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Do I Pray Correctly?

Do I Pray Correctly?

 
By:  Mission Team August 27, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Encouragement, #Failure, #Faith, #Wisdom

Have you ever found yourself sitting in holy adoration in a beautifully large church filled with colorful flowers? Imagine yourself surrounded by other parishioners, gazing at the tabernacle, and some people are journaling, others are meditating with their eyes closed, and others are kneeling in front of Mother Mary. There is also an older gentleman walking around doing the stations of the cross and your friend Susanne is reading a book from author, Scott Hahn.

Soon enough, you find yourself confused and debating what to do during your holy hour. Thoughts are running through your head of inadequacy because you feel as though you are failing in your prayer life. And you begin questioning how people seem to hear God in their life often. 

 

Don't Worry, You are Not Alone
If this accurately describes you, then I am here to reassure you of the rockiness of our faith life. There is no correct form of praying, but you must know that there are also many different ways to pray. Prayer is a form of communication with God, which can be expressed in our daily life activities. Prayer is simply the expression of our gifts and talents for God, which includes singing, writing, or even being a witness to others.

How do you know what form of praying is most effective for you? It will take trial and error to determine the most effective form for you individually. Praying is very different for everyone. It’s easy to get discouraged by the feelings of frustration and annoyance, but hey, even saints struggled in prayer at some point. Imagine how St. Mother Teresa felt! She was giving everything of herself and still didn’t hear God even in her darkest days.

You will go through times of desolation in prayer and times of consolation, but in these times we must choose to walk by faith, not by sight. Saint John of the Cross described the experience we sometimes face when confronted with difficulties in prayer, calling it the “dark night of the soul”. See there? Even saints find themselves sitting in the back pew of the church confused on where to go next.

As Saint Pope John Paul II claims:

“if you want your love for [Jesus] to grow and last, you must be faithful to prayer.”

Let us contemplate what the Holy Father says and consider this list of helpful ways to pray.

 

Different ways to pray:

1. Lectio Divina
2. Scripture meditation
3. Reflection of mass readings
4. Novenas
5. Divine Mercy Chaplet
6. Most Holy Rosary
7. Contemplating nature
8. Talking to God like a friend
9. Reading a Christian/Catholic book
10. Watching preacher videos
11. Praise and worship music
12. Learning about the saints
13. Attending mass
14. Journaling
15. Bible studies
16. Writing prayers
17. Writing letters to God
18. Sitting in silence
19. Asking God for forgiveness
20. Talking about God
21. Asking for penance
22. Painting/drawing
23. Speaking with your guardian angel
24. Doing the Angelus everyday at noon
25. Close your eyes and repeat the name of Jesus. Over and over
26. Simply, tell Jesus you love Him again and again

Find your Pray Preference!
Personally, reading the bible was a real struggle for me, but it wasn’t until someone taught me how to make the word of God come to life individually. This did not happen overnight, it took a lot of self-discipline, and many hours of doing my best to comprehend what I read and learning how to identify what I felt I was taking in.

Needless to say, I had a lot of help getting to where I am today. So, if you find yourself lost in prayer don’t be shy to ask for some help from a mentor or even a peer. Go ask everyone in your family their favorite ways to pray. Try them out a few different times, and if it clicks for you, awesome; however, if it doesn’t, then awesome. Move on and choose another example.

I did not like to journal at all (and it's still something I do not 100% enjoy), but I saw the value in it and knew I wanted to come back years later to read how I felt, my experiences and what I was going through. I used to sit in holy hour and pray to God that He would give me the desire of journaling about my day-to-day life. I did everything, I wrote in print, I wrote in cursive, tried pencils, pens, and I was making cartoons and flowers all over the pages to make it look “cool”. Anything! I would get so frustrated with journaling I would want to leave the chapel every time. I even bought colorful pens to write with! Nothing changed. I hated my handwriting, and I couldn’t stand looking at it. My own handwriting looked like chicken scratch and it made me feel so dumb… was this why I hated journaling? I know it’s something so small in the world today, but as a girl and having horrible handwriting, it made me feel like trash. I know you think I’ve lost it, but really this is how I felt. What was worse is that my best friend loved to journal! She has been journaling since she was twelve years old… definitely not me….

While all this was going on, I realized how much I loved writing prayers. I wrote prayers about anything and everything. I wrote about imaginary people and their stories that would fill my head, I wrote about my current state in life, I wrote about people I met while traveling, I wrote a prayer about loss for a friend of mine who passed away in high school, and I even wrote about how much I hated journaling.

Writing prayers was my personal way to communicate with my Father in heaven. It was what made my prayer life come to life. So maybe journaling won’t ever be my favorite, but we can’t all be into the same thing. Where is the fun in that? There is no correct way to pray. You aren’t failing and you definitely aren’t trash. God speaks to all of us differently. So, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your way to pray?


Photo Credit:

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About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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