Responding to God's Invitation to Grow in Your Prayer Life

I love you and I am inviting you to grow in your PRAYER life, love God...

"Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends." St. Alphonsus Ligouri

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we humbly come before you to tell you that we love you and to thank you for the gifts and graces you have given to us. We know that we should pray constantly but we do not know how to pray as we should. In this worldly pilgrimage, we struggle to pray and sometime we do not desire to pray at all. Forgive us Father for allowing worldly influence to hinder our prayer to you. We need your help. We want to grow closer to you. Help us to embrace the example of prayer and love set by Jesus, and to seek a deeper relationship with you that is only found through prayer. We proclaim that in this place, in this parish, Jesus is alive and therefore we humbly ask this through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our LORD. Amen.

Questions for Reflection: How can I become more comfortable talking with God throughout my day?

What can I/my family do to make time for prayer?

How does God speak to me? Where/when have I heard God’s voice?

Thoughts for Reflection:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7)

“And it shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24)

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16)

"Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends." - St. Alphonsus Ligouri

"Pray with great confidence, with confidence based upon the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray." St. Louis de Montfort

Grow in Prayerfulness… God loves us and invites us to deepen our relationship through prayer. We often think of "prayer" as something formal. Something complicated. But it is communication between friends. Yes, one friend is the Top Authority of the Universe! But Jesus made it clear that He sees us as friends. God wants us to be closer. God is interested in spending time with you.

Like all conversations, prayer is sometimes informal and sometimes formal. Prayer is not something separate from what we do as a part of our daily lives. Prayer is doing what we do and bringing God into it as life moves along. We can be mindful of God in all the events of our daily life. When are having a conversation, it can be a silent “God, help me choose the words here” or “Give me your perspective, God.” When we are driving, it can be a prayer for the people with the out-of-state license plate or the emergency vehicle going down the road or the person who seems to be such a hurry. When we are walking, it might be thankfulness for the beautiful flowers or sky or just the fun of a good game of one sport or another. When we are working, it may be our intention to work together in harmony, to be a builder of interpersonal bridges or to help someone see their own value. Prayer is bringing God into everything, much as we would send a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter post to involve our friends in our good time. It’s a mental text when we see something in our lives that we want some input about or want to share. Sometimes, prayer is more formal. When we pray out loud with others, we may use a prepared prayer so we can all pray together. Or, we may speak out loud to God in words we pick ourselves. Words that fit the immediate situation.

The Catechism points out three basic types of personal prayer: vocal, meditative, and contemplative. Vocal prayer consists in reciting prayers, either silently or aloud, uniting the intention of your heart to the meaning of the words. Meditative prayer consists in lifting the heart and mind to God through focused reflection on some truth of God’s revelation. Contemplative prayer is a deep, intense immersion of mind and heart with God. Whatever way of prayer works for you, prayer is always a close sharing between friends.

"For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love, embracing both trial and joy." Saint Therese of Lesieux

Resources:

  • THE BETTER PART A Christ-Centered Resource for Personal Prayer by John Bartunek,
  • Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Fr. Jacques Philippe Apps:
  • Laudate; Reimagining the Examen; Hallow (free at first then subscription)