How do you pray?

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Carolyn

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Greetings everyone.

This may seem like a silly question, but…

I’m not ever sure how to pray, aside from during the Mass. I have never said the Rosary, so that might be a good place to start. How do you prepare yourself to pray the Rosary if you’ve never done it before? How do you stay focused? Does it come with practice?

Usually when I pray I just talk to God in my head. Sometimes I feel like I am not worthy to complain or worry about the things that trouble me, because there are so many other people worse off than me. I also use prayer for thanks, but is my casual “talking to God in my head” OK?

How do YOU pray?
 
Hi Carolyn,

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Whoa, big link 😃

It is a good book to learn how to pray the rosary.

I also just talk to God in my head, and if I get distracted, I talk out loud.

Actually its not loud, but it is audible.

I find that is easier to stop distractions, if I have to physically say the words.

I thank Him for my day, or ask Him for help.

I love poetry, so I enjoy saying formal prayers as well.

I love every Sunday standing up and saying The Creed.

Hope this helps

Love Kellie
 
I don’t think this is a silly question at all!

I would say pray whenever the spirit moves you. I pray the Rosary, which I find to be very positive and calming. A good place to start would be to look at www.catholic.com’s tracts on the Rosary. I’ve never prayed it with others, just by myself, but someday I hope to find someone to pray it with. 🙂 I either pray it at night before going to sleep, or when I take some time to walk around outside. I stay focused (or try to ahem :)) by meditating on one of the set of Mysteries. Again, catholic.com has a discussion of this. kellie also points out that verbally saying the words also helps one stay focused. I have found this to be the case as well.

Regarding feeling unworthy to pray…nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus himself told us to pray to the Father (Matthew 7:7) and to ask for His help. Take heart, our Lord wants us to pray to Him.

An acronym I once heard that I sometimes using while praying is ACTS: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. You’ll notice that the Lord’s prayer also follows this form. It helps me to organize my thoughts during prayer.

Keep praying! As St. Paul wrote, pray without ceasing!
 
Hello Carolyn !

Here’s a link that may help explain how to pray a Rosary :
rosary-center.org/~rosary/howto.htm

As far as prayer is concerned, I think that you talking in your head to God is a great way to start ! Most of us often do that, as well. After all it’s the relationship with God that you want to have, and you can’t do that unless you talk to him !

God Bless !

🙂
 
When I started RCIA to come into the church, I didn’t know anything about catholic prayer but the our father and the sign of the cross. I went to EWTN.com and looked up prayers. That’s where I learned how to pray the rosary. I wasksitting at home one night and I had the idea to made some rosary beads becasue I didn’t have any money to buy any. I found that the rosary is the most relaxing and fulfilling meditation that there is. If you think that the rosary is the best place to start in your prayer life, you’re exactly right. I love the rosary, and so does the Holy Father. He prays 3 rosaries a day. He asks all Catholics to pray one a day. As for praying in your head, it’s one of the best ways to pray. When you pray the rosay, it really helps me meditatate more on the mysteries and not let my mind get off track. I can see that the other people who have replied to you have given you sites on the rosary, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to, but I hope that my reply has given you some insigiht.

Deus benedictus tu
in nomine pater,
filius,
et spirtitus sacntus
 
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Carolyn:
Greetings everyone.

This may seem like a silly question, but…

I’m not ever sure how to pray, aside from during the Mass. I have never said the Rosary, so that might be a good place to start. How do you prepare yourself to pray the Rosary if you’ve never done it before? How do you stay focused? Does it come with practice?

Usually when I pray I just talk to God in my head. Sometimes I feel like I am not worthy to complain or worry about the things that trouble me, because there are so many other people worse off than me. I also use prayer for thanks, but is my casual “talking to God in my head” OK?

How do YOU pray?
It is so easy to think that we don’t have much to ask God for, or that He wouldn’t really want to be bothered by us, or that so many people have more needs than we do. But God really wants us to come to Him with full confidence, and boy does He want us to get to know and love His Mother.

In my humble opinion, the very best way to start, is with the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy. This is a ten minute prayer that
Jesus taught to St. Faustina, borrowing His Mother’s rosary beads. I pray this prayer the first thing in the morning, every morning and it gives me so much comfort and strength.

Please get a picture of the Divine Mercy, and put it where you can focus on it, and get a picture of Our Lady and do the same. These pictures are powerful invitations to prayer. Learn all you can about Saint Padre Pio, and send your Guardian Angel to him every day, he will have you praying fervently in no time. You can take that to the bank! Also, Keep in mind that the most powerful prayer in the whole world is the Holy Mass, where the Living Lord comes to us as the Holy Eucharist, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary has an AWESOME little leaflet on the Stations of the Cross. You can write to them and ask them for this, then try to pray the stations in the three o’clock hour.

Before going to sleep at night, make an Act of Contrition, and pray three Hail Mary’s. It is a good idea to sleep with your rosary.
And pray a Morning offering in the morning. I try to make the regular Morning offering, of consecrating everything I say, think and do to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with St. Joseph, but usually I pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy when I wake up. There are many prayers at www.familyland.org. and I suggest you go there because they have a wonderful way of making every moment count for Jesus and Mary.

Lay people can pray the Liturgy of the Hours, too, and that is a wonderful way of praying with the entire Church. Well, I hope this helped. Please don’t feel overwhelmed. It is wonderful to take one hour a day, and choose prayers for that hour, a little reading about a saint, a rosary, a chaplet, some Scripture reading, you will be surprised how fast it goes.

Thank you for asking this. I try to pray all day, but I realize I must get more organized and find a regular hour for serious private prayer.
 
Carolyn,

Check out this web site.
www.virtualrosary.org/
You can download a virtual Rosary which you can set to start each time you log on to your Computer if you wish. It is a great way to learn to say the Rosary.

It’s very simple and comes with illustrations for each of the
Mysteries, including the new Mysteries of Light promulgated
by The Holy Father.

A great little program that should be on every Catholic’s Computer.

God Bless
V60:thumbsup:
 
I’m a pretty new convert and I started paying the rosary about a year ago. I had heard that it was very calming and fulfilling, but I felt really stressed out the first couple of times. I had the beads in one hand, then I was frantically leafing back and forth through the rosary leaflet that I was given in RCIA (it didn’t contain the luminous mysteries so I had to go online to find those).

After much practice, I now find it very calming and fulfilling. It was so nice to get to the point where I had memorized all of the mysteries and could think of them throughout the day.

Point is, it’s a little rough going at first, BUT DON’T GIVE UP!

You might also want to try praying with your spouse or kids. You might start out with something written or a rosary and then move on to something more freeform. Again, it is awkward at first, but once you start doing it it is so rewarding.
 
I started small and worked on consistency. A friend taught me the Rosary. At first I was very nervous about it (it was before my conversion), but I made myself pray it once a day for a month.* By the end of the month everything was memorized and I felt supremely blessed by the meditation on the mysteries. (In the beginning I seemed to be working on mechanics.)

Gradually I have added other prayers. I think they find you when you are ready for them. I love the Divine Mercy chaplet especially. The Angelus is wonderful, too. After a lifetime of being warned about those rigid, unthinking Catholics, I have learned that special prayers at given hours of the day make a wonderful frame to my day. And I am still free to pray ex tempore any time of day! :gopray:

*Oh, by the end of the month I had made my decision to convert!
 
Hello Carolyn:) The way you are praying is just fine, and others have given good advice about the Rosary.
I do strongly recommend praying the Divine Office, though this is not possible for everyone to afford, either financially or time-wise.
However, I personally have 3 vols of the full Divine Office, and although I work in a full-time job, pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and the Office of Readings. In the last-mentioned office, the second readings (non-scriptural) are mostly taken from the Church Fathers and they are BEAUTIFUL, and a great source of both instruction and meditation.
However, here’s a little hint of a habit you may be able to form that makes prayer a LOT more rewarding when you do set aside some special time for it.
As you go about your day, whenever you aren’t doing anything that requires your full attention, e.g. brushing your teeth, travelling alone in a lift (elevator to you!!), waiting at traffic lights, walking anywhere, just turn your attention quietly within to God who dwells there (haven’t got a Bible here to give you some quotes from the “farewell discourses” of John’s Gospel after the Last Supper, but he “makes His home” in you.). You don’t need to make a long speech. Just use a word or two “My Lord and my God” or “Jesus” to help focus your attention, and just “gaze” at Him, as it were.
This sort of “paying attention” can be very brief, or longer, in which case you may wish/need to speak to Him in your heart. BUT, the more often you can make these little moments of attention and recollection, the more you will want to pray, and be able to be attentive when you do set aside a special time for prayer, because you will have been “with” Him all during the day.
It’s really rewarding to set aside whatever period of time you can afford, daily if at all possible, when you can be alone, and just sit with Him. If your mind wanders, refocus it with a few words or a favourite Psalm verse, etc. If it helps you, you could dim the lights, light a candle or whatever, just to make the time “special” and create a helpful atmosphere, or find a quiet room.
Never beat yourself up about being distracted, however, because God knows our human nature and loves us all the same. He never takes His eyes off us, which is a comforting thought (well … mostly!!)
One of the saints said “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”, so if what I have suggested doesn’t suit you, no matter.
God bless!
 
Two books that I highly recommend, both by Fr. Thomas Dubay:
Prayer Primer
Fire Within

Fire Within is, hands down, the best book I’ve ever read on prayer. Prayer Primer is supposed to be read first as it gives more of a topical discussion of the topics covered in Fire Within.

You simply can’t go wrong with Fr. Dubay.

God bless you!! :tiphat:
 
I said prayer was or could be “rewarding” for us in a previous post, but it’s the wrong word, or rather, the wrong focus.

Prayer is not about us having “warm fuzzies”, but about loving God, and we don’t have to feel good, or feel anything.
When you think how much He loves us, the least we can do is devote a bit of time to expressing adoration and thanks, and whatever else is on our mind.

Just think - in the next life we will be full-time adorers!

Was it one of the Desert Fathers who said:
“We should be all eye, like the cherubim and seraphim” - alluding to that passage in??? Ezekiel??, where the cherubim and seraphim were covered in eyes (to gaze on God)

Anyone out there know that Desert Fathers quote?
I love it - but I can’t remember who said it.
🙂
 
Another great introduction to prayer is to incorporate the so-called “Jesus Prayer” into one’s daily routine. This method of prayer comes from the Eastern Rites of the Church and is very ancient, pre-dating the recitation of the Rosary as we have it today. The prayer is as follows: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.” You could say a similar variation of the prayer also. One must begin saying this prayer over and over verbally until you are able to do it without having to think about uttering each word. Then once this is mastered, “move” this prayer into the mind, so that in your mind, regardless of what you are doing, the Holy Name of Jesus is being constantly implored. Once you practice with this, by grace, this prayer will become one of the heart, succesfully moving from the lips, to the mind, to the heart. There in the heart, with each beat, you will profess your Faith in Christ and proclaim your unworthiness as a sinner thereby imploring His abundant and righteous mercy. This fulfills St. Paul’s exhortation to “pray without ceasing.” This practice takes a long time to truly become a prayer of the heart, but it will be truly rewarding in the end, for we will be ever-conscious of the presence of Christ in our hearts and His love for us will become manifest in abundant and glorious ways as we share that love to those around us.

Laudetur Iesus Christus! In saecula!
 
Most agree that praying a Scriptural Rosary is a good way to stay focused. These book/booklets are available everywhere. Try Catholic internet sites or maybe even Amazon?

My favorite a a simple little booklet called “Praying the Rosary without Distractions”. There is a one-line meditation for each Hail Mary in each decade. There is also a color picture of the Mystery you are meditating on. It’s available here:

secure.www.pacifier.com/rosary-center.org/nresource.htm#booklets

Another that I like for its variety of meditations is “Father Peyton’s Rosary Prayer Book”. The new one contains the new Luminous Mysteries. That’s the one you want. Its ISBN is 0-89870-982-2 and the Catholic Company has it for $9.95. Here is the link:

newadvent.catholiccompany.com/product_detail.cfm?ID=762

God Bless,
Amy
 
My two cents… When I first got serious about prayer, I found a couple that struck a cord and said for me what I really felt … Lord, I offer myself to you, to do with me as You will. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Remove from me every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Please grant me strength as I go from here to do Your bidding. I was leary about just reciting rote prayers, because I wanted to build a real relationship with the Lord. Over time, I find that my prayer starts with giving thanks for everything good in my life - the love of my family, our health, peace in the midst of conflict, most of all the gift of my faith, etc… Then I ask for His continued generosity in my life - so that I may be a more powerful witness.

Then, I do the daily readings in the Magnificat (spread throughout the day), and as I’ve shared in other post, last Lent I discovered a beautiful series of daily readings “In Conversation with God” by Francis Fernandez. And of course, my daily rosary. I began praying it daily as part of this past Lent’s offerings and at first it felt a little awkward, but now I love it -and Mary more! I’m regretful that I neglected it (and her) for so long… I’ve wasted a lot of years, but am so very grateful now that I’ve discovered how much more close I can be to Our Lord, through Our Lady!

Did I mention that I’m blessed with the opportunity to attend Mass most days!!! The greatest prayer of all…
 
:clapping: Hi!

What a great question–I asked myself the very same question years ago!

What I have found over the years is that instead of setting out with the intent to pray, as things come up during the day, I use those opportunities to thank the Lord, acknowledge His grace, and pray for other people.

One thing I have also learned is that if someone asks you to pray for them, do it right away in case you get busy and forget. I got that handy tip from a great “Daughters of St. Paul” sister.

I work in a medical office caring for mostly elderly people. When people are sick or hurting (from any number of things), I have opportunity after opportunity to reach out to “the hidden Christ” in all of them.

As you start to become more aware of the Lord’s presence, you will find many, many, many opportunities to raise your heart to God!!

Good luck! Remember–the Rosary is wonderful, the Mass is the ultimate prayer, but keeping prayer PERSONAL will keep you mindful of the Lord in all things! God Bless!!!

Janmarie
 
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alison:
The way you are praying is just fine, and others have given good advice about the Rosary.
I do strongly recommend praying the Divine Office, though this is not possible for everyone to afford, either financially or time-wise.
However, I personally have 3 vols of the full Divine Office, and although I work in a full-time job, pray Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and the Office of Readings. In the last-mentioned office, the second readings (non-scriptural) are mostly taken from the Church Fathers and they are BEAUTIFUL, and a great source of both instruction and meditation.
However, here’s a little hint of a habit you may be able to form that makes prayer a LOT more rewarding when you do set aside some special time for it.
I’ll second a vote for the Divine Office. It is most helpful if you can find a parish with public recitation or religious community that doesn’t mind company when you begin. I’m not sure how easy it is to learn on your own (I learned by observing the friars in high school)
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alison:
As you go about your day, whenever you aren’t doing anything that requires your full attention, e.g. brushing your teeth, travelling alone in a lift (elevator to you!!), waiting at traffic lights, walking anywhere, just turn your attention quietly within to God who dwells there (haven’t got a Bible here to give you some quotes from the “farewell discourses” of John’s Gospel after the Last Supper, but he “makes His home” in you.). You don’t need to make a long speech. Just use a word or two “My Lord and my God” or “Jesus” to help focus your attention, and just “gaze” at Him, as it were.
It’s times like these* I like to offer a *Glory Be * – It is short; It is not a prayer of petition; It is just giving glory to the Trinity.

(* also at other times, like when I’m cut off in traffic, or the cashier line is moving too slowly, or… 😛 )
 
Hi!

The hardest thing for me to learn was that praying isn’t just about words. When I decided to become more serious about my prayer life the hardest part came when suddenly I found myself unable to pray—at least in the way that I had always defined prayer —which was totally dependent on words. Suddenly I found myself feeling that the words I was saying were empty-- just words. I found myself distracted during my rosary—and totally blank when it came to trying to talk to God. Fortunately I had a very good spiritual director who told me “Susanna— it is time maybe for you to be quiet and listen.” He told me "Tomorrow, if you find it difficult to pray with words just say to the Lord— Speak to me Lord— I am here and I am listening–and then let yourself rest in his silent presence. Ha! At first that is easier said then done!!! I kept feeling like I should be “doing” something to get God’s attention—sometimes it even felt like I was “wasting” time. But then with some encouragement and a little persistence I started to find I would be overcome with a deep sense of peace, a sense of yearning for God—of truly wanting Him—a sense of reassurance that I was deeply loved. WOW!

Don’t get me wrong there is a necessary place for discursive and “formal” prayer (prayer with words)— In fact I would recommend to everyone that they pray Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Office) Universalis Today . This is the prayer all priests, deacons and religious are required to pray everyday and it has been immensely helpful to me for learning to frame my day in prayer— morning and evening. But one can pray all day if we simply remember to lift up whatever we are doing to the Lord. When I am gardening and I feel the sun’s warmth on my back—and I give thanks to God for the sun’s life giving light I am praying— if I rejoice and praise God for the beauty of a growing garden— and I as I go about my gardening chores if I do them in a spirit of caring,reverence and gratitude to God for his creation— I am praying. A mother caring for her children–each task becomes a prayer when we do it in love and offer it to God—

I just finished a very difficult “prayer”. I cared for my mother as she was dying. I offered all the difficulties, the pain, the struggles and sufferings each day as I cared for her to God. I kept always in the fore of my thoughts that in caring for my sick and suffering mother I was also caring for Christ— this too became a prayer—a very painful yet beautiful prayer—and a prayer that has blessed my life as I learn to go on without her. God bless you
 
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Carolyn:
Greetings everyone.

This may seem like a silly question, but…

I’m not ever sure how to pray, aside from during the Mass. I have never said the Rosary, so that might be a good place to start. How do you prepare yourself to pray the Rosary if you’ve never done it before? How do you stay focused? Does it come with practice?

Usually when I pray I just talk to God in my head. Sometimes I feel like I am not worthy to complain or worry about the things that trouble me, because there are so many other people worse off than me. I also use prayer for thanks, but is my casual “talking to God in my head” OK?

How do YOU pray?
Wow! I pray just like you do. I mean… to me prayer is simply conversation with God. A person can just start with 10 seconds and move on to 30 minutes. This is how I started… I just talk to God as if He were beside me… because He’s always there. Don’t worry about complaining and worrying… we are after all human and I think God understands us. It is ok to question once in a while or to complain (but not all the time). What’s important is that we should be thankful and praise Him.

Rosaries… I am actually two days away in celebrating my Rosary anniversary. I started June 6, 2003. I pray the Rosary almost everyday. I really didn’t prepare for it and I just thought I’d give it a shot. It took me 4 months to completely appreciate it. It’s a lovely prayer.

Here’s a tip to stay focused… Think of the mystery you’re at (i.e. Glorious mystery, Resurrection or Joyful mystery, Visitation) then think of what Jesus did (i.e. Resurrection - Jesus went to heaven, Visitation - He leapt for joy). In each of your Hail Mary… in the middle where you pray, “… and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”, pause here and think of what Jesus did. I hope this helps.
 
Prayers come in many shapes and sizes. Prayers can be anything from a simple “thank you God!” to a more contrite “i’m sooooo sorry” to maybe a Rosary or the Mass. you can find prayer in everything you do. Now, i know what you’re saying when you say that praying for the success of a game is stupid, cuz it does seem so. but you could also pray that no one gets hurt or something. Pray to God to help you grow stronger with your prayer life.

Another way to pray could be to meditate on various writings from different authors, or even better, on scripture. read various passages in the Bible and see how they might apply to you, or how the message in that passage relates to your life. Try to strengthen your Faith and prayer life with what you read.

Prayer can also be just sitting there and listening to what God has to say to you. Prayer is communication, and communication requires listening as much as it does talking.

Never feel like you’re just talkin to yourself, cuz you’re not. God is always there with you, and he ain’t gonna leave! just be aware of Him and His Presence.

My favorite way to pray is in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I live to sit there and just soak up the Grace and Goodness of Jesus in the Eucharist! it’s sooooo refreshing for me!

God Bless ya!
 
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