â€œHe got up early and went to a lonely place. There He was praying. Peter and his companions went in search of Him. When they found Him, they said : â€˜All are looking for Youâ€™. He said : Let us go to the neighbouring town. I should speak there too. It is for that I have come.â€ – (Mark 1: 35-38)
These words of our Lord explain the precautions taken and the preparations made by Him for His personal prayer. We should adopt the same for our prayer too.
1) We should get up early with an earnest desire to be with God. Fix your schedule in such a way that you get at least an hour before you start your dayâ€™s routine and without prejudice to it.
2) Make it a point that the first act after attending to the primary needs will be the personal prayer.
3) Choose a congenial place that promotes concentration. Take necessary precautions that you will in no way be distracted.
4) Invoke the help of the Holy Spirit. This can be done along with a breathing exercise which also helps to avoid drowsiness of the body. Take in a deep breath craving for the Holy Spirit to fill in and exhale slowly. As you repeat this a few times with full concentration and prayer, you will start having a great experience. You will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Along with the freshness of the body, a tremendous freshness of the soul will also be experienced. This will help a lot in the contemplation.
5) Before the contemplative prayer starts, ask Mother Mary to help in this prayer. She is the best contemplative aid the world has ever seen. (Luke 2:18, 51). I would suggest you to ask her to take you into the lap of God the Father and stay by your side till the hour of prayer is over.
â€œLord I look up to You up to Heaven, when You rule. As a servant depends on his master, as a maid depends on her mistress, so we will keep looking to You. O Lord, Our God, until you have mercy on usâ€ â€“ (Psalm 123:1-2)
So go make the next personal prayer only after these preparations.