Prayer: How to do it!
I’ve been reading the psalms as part of my scriptural reading and have noticed a few things. The first is how we should always pray to God as if He is with us in the room. In every psalm God’s name is only mentioned a few times, and only a few times. Now, when we pray, we shouldn’t be saying God’s name every 5 words. It isn’t how we would properly communicate with…well, anyone. Frankly, if someone came up to me and said my name after every 5th word, I don’t know how I would take them, but I probably wouldn’t take them seriously.
Its also important to realize that God always answers our prayers. Just because we don’t get what we want when we ask for it doesn’t mean he ignored us, for when we ask someone else to do something we either get a “yes” or a “no”. When we ask God for something and we don’t get it, He did indeed answer our prayer, but not with a yes, but, with a no. God knows what we need and what we want. Not always do they match up though. A lot of times we are not asking for things that will help us in our lives, but will end up being crutches later on.
Another theme in the psalms is that really, each prayer is almost like a conversation. They aren’t just a bunch of words that you throw together because you think that God will like what He hears, but really its a conversation. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen said “Prayer is a dialogue”. It is very important to remember this. Now, if we can’t think of things to say, that is one thing, and it is great to use prayers that the Church or Saints have already put to paper for us. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as they are indeed beautiful prayers. But, how awesome would it be for you to say “I communicate with God because He is my best friend above all earthly things”?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with prayers that have already been written. My favorite devotion is the Rosary, which in my opinion should be recited daily. The Rosary is a powerful tool that Satan despises. He hates it and every time we pray it, he is weakened. Not to mention, we call upon Our Blessed Mother’s intersession. Now, the other really cool thing, is that we get to meditate upon all of Jesus’ important parts of life. The Joyful (Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation, Finding in the Temple), the Sorrowful (Agony, Scourging, Crowning of Thorns, Carrying of Cross, Crucifixion), the Glorious (Resurrection, Ascension, Descent of Holy Spirit, Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, Coronation of Blessed Virgin Mary) and the Luminous (Baptism, Wedding of Cana, Proclamation, Transfiguration, Institution of the Eucharist). Every single one of these events has Jesus, and as a double, we can also meditate on Mary’s life and how these events affected her as well.
Finally, it is also incredibly important, that when you pray, you don’t do all of the talking, but you listen. God speaks to us during prayer and a lot of the time, we are too busy rambling on and on about our problems, our desires and our wants, and we don’t listen to what God has to say to us. When you pray, find a quiet place to pray. Ask God what His will is for you. You may not hear a response at first, but don’t huff and go “well that didn’t work!”. It will take time. For too long you have done all the talking and none of the listening. It takes time to build up listening skills in daily interactions, so, it will take time to build up these skills with your interaction with Christ as well.
Speak Lord! Your servant Listens!