How to Pray

How to Pray
 

More Important than Breathing!

Prayer

Prayer is a lifting of one's heart and mind to God. Like our relationships with friends and loved ones, it takes work and practice to learn how to pray well. For a Christian, a rich prayer life is more important than breathing! 

Jesus is our model for prayer. As we read in the Gospels, he constantly took time to go off by himself and spend in prayer with his Heavenly Father. He wants to teach you how to pray!

Prayer: More than Mass

A weekly feast isn't enough to keep us strong all week long; our bodies need daily nourishment. Our souls are the same way. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass, but each of us needs a strong personal prayer life as well. The deeper our prayer life throughout the week, the more powerfully we will experience Christ in our worship at Mass. 

Building Your Personal Prayer Life

Like everything else worth doing in life, a good prayer life takes time and practice. The most important step is setting aside a significant amount of time each day to spend with the Lord. Talk to the Lord as you would speak to a close friend. Many have found the "Prayer Process" developed by Matthew Kelly a helpful way to get started. Keep showing up each day, and you will slowly see that prayer starts to come more easily and that time seems to fly by more quickly. You will start to look forward to prayer, and will experience a difference in your daily life. 

Some Traditional Catholic Prayers:

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Act of Contrition

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Grace before Meals
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 
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