The first step is usually the hardest, especially when it doesn't make the most sense.
When asked what is the first step in changing a bad habit/developing a good habit, growing closer to God, serving the poor, doing anything as a Christian, my response is always the same: "Prayer."
A human body cannot survive without oxygen. A human soul cannot survive let alone prosper without prayer.
God made us for relationship. He made us for Himself. At its very core, prayer is relationship, communication, time with God. Because of this, no moment of prayer is ever wasted because in prayer we are inviting the maker of the universe, the master builder, into our hearts, our lives, our innermost being. God never enters a heart without changing it, even in ways imperceptible, for the better.
St. Teresa of Avila once wrote, “We must have a determined determination to never give up prayer.” As a Carmelite nun, we shouldn't be surprised to hear this from her. However, it might surprise you St. Teresa said this because, when she entered the convent, she was shocked to find nuns going through the motions and placing little interest in prayer.
Even when someone has committed his or her life to prayer (like a monk or nun), prayer is hard because prayer is always a choice. It's so easy to find anything and everything to do except pray. We make excuses: "I'm too busy," "My prayer is my homework/service/friendships/etc," "I don't know how to pray."
Therefore, we must have a determined determination to never give up prayer. Here are some helpful tips:
Fr. Patrick is a Dominican priest and the Campus Minister.