The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2559) states, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”
Why We Pray
Prayer can be calling upon God for assistance. God desires closeness with us, an intimate relationship. Prayer is communication with God that allows our relationship with Him to develop and grow.
"For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." - Saint Therese of Lisieux
Everyone is called to live a “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2558
We can pray alone or with others; we worship together as parish communities at Mass and pray as families. Prayer can be public or private. It can be formal or spontaneous. There are many types of prayer and many different styles of worship, but all center on living and experiencing our relationship with the living God. Each person can develop his or her own style, routine, and rhythm of prayer. Prayer is an essential component of being a Catholic. Prayer helps us form a sense of security and a deeper awareness of our dependence on God.
Tips for Praying
- Find a quite place and time. Prayer can be done anywhere but it is good to have a place that is conducive to relaxing and focusing our attention on God. Finding a regular time to pray each day can also be helpful to making prayer an important daily routine.
- Calm yourself and put away distractions. It is important to be relaxed when we pray by finding a comfortable posture.
- Use formal prayers or speak what you feel to God, or a combination of each. It is important to note that there is no “right” way to pray. Experiment with styles and forms of prayer. Prayer is an ongoing, developing relationship with God.
- Take time to listen. God does speak to us in prayer but we need to listen with our hearts. Be open to what God is telling you rather than just on what you want to or expect to hear.
- Use the Bible in your prayer.
- Keep a journal of prayer.
- Have a proper attitude. Prayer requires openness to God and a desire to worship and get to know God better.