Marriage & Family Life: Lent is a time for renewal

by Diocese of Des Moines | February 21, 2018

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Bedtime prayers are always a bit chaotic in the Storey home.

With three kids, ages six to one, each night we go through a routine of asking the kids to put down toys, to quit touching each other, and we try to get our youngest to end her litany of intentions before she starts listing everything she ate that day (to be fair, she’s just happy we’re listening to her).

In the moment, bedtime prayers can be maddening. And yet, as I reflect on those moments, I am deeply proud of my kids. I bet that our heavenly Father is proud to see all of his children attempting, even imperfectly, to pray.

I bring this up because if I’m honest with myself, my morning prayer routine, when I’m by myself and totally free, is a pretty similar experience.

I try (again imperfectly) to give the Lord time every morning before I head off to work. And when I think about that time, I’m still constantly fighting distractions, sometimes I struggle to stay awake, and occasionally my petitions become just as incoherent as my daughter’s.

Certainly, there is always an opportunity to do better. But it’s also true that the desire to pray is a powerful prayer.

I do think that God looks at us with a deep sense of pride in the midst of our imperfect prayer, just as I am proud of my kids for their feeble attempts. What is most important is our commitment to keep trying.

Lent is a time of renewal. This season I’d like to invite all of us, and our families, to again renew our efforts at prayer.

Prayer is where we enter into intimacy with the Lord, which is what all of us have been made for, and it is only in that intimacy that our hearts will be content.

While we can all ask for the grace to pray more perfectly, it’s just as important that we pray badly, when it’s not easy and not fun! We can all take comfort in knowing that God’s grace is active even when we don’t see it, just like my love for my kids isn’t restricted to when they are doing things well.

So in this season please do join me in a greater commitment to meet the Lord in prayer!

Adam Storey is the diocesan director of Marriage & Family Life. He can be reached at 515-237-5056 or astorey@dmdiocese.org.

Diocese of Des Moines

The Diocese of Des Moines, created in 1911, serves people over a 12,446 square mile area in the southwestern quadrant of Iowa, including 23 counties.