Back to Basics: How to Pray

(Happy St. Joseph’s Day!)

“How do I pray,” is a loaded question. Prayer means different things to different people, and God knows there are tons of books about prayer. Even Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray.

Back to Basics: How to pray

So, if you really want to learn how to pray, ask Jesus to give you the Holy Spirit to teach you how to pray! He will teach us to pray, if we keep asking and by showing our readiness by actually taking the time to pray.

Here are three ideas on how to pray to get you started:

1. Liturgical Prayer

The Mass is foremost and central to our Catholic faith. It is so important Mother Church made going to church every Sunday (and special holy days) an obligation. This isn’t to make us feel like “we have to go” to Mass. Mass is the ultimate prayer! It brings us to the Cross, and through the Mass, we sacramentally receive the very body and blood of Jesus. If you want to learn how to pray, take your clue from the Mass and the other sacraments.

2. Devotionals or Prayer books

If you are struggling the pray, going through a dry spell, or just can’t find the words, use a devotional or prayer-book. There are A LOT of them out there, any of which are scripture based. There are many that are written by the saints. Really, there are so many kinds of devotionals out there that one is bound to resonate with you. And, don’t forget the Bible! Praying the scriptures is a wonderful way to pray and I will be devoting a whole post (FB Live) dedicated to Lectio Divina (praying the scriptures.

If you don’t want to use a book, you can pray other traditional prayers such as the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or Hail Holy Queen.

3. Use a Formula

There really isn’t a formula, per se for prayer but you may have heard of the acronym ACTS. ACTS stands for Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication. If you look at the Our Father, the prayer Jesus gave to His disciples, it has elements of these in the prayer. (For the interest of time and space, I will leave it to you to pray through the Our Father Yourself and pick out the elements).

This acronym gives a balanced way for praying. Do you notice that adoration, contrition, and thanksgiving come BEFORE supplication? So often, the majority of our prayer consists of asking for things – things for ourselves and things for other people. But, that should be last.

The majority of our prayer should consist of adoring God and praising Him, showing sorrow for our sins and the sins of others, and thanking Him for all the blessings and graces He showers upon us daily. Only then should we petition Him for our needs.


REMINDER: I go live in my Facebook group every Monday at 10:35 am EDT and every Thursday at 1:30 pm EDT. I hope you will join me! Today (Monday), I will expound some more on today’s topic of how to pray and sharing a couple more ways to pray. Be there!

PSST: If you are looking for accountability or focused encouragement in growing your spiritual life, I am here to help. Supporting and empowering women is my passion and I’d love to chat with you and see if we would be a fit for working together. Book a call with me here.

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