When is enough enough?

When it comes to prayer, this can be a difficult question to answer. In fact, feeling like it’s an impossible challenge can actually discourage us from praying because we feel like the prayer life we want/Jesus deserves is such a lofty & impossible goal to reach, that it’s just not worth even taking those first few steps towards a finish line that we’ll never possibly reach anyways. But a life like that will never satisfy, so bust out your best motivational anthem, and start putting one foot in front of the other!

The standards seem to be set pretty high. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 St. Paul asks us to “Pray without ceasing.” Maybe St. Paul had time to do that but he clearly didn’t have homework or soccer practice or chores or friends or a snap streak to keep up…right? There’s no question that life in our current world is busy. There are endless options for ways to occupy your time. It’s simply not possible to do everything…which means we often find ourselves not doing anything. Overwhelmed with options, we default to a passive position in our world where we simply meet only what is most demanding of our attention at that moment. When we lose our intentionality, we lose our opportunity to pray.

St. Francis de Sales is often credited with the quote,  “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer every day, except when we are busy—then we need an hour.” How does that make sense that the busier we are, the more time we should take to step away and pray? It’s because Jesus is bigger than math. Read the scriptures and we’ll see that Jesus continuously defies math. How did 2 fish and 5 loaves feed thousands? (Matthew 14:17) How is the Trinity 3 persons but 1 God? (John 14) How do 2 people become 1 flesh in marriage? (Mark 10:8) If Jesus can heal the blind and raise the dead, doesn’t it also make sense that he can bless your time and help all things to work for His Glory in your life? Sometimes it seems that Jesus defies logic, but what we have to see with faith, is that the logic of God is above our limited humanity. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8) To commit to prayer means that we entrust God to be the Lord of our time, even down to the minutes and seconds of our days.

Too often, when I ask someone how their prayer life is going, they tell me things in terms of tasks or time. “I read scripture every day.” “I haven’t missed Sunday mass in months.” “I pray every night before bed.” While these things are good, they miss the heart of prayer. Instead of asking ourselves if we’re praying enough, what if we periodically asked ourselves (and each other) things like…

  • “What has the Lord been talking to me about lately?”
  • “What is Jesus asking me to do?/What am I asking Jesus to do?”
  • “What is God working on/healing/blessing in my life?”

These are the questions that will help us move beyond the guilt of feeling like we don’t pray enough, and helping us to see prayer as the oxygen to our souls.

How do you know if you’re praying enough? My personal answer is simple, when you begin to crave prayer. If you’re able to go to prayer in the chapel, in your day, in your heart and when you have to leave or move on to something else, you have a desire to stay, you’re praying enough. If your heart is able to enjoy those moments of contentment and peace and desires more of them, you’re praying enough. If you go to prayer and have to force yourself to stay, that’s not necessarily bad, it just means you need more. So continue to will yourself to stay in prayer. Soon, you’ll find your appetite for it growing. Not hungering for prayer is a sign that you’re not praying enough. Keep fighting the good fight and carving time for Jesus in your days. Any moment with Jesus is a moment well spent.

St. Timothy Adoration Chapel Code: 7822

Know that you’re being prayed for always.

For the Lord,


How can I tell if God is speaking to me?

You’ve been praying. You’ve been living a Christian life. But your youth minister keeps asking you to listen to what God is saying to you and you think she might be a little crazy. I mean, do real people actually HEAR God talk to them?


Yes! And you can too.

I think most of us believe, ‘He’s not talking to me. He talked to Moses, and Jeremiah, and Isaiah, and a few other old dudes with white beards. I’m just one of 7.5 billion humans alive today. You have to be super holy to hear God and that’s not me.’

But in my experience, it’s the opposite. God actually speaks so often to us, that we just don’t realize it’s Him speaking because it’s so familiar. I’ve not personally heard an audible voice in my prayer, but rather, God “speaks” directly to our hearts. It might be an idea, a thought or a specific word that pops into mind. Here are a few things I’ve learned about distinguishing the voice of God…

  • God speaks individually to each of us because he knows us so intimately and individually. I can tell you what God’s voice sounds like to me, but you’re not me, so God’s voice probably won’t sound exactly the same to you. God knows YOU. From all of humanity, there has never been, nor will there ever be, a person exactly like you. God does not lose you in the crowd of people. He created you as an individual, and he continues to know you as that. He’s been speaking to you since you were created in your mothers womb so His voice should actually be the most familiar thing in the world to your heart, though it may take some time and effort to be able to recognize and name that voice as Him. “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13
  • God’s voice is comforting and brings peace. Have you ever had just a really terrible, no good, very bad day? The kind of day when all you craved was to hear your mom, or your best friend, or someone that you know loves you sincerely answer your call or be home to greet you when you opened the door. That’s what God’s voice sounds like, the way that feels. There is power in God’s voice and even if that’s hard to name and the fruit of it in our lives reassures us that we are loved. Even if God is working to correct you or discipline you, there is still an aspect of love that helps us to know that he want’s what is best for us. If there is no love or peace, it’s not God’s voice. “The discipline of the LORD, my son, disdain not; spurn not his reproof; For whom the LORD loves he reproves, and he chastises the son he favors.” Proverbs 3:11
  • There is always fruit when God speaks. When we pray, there are three main options from where ideas, thoughts, or words come from: God, ourselves, or Satan. The voice of evil is typically easy to pick out. It insults us. It makes us feel worse. It rubs our noses in our past mistakes and defeats our future selves before we’ve even had a chance to try. The harder voices to distinguish our usually our own vs. God’s. A good way to recognize the difference is to look for the fruit. What will come about as a result of this idea, thought, or word? Will it bring goodness to myself and others, especially in the big picture of life? Then it’s likely God. Does it only satisfy me and feel superficial in this quick moment? Then it’s likely you. When God speaks, it’s like eating a hearty and healthy meal that satisfies you both in the short term and long term. Our own voices are usually more like a quick little sugar rush from junk food. Not necessarily terrible, but not deeply meaningful.  “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
  • The more you begin to recognize and give credit to God’s voice in your life, the easier it becomes to hear it. When I first started trying to know God’s voice in my life, it was really difficult. I would have to be in a place of deep prayer to be able to quiet my heart and mind enough to remember to listen. But years later, His voice can pop in any time, in the middle of a song, with any page of Scripture, while talking to another person, etc. The more I can stop and respond with a quick, “Thank you for speaking to me God.” the more I find myself hearing him. “…the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.” John 10:3

Hearing and recognizing the voice of the Lord takes a relationship. It takes effort and practice. It takes our humility to say, “That was a really great idea/thought/word. It MUST have been God because every good thing comes from Him.” (“all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,” James 1:17)


Finally, there is no substitute for Scripture when it comes to learning what the voice of God sounds like. Nothing in the world, not the holiest priest, the most prayerful mentor, the best blog 🙂 …nothing will reveal the voice of God to you like Scripture, especially over time. So don’t fall asleep and end one more day without letting your Father speak to you through His Word.

For the Lord,


We do this together.

If there’s one thing I’ve collected in my life following Jesus…it’s that it’s a road seldom endured alone. I know that on the best, brightest days, the company of a true friend has tripled my joy, and in the deepest, darkest moments of crisis, even the mere presence of another soul to share my sorrow has made the heaviest burdens bearable. Jesus called his followers as individuals by name, but he called them together.

“He saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew…He walked along from there and saw two other brothers…” — Matthew 4:18

Our prayer is that St. Timothy Life Teen is a place, a community, a family, a piece of the Church, where we each have others who walk with us, and where we can walk with others. Let’s choose to do this together.

Has it been awhile since you’ve been around? Join us for our next Sunday Life Night. Are you struggling? Let us know so we can pray for you. Are you ready for more? See when the next retreat, or event is on our webpage www.sttimothymesa.org/lifeteen, follow us on Instagram @sttimothylifeteen, or invite us to chat (Sign up to grab coffee with Meagan), and follow this blog to read more from your YMs and Core Members on life, the Lord, and the random things the Holy Spirit puts on their hearts to share.

For the Lord,


Up next time on the blog: Distinguishing between your voice & the voice of the Lord