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Prayer Tips & Insights

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Prayer Tips & Insights

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Prayer Tips

Reasons to Pray and Other Prayer Insights

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Prayer Tips

The following are some suggestions & considerations to assist you in your prayer life.

  • Combine prayers with fasting. "So we fasted, and prayed to our God for this, and our petition was granted." (Ezra. 8:23)

  • Forgive others before praying. "Forgive your neighbor's injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven." (Sirach 28:2) and "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 6:14-15)

  • Pray respectfully as a loving child to a loving Father.

  • Pray with confidence like a child who totally expects that his or her father will take care of his or her every need. Have complete faith, and know & believe that God will listen to your prayers.

  • Pray on your knees where possible.

  • Ask God for your petitions, but do not make demands.

  • Click here for biblical pleadings that God may hear prayers

  • Pray humbly and from your heart.

  • Pray reverently. Remember, you are speaking to the Creator of all and King of the world!

  • Pray where you are least likely to become distracted.

  • Pray for forgiveness (Sirach 21:1), that God sets your feet in the path of truth (Sirach 37:15), for those who persecute you (Mt. 5:44), against evil spirits (Mk. 9:25-29), that you may not undergo the test (Mk. 14:38, Lk. 22:40) for those who mistreat and persecute you (Mt. 5:44, Lk. 6:28), pray when you see someone sinning (1 Jn. 5:16), etc.

  • Offer up your suffering in prayer.

  • Offer up your day in prayer.

  • Say the Rosary daily. This cherished method of prayer has been called a "truly heavenly instrument", "the greatest method of praying", "the scourge of the devil", "a treasure of graces", and "the most powerful weapon". It has been advocated by many Popes, Saints, and other Religious. Those who faithfully pray the Rosary may gain many graces. Note: For more information on the Holy Rosary, click here

  • Make your every action a prayer.

  • Learn more prayers (click here) including short, one line prayers (i.e. aspirations) that may be said throughout the day.

  • Pray regularly throughout the day: Pray before meals, pray in the morning, pray at night, pray at 3:00 (the hour of our Savior's death), and at other times. Note: Click here for daily prayers.

  • Do not neglect the Lord's Prayer which was taught by Jesus himself. Pray it slowly and meditate on it.

  • When praying, don't do all the talking. Give God a chance to 'speak' to you. "Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with God. Speak with familiarity and confidence as to your dearest and most loving friend. Speak of your life, your plans, your troubles, your joys, your tears. In return, God will speak to you - not that you will hear audible words in your ears, but words that you will clearly understand in your heart. These may be feelings of peace, hope, interior joy, or sorrow for sin" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

  • Engage in all appropriate types of prayer (i.e. adoration, thanksgiving, etc.). Remember that prayer is not just for petitions.

  • Frequently, meditate on/contemplate a passage from Scripture and on the mysteries of the Rosary.  

  • Ask others to pray for you and with you and don't forget to request the Saints' intercession. "The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful." (Jms. 5:16)

  • Utilize both vocal and mental forms of prayer.

  • Feel free to request prayers on this site as well as on other appropriate websites, your parish, and elsewhere.

  • Throughout the day, give thanks often to God, even if by nothing more than a quiet "Thank You, Lord".  

  • Pray frequently. "Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary...Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them? I tell you, He will see to it that justice is done for them speedily." (Lk. 18:1-8) "Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." (Rom. 12:12) "With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit..." (Eph. 6:18) "Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God." (Phil. 4:6) "Persevere in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2). "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thes. 5:17) "The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be serious and sober for prayers." (1 Pt. 4:7)

  • Pray near the Holy Eucharist whenever possible.

  • Start (and finish) prayers with the sign of the Cross. Be sure to make the sign of the Cross slowly and with devotion.

  • Begin prayers with an examination of conscience and an act of contrition.

  • Say at least a quick prayer each time you pass a Catholic church.

  • Pray for the Pope, priests, for vocations, for the Catholic Church, for the conversion of sinners, for one's country, family, friends, for the elderly, ill/dying, the poor and needy, the weak, persecuted Catholics, the abused, the suffering, the lonely, co-workers, teachers, leaders, souls in purgatory, prisoners, for the faithful, for conversion of unbelievers, for a happy death, for an increase in virtue, for one's enemies, etc. 

  • Consider participating in an appropriate Catholic prayer chain/prayer group to pray for the needs of others.

  • Make a 'prayer jar' (or 'prayer basket'). Place prayer requests in the jar as you think of them. Pray for the intentions contained in the jar, and also select a request each day for special prayers.

  • St. Teresa of Avila recommends praying with one's eyes closed (as appropriate).

  • Don't neglect to pray to the Holy Trinity - pray to God the Father, to Jesus the Son, and to God the Holy Spirit.

  • Prayers said during the consecration (at Mass) are the most powerful of all prayers. The practice of saying "My Lord and My God" when the Host is raised has traditionally been enriched with indulgences, while simply looking at the raised Host and Chalice reverently may gain you special favors (according to St. Gertrude the Great, your place in Heaven is raised each time you look at the Blessed Sacrament). Be sure to prepare for Holy Communion with appropriate prayers. After Communion, be sure to say the Anima Christi and other appropriate prayers (try here).

  • Be sure to give thanks to God for the many gifts He has given you. Put God first and yourself second in your prayers. In the perfect prayer given by Jesus, Our Lord's Prayer, note that our needs are listed second, not first. Try to pattern all your prayers after the Lord's Prayer.

  • Frequently recite "Spiritual Communion" prayers (try here).

  • Make sure to recite indulgenced prayers frequently. Note: Click here for more information on indulgences.

  • Men: Pray with your head uncovered. Women: Pray with your head covered. As stated by St. Paul - under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 11:3-10): "But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ. Any man who prays or prophesies with his head covered brings shame upon his head. But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled brings shame upon her head, for it is one and the same thing as if she had had her head shaved. For if a woman does not have her head veiled, she may as well have her hair cut off. But if it is shameful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should wear a veil. A man, on the other hand, should not cover his head, because he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; nor was man created for woman, but woman for man; for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels." (emphasis added)

  • Consider learning favorite prayers in Latin, the Church's official language (try here).

  • Do not pray in haste. "Haste is the destroyer of devotion.. If we allow ourselves to get into this habit, the interior spirit, which is the source of all merit, becomes dried up, and instead of the highest use of our intellect there is only a lip-worship, and holy thoughts and noble feelings are replaced by a blind and mechanical repetition. Once slave to this habit, it is vain to multiply our words of prayer... The words that rise to our lips mean nothing to our heart and leave no impression on our soul. They are nothing but a useless set of words like those for which our Lord blamed the heathen: When ye pray, speak not much as do the heathen, for they think in their much speaking they may be heard' (Mt. 6:7)" (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

  • Have family prayer time - remember that "the family that prays together stays together". Statistics strongly support the truth of this statement.

  • Click here for biblical insight and tips on prayer  

  • Consider prayer to be of very great importance in your life. In addition to pleasing our Lord, you will gain enormously from praying.

"Those who pray are certainly saved; those who do not pray are certainly damned." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church) 

"There is, in fact, such a necessary link between holiness and prayer that the one cannot exist without the other." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908) 

"All the damned are in hell because they have stopped praying!... They would not be there had they not stopped praying. " (St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church) 

"All the saints are in heaven because they have prayed much. They would be less holy if they had prayed less, and they would not have been there at all, if they had not prayed " (St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church) 

"As our body cannot live without nourishment, so our soul cannot spiritually be kept alive without prayer." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church) 

Note: Click here for more reflections on the necessity of prayer

  • Do not give up your prayers, no matter what.

Also See: Prayers & Devotions Reflections

[top]


Reasons to Pray and Other Prayer Insights

He is never too busy for you. In fact, He 'longs for your prayer'. At any time of day or night, no matter where you are, you have full, complete, and instant access to the Creator and King of all things. He listens to every word you say. He desires conversation. He knows everything. He made you and all that you love. He knows you intimately and only desires for your good. He will share your burdens and struggles, and rejoice with you in your triumphs.

There is no waiting line and He will not finish your sentences. You can pray anywhere. He listens intently and lovingly to all that you say and He cares for you like no one else can. He has known and loved you intimately since before birth, even better than you know yourself. Should you deny or forget about Him, He still waits for you.      

He cares not how you look, how educated you are, or how much money you make. He does not judge you by your appearance and there is nothing that He will not forgive if you are truly sorry. He never tires of you. You could never do anything to stop His love for you. In fact, He loves you so much that He suffered severe pain, humiliation, and death for you.  

Whether you notice or not, He watches over you all night and during the day. He supplies for all your needs. When you speak to Him, He always has time for you and an eager ear. He will not laugh at you. He always wants your company. You have only to speak to be heard. True forgiveness is yours for the asking.

Unfortunately, many turn to Him only in times of desperation. Of course, it is right to turn to God in such times, but by limiting prayers only to such times, we miss out on the opportunity to build a relationship with the One who loves us perfectly. It has been said that prayer is "the key to all holiness". God wills you to pray and has promised to answer your prayers.

God is your true Father. He loves you deeply and always has your best interest at heart. He provides for your every need and is always there for you. He planned you and He wants you. He longs for you to talk to Him. That breath you just took... it was from Him. Those things that make you smile... they are from Him. God is always there for you and He always seeks for your good. Don't hesitate to pray to Him. And, pray often! He is waiting.

Other Insights on Prayer:

  • There is really no such thing as an "unanswered prayer". God knows what is best for you and what isn't. God sees the big picture that we aren't yet able to see. As with our eternal Father, good earthly fathers cannot give their children everything they desire. "Unanswered prayers" are simply requests that your Father must answer in a way other than how you would like Him to.

  • Pray in communion with the Saints. The Saints have led very prayerful lives and now sit before the throne of God. They are pleased to offer prayers for you. "The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful." (Jms. 5:16)

  • "Prayers make wonderful gifts." While gifts can wear out or be forgotten, prayers have lasting value. Shower those you love with prayers.

  • Whether you realize it or not, you depend on God for everything. It is important to thank Him with your prayers for His many gifts.

  • Want to be more like Jesus? Jesus prayed often and tells us to do the same. For information on Jesus in prayer, click here.

  • Talking with God helps you become closer to him. When your life is over, you don't want to hear Jesus utter the words "Amen, I say to you, I do not know you." (Mt. 25:12)

  • Prayers are taken by angels to God. "Each of the elders held a harp and gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the holy ones" (see Rv. 5:8), "Another angel came and stood at the altar, holding a gold censer. He was given a great quantity of incense to offer, along with the prayers of all the holy ones, on the gold altar that was before the throne." (Rv. 8:3) "The smoke of the incense along with the prayers of the holy ones went up before God from the hand of the angel." (Rv. 8:4)

  • Prayer helps strengthen us in our trials and helps keep us from sin. "Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man." (Lk. 21:36)

  • Prayers are effective and have resulted in many miracles. For answered prayers from the bible, click here. For the answered prayers section on this site, click here.

  • God has promised to answer our prayers. "Again, (amen,) I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father." (Mt. 18:19) "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive." (Mt. 21:22) "Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." (Mk. 11:24)

  • Prayers may help save the sick. "My son, when you are ill, delay not, but pray to God, who will heal you" (Sirach 38:9) "Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters [priests] of the church, and they should pray over him and anoint (him) with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven." (Jms. 5:14-15)

  • Prayers can help you become a better parent, a better spouse, a better person, etc. They can help lead to your ultimate happiness in heaven. 

  • Prayers are necessary for your salvation. "There is no duty which Christ and His Apostles more emphatically urged by both precept and example than that of prayer and supplication to Almighty God. The Fathers and Doctors in subsequent times have taught that this is a matter of such grave necessity, that if men neglect it they hope in vain for eternal salvation." (Pope Leo XIII, "Fidentem Piumque Animum", 1896)

  • God won't force you to pray. The decision is yours. Be sure to make the right one.


Also See...

Answered Prayers Section

Prayers & Devotions Reflections

Prayers, Novenas & Hymns

Prayers of the Saints

The Bible on Prayer

Devotions, Sacramentals & Pious Practices


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