“The evil spirits, cunning thieves that they are, can take us by surprise and rob us of all we possess. They are watching day and night for the right moment. They roam incessantly seeking to devour us and to snatch from us in one brief moment of sin all the grace and merit we have taken years to acquire. Their malice and their experiences, their cunning and their numbers ought to make us ever fearful of such a misfortune happening to us.” ~ St. Louis Marie de Montfort
Our Lord often repeated to His followers the admonition: “Watch and pray.” Even at the end of his earthly life, Jesus said to the Apostles: “Pray, lest ye enter into temptation;” as He went through the Agony in the Garden for our sins. (Luke 22: 40) To His sorrow, they did not. On this, St. Louis Marie wrote: “The flesh is weak, temptation is everywhere and always around you. If you do not keep up your prayers, you will fail.” For this reason, those lured by sexual sins, including homosexuality, must always be on guard; primarily because our offenses are of such an outward nature that they have been repeatedly and openly observed by the demons who may have been attached to us. What I find most helpful is keeping open a constant dialogue throughout the day with the Lord: telling Him about every thought that goes through my head; asking for help; and continually thanking Him when I sense His Grace. This practice has a tremendous effect upon the penitent: as you never feel alone or that you are fighting your battles as a solitary soldier. But, this ease of conversing with Christ comes only after years of practice; usually including a set of regularly recited vocal prayers such as The Our Father, The Hail Mary, and The Rosary. Yet, even when we speak openly and freely with Christ, we must still maintain a strict adherence to devotions as they ground us in time-tested traditions and self-disciplined practices. Blessed Mother Teresa herself spent at least an hour every day in Eucharistic Adoration, and required her Sisters to do the same. She knew that prayers made the work, which brought her so much unwanted fame and notoriety, possible. For, these prayers are the armor at which is required to withstand the onslaught of the devil.
A few prayer tips from a battle weary prayer warrior:
Never get complacent.
Keep humble; don’t think that you are above failure.
Don’t skip prayers if you are too tired, or hungry, or restless.
Start the day with a morning prayer and a dedication to God; and end the day with the Act of Contrition and a prayer of thanksgiving.
When vocal prayers such as the Rosary become tiresome and tedious, don’t give up on them; keep praying.
Talk to Jesus throughout the day; share your thoughts, struggles, and pains with Him; nothing is too small or insignificant in His eyes: so if you are troubled – ask for His help.
Also, make it appoint to ask for the prayers of Our Lady and St. Joseph at least once during the day.
Another practice I have found helpful is the Three Hail Marys Devotion.
In the morning pray three Hail Marys in honor of the Trinity followed by “O My Mother, preserve me from mortal sin this day.” In the evening pray pray three Hail Marys again followed by “O My Mother, preserve me from mortal sin this night.”
I like that devotion, also, Anonymous.
I think I will try to do that, along with the suggestions that Joseph describes in this post.
Thank your for this great piece on praying. Calling out to our Lord has often been my only source of consolation. I also found great solace in seeing, touching and using religious objects (rosaries, statues, books, images). If you surround yourself with such objects, you instill a sort of instinctive devotion and piety in to your daily life. Waking up and instantly seeing a bible or a saint, or carrying such objects around serves as a powerful reminder what life is all about.
I have benefitted from Eucharist Adoration.