Last week’s blog was titled, “The Gift of Our Faith”. To realize and maximize that gift, we need to be in relationship with God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son, while calling on the Holy Spirit, who lives within each of us. Prayer is critical to that relationship, in its many forms. 

Do you have a favorite prayer or prayers? How is it that you pray? Rote prayer, reading and praying through Scripture, meditative or contemplative prayer? The Catholic Church offers many prayers for us, including the Mass, Rosary, and Divine Mercy Chaplet. A simple internet search will take you to an exhaustive list of Catholic prayers. 

Yet most people I know, including those actively engaged in our faith, will tell you that they struggle with prayer. I do too. Why is that? I assume your experience is the same as mine…that is that anything you get really good at takes work. It takes dedicated effort. God wants nothing more than us to be in relationship with Him. Given the free will He has provided us, God leaves it up to us. Just like our earthly relationships, where we have challenges, we’re challenged in prayer. Keep at it. It’s what God desires and it’s good for us…just ask anyone who prays regularly. 

My favorite prayers are the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, long form of the Serenity Prayer, and a prayer I wrote in 2009, which I call Thank you God; Thank you Jesus!!! For each, I say them incredibly slowly, praying through and hanging on every word. They are my “go to” prayers. I say them daily without fail. 

In reviewing all the blogs I’ve posted over the last 3 ½ years, I’ve done others on prayer, whether it be different types, processes, methods, etc. I hesitated to do so again here, but my wife reminded me that redundancy is good…and that we can all be reminded more about prayer. 

Believe me, I’m far from perfect at prayer. I struggle with it. But the reality is that the more I pray, the more peace I have. The more “right” direction I have to my life. The sin of pride, which I’m a pro at, is less of an issue. So is envy and the many others. I’m a better person when I pray more. 

The mistake people make with prayer is the same mistake many make in other aspects of their lives…”they bite off more than they can chew”. They start too fast, expecting too much. Like with anything else, the more we know about our faith (about prayer), the more we find there is to learn. It is not a race, but a journey. Take it slowly. Five minutes a day to start. Reading a little bit of Scripture and then reflecting on it. Saying a couple rote prayers. Sitting in silence with our Lord, listening for His voice in your life.  

I hope this blog prompted you to think (and pray). Maybe you’re a prayer warrior and the above doesn’t apply. If so, maybe you can share some of these ideas with others. Or maybe it does, and you can add to whatever you’re doing.  If you’d like a special copy on my prayer (noted above), please let us know. In addition, should you desire, we can provide you with a tool we created called, “Simple Process for Prayer”. 

As always, please feel free to contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.  

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Remember…God made you for GREATNESS!!!

Mark Joseph