Prayer

Prayer

Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The psalms are prayers we sing; they have been a part of the Church’s communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is communication with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.

Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in his life and he prays before ministering to people in need. Jesus is a model of prayer for us.

Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass. Some of the Church’s most ancient and foundational prayers are as follows:

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women; and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory to the Father

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you we cry, the children of Eve; to you we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this land of exile. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us; lead us home at last and show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus: O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Prayer to St. Michael

St. Michael, the archangel, defend us in battle! Be our protection from the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world, seeking the ruin of souls.

Grace before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts which we are about to receive from your goodness, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving after Meals

We give you thanks, Almighty God, for these and all thy benefits, through Christ, our Lord. Amen. May the souls of the Faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Act of Contrition (used when going to Confession)

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

 

There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.

  1. Silent prayer or meditation helps us center our thoughts on God’s goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
  2. Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
  3. Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts and reflections related to your prayer life.
 

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Scripture

Catholics believe that the Bible is God’s self-revelation written in an inspired and inerrant way. Read More

Mary

Mary is the greatest among the saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said “yes” to God and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God incarnate. Read More

Saints

The saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ; they teach us how to live faithful and holy lives. Read More