I love novenas. I had no idea what a novena was until maybe 3 or 4 years ago, but they have changed my life. A novena is basically a set of prayers said for nine consecutive days. The first novena was completed by the apostles after Jesus ascended into Heaven. The apostles were in the Upper Room praying as they waited for the Advocate to come, which happened on the 10th day, after 9 days of prayer. There are other forms of novenas that take longer than 9 days, such as the St. Andrew Novena Chaplet, which starts tomorrow, or the 54 Day Miracle Novena, which is on my list to do when I have a stronger prayer life.
I have found praying novenas very easy since I got my smartphone last year. I subscribe to Pray More Novenas, and they do various novenas throughout the year, sending me daily reminders via email. It only takes a few minutes to read through the prayer each day, and I increase my prayer life. Most novenas are also a devotion to a particular saint, so I increase my knowledge and friendship of the saints as well.
Advent has many wonderful feast days as we approach Christmas, but one of my new favorites is the feast of St. Andrew. Even though I’m praying the novena to the Immaculate Conception already, I’m planning to also pray the novena to St. Andrew. It’s a real challenge for me to pray, since it is from November 30 to Christmas Eve, and it is a chaplet, which means it repeats the same prayer 15 times throughout the day. This will be my 3rd year trying it, and I hope to pray it better this year than ever.
The title of this blog says ‘9’ ways to increase your prayer life, but I’m really only talking about 1 – the novena, which means 9. Give it a try!