Prayer is a conversation with God. God speaks to us in our hearts, and we listen. In prayer, we answer God in Jesus’ name. We speak to God as a Father who loves us and we lift our minds and hearts to him.
In a meeting with members of the “Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship in Rome in the fall of 2014, Pope Francis used the metaphor of inhaling and exhaling to describe a life of prayer: “Breathing is made up of two stages: inhaling, the intake of air, and exhaling, the letting out of this air. The spiritual life is fed, nourished, by prayer and is expressed outwardly through mission: inhaling and exhaling. When we inhale, by prayer, we receive the fresh air of the Holy Spirit. When exhaling this air, we announce Jesus Christ risen by the same Spirit. No one can live without breathing. It is the same for the Christian: without praise and mission there is no Christian life.” (Address to Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, Oct. 31, 2014)
Prayer, then, is like the inhaling of breath. The life of prayer enables us to exhale, or share God’s love in the world. Prayer strengthens our relationship with God the Father and guides us on our journey of faith.
Download a kit that will help you to pray all summer long, offering a roundup of summer prayers for summer holidays and all the moments in between.
As Catholics, we pray by opening our hearts and minds to God. There are many ways to pray. We can pray alone or with others. We pray together in the liturgy and sacraments. When we pray, we join with Jesus and the Church. We can pray in silence or aloud. We can pray with our without words, keeping our focus on God. We can use traditional prayers, or original prayers.
As Catholics, we pray by opening our hearts and minds to God.
We learn to pray from the example of Jesus, most especially in the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus prayed to God with patience and trust.
Parents and catechists share the task of helping children to pray. Many Catholics learn their first prayers at home, from their parents. When parents pray with their children and share family prayer traditions, they enrich their children’s catechesis. The prayers that we learn as children all guide us to love and care for our families and help u understand that God is our Father and we are part of his family. From there, we learn how to love and care for others.
As the Church, we are guided by the Holy Spirit to pray. The Communion of Saints prays with us and for us. We also have God’s Word, the Church’s liturgy, and the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, which are sources of prayer.
We are guided by the Holy Spirit to pray these forms of prayer: adoration, blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise.
There are many ways to pray. No matter which kind of prayer we use, God hears all of our prayers. The more we pray, the closer we are to God who loves us. We should be able to find time every day to pray in some way to our loving God.