THE PILGRIM’S SECRET - Basil Hume. Ten Golden Rules 1. Plan to pray; do not leave it to chance. Select a time and a place (a room at home, on the bus, taking a walk). 2. Decide on how long you will spend in trying to pray (five minutes, ten, fifteen, thirty or more). 3. Decide what you are going to do when you pray – e.g. which prayer to select to say slowly and lovingly; or which passage from the Bible to read prayerfully. Sometimes use your own words; sometimes just be still and silent. Follow your inclination.
4. Always start by asking the Holy Spirit for help in your prayers. Pray: “Come Holy Spirit, teach me to pray; help me to do it”. 5. Remember you are trying to get in touch with a Person, and that Person is God – Father or Son or Holy Spirit. He wants to get in touch with you. 6. Don’t be a slave to one way of praying. Choose the one that you find easiest, and try some other method when the one you are using becomes a burden or doesn’t help.
7. Don’t look for results. 8. If you have distractions, then turn your distractions into your prayer. (If a car passes the window in the wrong gear, then say something to God about the driver – I mean a kind of prayer for the welfare of the driver, not necessarily for his driving or gearbox!) 9. If you always feel dry and uninterested at prayer, then read a spiritual book or pamphlet. Spiritual reading is important. 10. Trying to pray is praying. Never give up trying.