Prayer - A Pillar of the Catholic Faith

While we often still think of prayer primarily as asking God for something, prayer, properly understood, is a conversation with God or with the saints.  Just as we cannot hold a conversation with another person unless he can hear us, the very act of praying is an implicit recognition of the presence of God or the saints here with us.  And in praying, we strengthen that recognition of the presence of God, which draws us closer to Him.  That is why the Church recommends that we pray frequently and make prayer an important part of our everyday lives.

Prayer is a vital part of the Christian life.  There are different forms of prayer, ranging from more traditional prayers to prayers borrowed from other cultures and religious traditions, from the use of modern music as prayer to peaceful and profound guided meditations.  Each session begins and ends with a prayer experience.

Prayer Unites Us with God

Grace is a gift from God that enables us to live more fully in union with Him.  It strengthens our desire to choose good over evil.  It also helps us to manage difficulties in our lives better. When we feel humility, compassion, forgiveness we’re putting others’ needs before our own.  These are signs of God’s graces working within us. Prayer Requests

When we let Him work through us, we help Him to do the same for others. We can show His love for others in how we treat them and in how we pray for them.

Resist Temptations

Our Lord taught us to pray “lead us not into temptation,” so that we can resist temptations against His will.  Through prayer we are better able to resist the every day temptations such as envy, hatred, bearing grudges, greed, lust, and selfishness.  These negative emotions don’t bring us any real joy or peace of mind.

Pray for Others

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Pray for those who persecute and slander you” (Matthew 5:44).  God wants us to pray for others, however we may feel about them.  Such prayers remind us that one way or another, we are all in this journey towards holiness together.

Perseverance in Prayer

The most important thing is to persevere in your prayer life on your journey with God.  Saint Hilary once said that “grace depends mostly on perseverance in prayer.”

There are times you might feel you just can’t concentrate, that there are too many distractions.  Or perhaps you feel God’s not there. Pray anyway.  God allows us to experience these times of “dryness” for us to grow spiritually. Many great religious scholars and saints went though the same things.


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