Fr. John Bartunek, LC: I Want To Pray But Struggle With My Schedule – What Do I Do? 

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Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on and is reprinted here with kind permission. *This post first published 9/14/2009

By Fr. John Bartunek, LC, Catholic Exchange, Jan. 28, 2021

Fr. John Bartunek, LC, S.Th.D, received his BA in History from Stanford University in 1990. He comes from an evangelical Christian background and became a member of the Catholic Church in 1991. …


Dear Father John, I am a busy executive and struggle to make time for prayer. What should I do? I do want to improve my prayer life but I just struggle with time.

The desire to improve your prayer life is a sign of God’s presence and action in your soul. Be grateful for it and rest assured that God, “who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…” (Phil 1:6). In other words, as you make the effort, God will guide you (he already is). Trust in that. Then consider four other points:

1. Beware of Perfectionism:

Sometimes our desire for perfection is the enemy of progress. For instance, in the spiritual enthusiasm following a good retreat, we can often make unrealistic resolutions, e.g. “I am going to spend a full hour every day in meditative prayer,” or “I am going to pray the entire Liturgy of the Hours before I go to work.” Over-achievers especially struggle with this tendency. Instead of being satisfied with a moderate work out three times a week they feel they are not living up to their potential unless they cram in six hour-long workouts every week – as if they were still training for elite track meets instead of raising a family and running a business. With that attitude, they never get regular exercise at all; their unrealistic ideal of perfection keeps them from the basic maintenance work out that they really need. So, ask yourself: am I being unrealistic in my expectations for what constitutes a healthy amount of time for prayer, considering my life-situation?  …

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