As Catholics, it can be difficult to find times and ways to pray while working. It can seem like there is always something that you need to be doing. But especially now that many are working from home, there is a new flexibility to keep prayer in mind as we work from the comfort of our own house.
Whether you’re freelancing or temporarily removed from the office, here are seven ways to pray while working from home! And the best part is, you can use all of these when you go back to the office in person!
When COVID-19 lockdowns first began, people were stressed and scared more than usual. My husband, the only Catholic at his company, was asked to begin a prayer group with his co-workers every morning. They started fifteen minutes earlier than the regular work day. This grounded their work and lives in the Lord and each other’s prayers.
It can be uncomfortable to suggest praying with your coworkers, especially virtually. If prayer per se is too bold to pull off, you may consider starting a moment of group support or reflection, open to all faiths. Who knows, you may end up surprised how many Christians or even Catholics you already work with that you didn’t know about!
Though the history of the Angelus is a bit more sparse than many other Catholic prayers, it remains a popular devotion for working Catholics. The Angelus is a brief meditation on the Annunciation traditionally said three times a day: at 6 a.m., 12 noon and 6 p.m. In past times, church bells would toll at those hours to summon the surrounding Catholics to stop work and pray.
If you aren’t already waking up at 6 a.m., it might be tough to begin doing so just for the Angelus. Try setting an alarm for noon to remind you to take a quick break and pray right where you are! If you’re already stopping for lunch, it might be just as easy to pray this beautiful prayer before your midday meal.
While most Catholics say grace before the three main meals of the day, feel free to incorporate it into your snacking routine, too! Saying grace is a great reminder to be grateful for all the food that we are given, and to ask God’s blessing upon it. Whether it’s a mid-morning PopTart or some afternoon veggies, saying grace is a great way to pray while working from home.
Many families like to add their own little personal prayers to grace. Scripture quotes, intercession for those who are less fortunate, and prayers for the poor souls in Purgatory are all popular ones. In this year of St. Joseph (a saint with great advice for working Catholics), my husband and I like to add “St. Joseph, please intercede for all the men of the Church” to the end of our grace.
Not all prayer needs to be vocal or standardized. Internally practicing gratitude or asking for patience with a frustrating problem are ways to cultivate a relationship with Him without stopping everything.
Talking to God throughout your work day is helpful in building a reliance on His grace and support. It also alleviates some of the stress of your job. Keeping an Image of Our Lord taped to one of the three flat screen monitors in your workspace can make it easy to pray while working – all you have to do is glance over and say “Hi” or if you’re a simple soul, maybe you can give Jesus a quick fist bump.
Sometimes it can seem like ancient saints are out of touch with our contemporary work world. Remember, saints are alive in Heaven and want to pray for us as much as we want to be prayed for!
There are numerous patron saints for modern problems and careers. Saints are given patronage for a reason! Learning about the saint of your work can aid in your decisions to pray while working. You can also offer any highs and lows up to the Lord through the hands of the patron.
If you are back in the office, use the time where you’re driving to work to pray or meditate on the upcoming day. And if you’re still working from home, use the time you normally drive to sit quietly in the presence of God to calm your soul and ask for strength for the coming day.
One of the coolest things about Catholic prayers is that there are prayers for just about any length of time. Is your commute normally five minutes long? A chaplet of Divine Mercy or morning offering will work well. Fifteen minutes? Listen to the liturgy of the hours. Twenty? Get that daily Rosary in! Even longer? Mix and match, turn on some worship music, or just talk to God out loud!
The sign of the cross is one of the simplest ways to pray while working, and yet it is deeply profound when made with intentionality. The sign of the cross is a reminder to ourselves that we are marked as Christians. We are protected by the Lord, and are asked to carry our own crosses each and every day. Demons flee from the sign of the cross, and it will strengthen and refocus you on what is most important.
You can make the sign of the cross at any pivotal moment of your workday. Before work begins, before a big meeting, before and after any other prayers, and right after you sign off. Making your work a prayer and bookending it with such a powerful sign is a way to integrate your faith into your professional life. If you haven’t yet, get yourself a bottle of Holy Water and keep it handy in your home. Using it with reverence and humble petition allows God to touch us in ways we may not even see.
One of the most important elements of a holy lifestyle is the ability to orient all aspects to the Lord. Christ should be the vibrant, burning center of a life that revolves around him – work, chores, play, charity, eating, etc.
Hopefully these ways to pray while working, even from home, will help you in giving your entire day to Jesus and keeping the faith alive even while doing your job.
About the Author
Ella Matthews is an actress and writer who graduated with a Communications Media degree from a film school in California. She lives with her husband in Indiana, loves tea and interior design, and wants to be a mom.