Earlier this year, I read somewhere that it is possible to train yourself to spend an entire day in prayer. Virtuous as it may be, this piece of information stunned me. How is it possible – between responsibilities, relationships, work, eating, and exercise – to spend an entire day praying?

Of course like most Christians, I try to live my life “walking in faith,” but even that is an ambitious goal to keep up every minute of the day. It seemed almost impossible to me that, short of mourning, one could have something to pray about for 24 hours straight. Action and fellowship is a critical part of living out faith, too. So last week while I was writing down a list of things that I want to be better at, I included “praying” as one of the items. Each night when I am home alone, I make it a point to not crawl under my covers until after I get on my knees and pray. Now I must admit, on many of those nights I had not much more to say than simply, “thank you.” Not that I didn’t have anything else to pray about – my life is far from what most would consider to be difficult. In fact, it is always getting closer to what I had dreamed for it. But on those particular nights, I was so consumed with the trials of the day that my heart and mind were too tired to dedicate any more time to my God in that sleepy moment. But then I would go to bed feeling a world of guilt because I knew that I could do better.Now that the holiday season has come back around, most people are feeling some of their greatest stress of the year. Planning dinner gatherings, spending money on gifts while budgeting for bills, college students completing finals, making New Year’s resolutions – it all gets so demanding! Particularly for me, the past few weeks brought about some really draining moments, on top of the devastating tragedies playing out in the news (may God bless the families and friends who were impacted by the Sandy Hook shooting).

But you know, a strange thing happened to me. In an effort to tackle my list of ‘improving me’, I got to work immediately. I am more than capable of learning how to improve my writing identity, be a sharp money manager, and capitalize on business opportunities. But when it came to praying…I knew just where to go to ask. I prayed for that. And every day this week as I’ve spent time developing myself during the day, at night I find myself praying a little longer…with a little more to pray about. It comes naturally, as though it were a gift. In fact, it is the best gift I’ve received this holiday so far and I am extremely grateful for that!

Wishing you all a wonderful, blessed holiday season and a prosperous New Year!

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”

Matthew 7:7