- Why should we pray?
- What barriers to prayer do we face? How do we overcome them?
- Share some personal stories about prayer. How does it affect your life?
Why do we need to pray? (YouTube Link)
- Prayer changes us, not God.
- It helps us to learn how to accept “nos” and “yeses” and learn how to wait.
- God wants us to work together with Him – this helps to build a relationship with God.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part 4: Christian Prayer
- “God thirsts that we may thirst for him.”
- “Prayer presupposes an effort, a fight against ourselves and the wiles of the Tempter.”
How do we pray? (YouTube Link)
- Start small
- Accept where you are
- Start with 5 minutes – set a timer to simply be in the presence of God
- Distraction will happen – this is part of being human. Putting in the effort to bringing your attention back to God is an essential part of prayer
- Prayer is not about a feeling. The first step of prayer is showing up.
Prayer for beginners – by Peter Kreeft (Amazon) (Formed.com)
- God desires your heart and your presence
- Prayer is essential for us. As humans, we are a body and soul. Food nourishes the body. Prayer, drawing close to God, nourishes the soul.
- The “Jesus Prayer” (repeating the name “Jesus” while putting yourself in His presence) is one of the simplest ways to pray
- All your actions throughout the day can be made into prayers
“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”Brother Lawrence in The Practice of the Presence of God
When we realize that we are children in a relationship with God, our father, it is easy to see ourselves in that childlike role. Our souls yearn to learn about and from Him, to be with Him, to walk alongside Him, to talk to Him.
Then when we realize what role we play in our children’s lives, we can see their yearning to know and be with us, especially while they are still young. Showing them how to pray, teaching them traditional prayers and also how to have personal conversations (prayers) with God, and letting them walk alongside us in our daily faith journey is our job as Christian parents.
It’s important to find your own personal time with God, even if it’s in a short moment of your day, while also modeling prayer to your children.
Sometimes, we can get bogged down with the rigidity of traditional prayers, and in those moments, we need to remember that our loving God likes to hear from us in all ways, even open ended communication. There will also be times when we fall back or rely on the traditional prayers as our foundation and build upon them when we can.
Prayer is different for everyone in that it is a intimate, personal relationship with God. No two relationships are exactly alike. Where prayer is the same for all is in the fact that our souls need prayer just like our bodies need food. God loves us and wants that connection with us, even if we start small.