January 14, 2024
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 65

1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
Psalms 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
John 1:35-42

Praying Ordinary Time

The first reading 1 Samuel 3: 3b-10, 19; provides a beautifully written reminder on the importance of finding a time during the day or night to be intentionally with God. Samuel says it so well “Speak, for your servant is listening”.  Eli assisted Samuel in recognizing God’s call, then “Samuel grew up, and the LORD was with him”. The Gospel reading John 1:35-42 reminds me of the many mentors in life who often show us the way. Especially how to spend more time with God and to follow God.

Spending time in prayer with God has made a significant difference in my life. The times I have carved away for prayer, to be quiet and listen have provided an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God. My choices, my friends, where I have worked, who I married, where I sent my children to school, what I do for entertainment, how I worship; basically all that I do has been impacted because of my prayer time with God.  The more time in prayer the more time I yearn. I have found these practices so valuable in my ability to hear/recognize God’s voice and feel God’s presence. 

While I was raising my children I found many different ways to spend time with God.  Often ‘multi-tasking’ i.e. getting ready for work in the morning and taking a few moments to pray; getting up an hour earlier in the morning and quietly praying until it was time to get the kids to school; on my way to work the radio was intentionally off and prayer conversations with God would occur. I chose to attend perpetual adoration at 12 midnight on Saturday nights. I was often exhausted but found the quiet time in the chapel a welcome end to the chaotic week. It was challenging and I did miss a few times but the 1 hour a week of quiet time was wonderful. A women’s prayer group once a month was lovely. Overall, I found the more time I spent quietly praying the more I wanted to…I devoted a special place in my home for prayer. My prayer space continues to be a place of refuge.

In this short narrative I have tried to describe over 40 years of time in which prayer time, place and space were different based on what I was facing in life. Most of these practices were role modeled by women and men who I call mentors in my prayer journey. I have found all of these practices so valuable in my ability to hear God’s voice and feel God’s presence. As I begin 2024 I am finding new ways for my daily prayer practices and am confident these practices will continue to deepen my relationship with God.

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