How to increase faith
There is an old maxim in the Church: Lex Orandi Lex Credendi (Law of prayer is the Law of belief). This is often used in the liturgy to say that the way we pray the liturgy will have an effect on how we live and believe. This is certainly true. Ever wonder why Mass seems like Catholic aerobics, will it has to do with the fact that every posture, every move, every choreography of the Mass has a meaning and purpose. This will be a whole different blog post someday.
Today, I want to explore the Lex Orandi Lex Credendi in our everyday life outside of the liturgy. Starting with how do we pray every day? Do we do what my son likes to try to do some days and pray our before meal grace as quickly as we can as we walk with our food from the kitchen to the table? If we do I would posit that we most likely start to see faith and prayer as an obstacle to living our lives. We will start to develop the habit of seeing faith as something that interferes with our lives, but something we just have to do. Our relationship and faith life with God will be short, intermittent, and easily interrupted. (now this is a generalization, though I think would prove over time to be fairly accurate) What happens if we wake up each day and take the first of our day to offer to God, to take time and give our attention through our posture, through our space to God. We will start to understand that God is first in our lives and that all other things follow. This can and will have a huge impact on our faith.
Let’s take this even further. What if we were to take time each day to find a quiet spot and pray multiple times throughout the day. What we are then doing is training or bodies to realize God is an important part of our day. We are also building relationship with God.
Taking this even further, what if we said a short prayer before we greeted each person we saw each day. “Lord, remind me this is your child.” What if our words and actions towards others became a prayer to offer to the Lord. So that we saw each movement we made as a way to pray and to offer goodness to the Lord. This would mold our relationships, our conversations, our lives. If we can get to this point we will evangelize through our actions and deeds, and people will seek our story. It will be in telling our story that we will help others to increase their faith.
These are broad strokes. For practical steps, start with the environment in which you pray. Increase the frequency and importance of times you pray, introduce prayer into the mundane parts of your life. In all things build relationship with God. In doing such God will increase faith within you.
A quick how to pray: Start with memorized prayers, these are great icebreakers. Give God the praises he is due, as Creator, as Lord, as King. Give to Him your concerns, your worries, your desires. Silence your life, your heart your thoughts and listen, read the scriptures, listen with new ears to everything spoken to you this day. Remember that pray is communication with God, and it is about increasing an intimate relationship with Him.