, they work, they form relationships as friends, professionals, members of society, cultures, etc" (Christifideles Laici, 15)Given this particular calling of we the laity it is apparent that we are not called to a monastic existence, but we are still called to holiness and indeed to constant prayer. Which leaves us to ask, how can we do this? How, practically, can we live a more prayerful life?
One way is to adopt a Prayer Plan, something I have done with the New Year and have found to be immensely helpful. Instead of merely praying when the Spirit moves me (although I certainly pray then too), I make sure I pray certain prayers throughout the day. This keeps me coming back to God, makes me pray in a variety of ways, and helps me to actualize St. Paul's teaching.
Here is what I try to do each day.
After Waking Up.
Three Hail Marys for purity.
Prayer to Saint Joseph for aid at work (Mon-Fri)
Bless myself with Holy Water.
Read a chapter from the Bible.
Pray the Saint Michael Prayer, Angel of God, and to St. Thomas Aquinas with kids before school (Mon-Fri)
Five Minutes of Mental Prayer.
Pray the Rosary (Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri) or the Divine Mercy Chaplet (Sat, Sun, Wed)
Pray grace (before dinner)
Pray with my children before bed (bless them with Holy Water)
Pray with my wife.
Spiritual Reading (right now I'm reading Furrow by St. Josemaria Escriva)
Three more Hail Marys for purity.
Examination of Conscience (I use the Seven Deadly Sins)
Bless myself with Holy Water
It's not a ton of prayer, but it keeps me coming back to Christ throughout the day. I also try to remember to offer up certain tasks at work to the Lord.
Your Prayer Plan might look very different. It might include other prayers, might follow the liturgy of the hours, might include daily Mass, might be longer or shorter, but I strongly recommend setting out some basic prayers to say at various times throughout your day to keep you ever in mind that our true home is not in this valle lacrimarum, but with Christ.
One last tip, don't start with too much. If you don't pray daily, just start with a short prayer in the morning and before bed and slowly work your way up to a fuller daily prayer routine.
What does your daily prayer plan look like?