The first time I attended the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours (4:00 a.m.) at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Trappist), Conyers, Georgia, I noticed that the monks were deliberate with their prayers and said them slowly. While trying to stay awake at that hour and concentrating on praying, their purposefulness was evident. Slowing down the prayers has the effect of moving deeper into prayer. The monks also paused at appropriate times for what seemed like two or three seconds between stanzas of the Liturgy of the Hours.

Slowing down my praying the Rosary, reciting prayers that put me in the presence of God, and even Lectio Divina has become more meaningful as I slowly take charge of my prayers. How do I do that? I find that by letting go of my urge just to recite the prayers for the sake of saying them, leads me to the next level of spiritual awareness, pray the Word. At first, it sounds strange when I purposefully slow down saying prayers. Now, I look forward to deliberately praying slowly. Try it.

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