How We Pray
Prayer is the cry of the heart. Sometimes our own words fail us (Romans 8:26). We can ask the Holy Spirit to pray through us.
Prayer is a conversation with God. Which means that the sometimes I speak and sometimes I listen. I listen with my heart and the way God speaks to my heart is mysterious but consoling. Sometimes God is silent. But sometimes I’m just not listening.
We can rely on the prayers of the Church – ancient and new. These prayers both lift our hearts to God – and remind us of the truth of His loving presence and promises. Following are some of the age old and contemporary formal prayers. More options can be found in countless resources on prayer. See HELP FOR PRAYING for resources to build, deepen and strengthen your practice of prayer.
WHy We Pray
We imitate Jesus. He is shown to pray: alone (Mt 14:23)(Mk 1:35)(Lk 9:18)(Lk 22:39-41), in public (Jn 11:41-42)(Jn 12:27-30), before meals (Mt 26:26)(Mk 8:6)(Lk 24:30)(Jn 6:11), before important decisions (Lk 6:12-13), before healing (Mk 7:34-35), after healing (Lk 5:16), to do the Father's will (Mt 26:36-44), among other things.
He also taught on the importance of prayer (Mt 21:22)(Mk 11:24-26)(Mt 7:7-11)(Lk 11:9-13)(Jn 14:13-14)(Jn 15:7,16)(Jn 16:23-24)(Mt 5:44)(Lk 6:27-28)(Mt 6:5-15: including the Lord's Prayer)(Lk 11:2-4)(Mt 18:19-20).
Jesus invites each of us to relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It’s hard to have a relationship with someone you don’t talk to – and prayer is talking with God. God is present to us always – but our awareness must be cultivated through prayer. It doesn’t have to be complicated, formal or eloquent. We can use memorized prayers – or our own words. The important thing is to PRAY. Let us begin again.