Prayer - Christ The Redeemer Catholic Church

God Calls Us to Pray
RCIA Inquiry Session
13 July 2011
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Opening Prayer
Oh Holy Spirit, You are the Third Person of the Blessed
Trinity. You are the Spirit of truth, love and holiness,
proceeding from the Father and the Son, and equal to Them
in all things. I adore You and love You with all my heart.
Teach me to know and to seek God, by whom and for whom
I was created. Fill my heart with a holy fear and a great
love for Him. Give me compunction and patience, and do
not let me fall into sin.
Increase faith, hope and love in me and bring forth in me
all the virtues proper to my state of life. Make me a faithful
follower of Jesus, an obedient child of the Church and a help
to my neighbor. Give me the grace to keep the
commandments and to receive the sacraments worthily.
Raise me to holiness in the state of life to which You have
called me, and lead me through a happy death to
everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Questions of the week
What was your blessed moment this week?
Have you ever sought the Lord in prayer about a
decision you needed to make, or for wisdom about
a situation that you were facing? How did he give
you guidance? What did he say?
Gods Calls Us to Pray
What is Prayer?
• The Catechism clearly defines prayer as a “vital and
personal relationship with the living and true God.”
(CCC, No. 2558)
• All of Part Two of the Catechism deals with prayer
as it is found in the celebration of the Sacraments
and in the Liturgy of the Hours.
• “Prayer is the response of faith to the free promise
of salvation and also a response of love to the thirst
of the only Son of God.” (CCC 2565) – US
Catechism for Adults, P. 523-524
Gods Calls Us to Pray
What is prayer?
• For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple
look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition
and of love, embracing both trial and joy. (St. Thérèse
of Lisieux, Manuscrits autobiographiques, C 25r)
• “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and hearts to
God in thanksgiving and in praise of His glory. (CCC
2259/St. John Damascene, Defide orth. 3,24:PG 94,1089C)”
• St Francis de Sales remarked, “Everyone of us
needs half an hour of prayer, except when we are
busy—then we need an hour.”
• “True Prayer is nothing but love.” (St. Augustine)
Gods Calls Us to Pray
What is Prayer?
• “Prayer is the first expression of our inner truth,
the first condition of true spiritual truth. Prayer
gives a meaning to the whole life, at every moment,
and in every circumstance.” (Pope John Paul II)
• It can also include the requesting of good things
from God.
• It is an act by which one enters in awareness of a
loving God.
• It is both a gift of grace and a determined response
on our part
• We pray as we live because we live as we pray.
• The spiritual battle of the Christian’s new life is
inseparable from the battle of prayer
• Why is prayer a battle? (CCC 2725-2745)
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Guides for Prayer
• The saints have left a heritage of prayer.
• Parents are the first teachers of prayer.
Children witness the prayer of adults closest to
• Priests and Deacons have a public responsibility to
lead people in prayer.
They should also teach people how to pray.
• Men and women religious who embrace the
consecrated life profess a commitment to prayer.
• Choose places for prayer where you can achieve
sufficient concentration of heart and mind.
Parish church, retreat centers, shrines, home,
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Prayer in the New Testament Church
The infant Church was born in prayer; at Pentecost,
after nine days of prayer, the disciples experienced
the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The letters of St. Paul show him to be a man of
intense prayer.
Prayers of praise/thanks for the blessings the
church and himself received.
Prayer of intercession as he seeks God’s grace
for the communities he evangelized.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Types of Prayer
Adoration and Blessing
Gods Calls Us to Pray
A robust, effective prayer life doesn’t rely
on a narrow approach of one or two, but
uses all types of prayer, as moved and led
by the Holy Spirit. Each type of prayer,
including all the potential subcategories, is
like a note on the musical scale. Combine
them and you can form a melody. Combine
them again and again and you form a
song—a love song to God.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Adoration and Blessing
• The prayer of blessing is man's response to God's
gifts. We bless him because he first blessed us
• In adoration, man acknowledges that he stands
humbly before his creator.
• An act where we glorify the God who made us. We
adore God from whom all blessings flow.
• Ephesians 1 : 3-14
• 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
• 1st Chronicles 29:10-13 – Blessed be you O Lord…
• Psalm 24 – King of Glory
• Psalm 108 – I will praise you among the peoples
• Psalm 84 – Better one day in your court…
Gods Calls Us to Pray
• This is a prayer that takes many forms: to ask, to
beseech, to plead, to implore, to invoke, to entreat,
to cry out
• It acknowledges how much we as sinners depend
on God for our needs
• Our petition is already a turning back to him; an
asking for forgiveness
• Matthew 6: 9-13 – Seven petition of the Our Father
• Matthew 7:7-8 - Knock and the door will be opened
• Genesis 15:2-3 – Abraham asks for an heir
• Genesis 18: 20-33 – Abraham’s Prayer for Sodom
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Prayer of an Anonymous U.S. Civil War Soldier
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of others,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for – but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all people, most richly blessed.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
• Prayers made on behalf of the needs of others
• God calls to intercede for each other…and even for
our enemies
• Intercessions for others’ needs are part of the Mass
and the Liturgy of the Hours
• Hebrews 7:25 – Christ intercedes for us
• Romans 8:26-27 – The Holy Spirit intercedes for us
• Philippians 1:3-4 –Paul’s prayer for the Philippians
• Ephesians 6:18-20 – Pray for all the holy ones
• Colossians 4:3-4 – Pray for us
• Luke 18:13 – Tax collector, “O God be merciful to
me a sinner.”
Gods Calls Us to Pray
This form of prayer flows through the Church’s
greatest prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist.
We are called to thank God for all the gifts received,
including our joys and sorrows.
Luke 17: 15-19 – The grateful leper
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all
Colossians 2:6-7 – Give Christ thanks …
Psalm 75:1 – We give thanks to you, O God…
1 Chronicles 16:8 – Give thanks to the Lord…
Gods Calls Us to Pray
• This is a prayer that show that “we love God in
Faith before seeing him in glory” (CCC 2639)
• Praise lauds God for his own sake and gives him
• United with all the saints and angels, as members
of the Church on earth, we sing together songs of
praise with faith in a God who loves us beyond all
imagination (CCC 2642)
• Psalms 2, 7, 9, 18, 21, 22…
• Isaiah 12:1-6 – Praise God my salvation
• Acts 16:25-26 – Paul and Silas singing Praise
• Revelation 5:12 – Worthy is the Lamb…
• Revelation 19:5-6 – Voice from the throne…”Give
praise to our God…”
Gods Calls Us to Pray
The prayer of Jesus
As a child , Jesus learned to pray from Mary and
Joined in prayer at the synagogue and at the
He also had his heavenly Father as a source of
prayer. It was a filial (as a son) prayer (Luke 2:49).
Jesus addressed his Farther by the name “Abba”.
The Gospels describe numerous times Jesus went
away from the crowds and his disciples to pray by
Jesus taught his disciples to pray (Mt 6:5-15, 7:711).
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Prayer in Communion with Mary
We do not pray to Mary in the same way as we do
to God. In praying to Mary, we invoke her
intercessions on behalf of our needs, whereas when
we pray to God we ask him directly for gifts and
Church magnifies Mary for the great things the
Lord has done for her and to entrust intercessory
prayer and praises to her.
This manner of joining Mary in praising God for his
gifts and seeking her intercession has found a
privileged expression in the Hail Mary.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
The Rosary
In the Latin church the Rosary developed out of a
popular piety.
Praying the Rosary involves reciting vocal prayers
including the Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Glory
Be while meditating on the mysteries in the life of
The Hail Mary
Along with the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary is one
of the most widely used Catholic prayers.
The first half comes from The Magnificat in Luke’s
Gospel (Luke 1:46-55)
Second half is an intercessory prayer developed in
the Church’s tradition.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Expressions of Prayer
• May the Lord be in our minds, on our lips,
and in our hearts.” These symbolize three
kinds of prayer: vocal, meditative, and
Vocal Prayer:
Since we are body as well as spirit, we need to
express ourselves orally.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Expressions of Prayer: Meditative Prayer
“Meditation is above all a quest.” (CCC, 2705)
In meditative prayer, we use our minds to
ponder the will of God in his plan for our lives.
The Church provides many aides for
meditation: The Sacred Scriptures, holy icons,
liturgical text of the day or season, and writings of
spiritual fathers
Lectio Divina (“Holy Reading”) is most
prominent expression of meditative prayer
that uses both scripture reading and prayer
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Expressions of Prayer: Contemplative
“Contemplative prayer… is a gaze of faith
fixed on Jesus, an attentiveness to the
Word of God, a silent love” (CCC 2724).
We rest attentively before Christ.
It is a time of silent listening and love
St Teresa of Avila, “Contemplative prayer in
my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing
between friends; it means taking time
frequently to be alone with him who we know
loves us.”
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Expressions of Prayer: Song
• “To sing is to pray twice.” St. Augustine
• The Psalms
• Singing is one of the most essential elements of
• To open the gates of trust in God, nothing can
replace the beauty of human voices united in song.
This beauty can give us a glimpse of "heaven’s joy
on earth."
• Songs can help sustain personal prayer
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Pray without ceasing
Prayer requires time, attention, and effort
Distraction and dryness will discourage us
Pray as if everything is dependent on God
Pray in a daily, sustained, and structured manner.
Daily reading of Scripture is a rich source of prayer.
Participate in the Mass (CCC, No. 2655)
Faith, Hope and Love
Prayer is the life of the new heart
Gods Calls Us to Pray
• Christian prayer is always Trinitarian.
Prayer should direct us toward the Father.
Access to the Father is through Jesus Christ;
Address our prayers to Christ (Son of God, Word of
God, Lamb of God etc.).
Holy Spirit helps us to draw nearer to Jesus.
The Tempter will try to pull us away from prayer.
The remedy is faith, fidelity to times for prayer.
Gods Calls Us to Pray
Describe your life of prayer. Name both
positive elements and challenges or
difficulties in prayer.
2. How can you renew a spirit of prayer in
your home, with family members, and
3. What is your favorite Christian prayer?
In what way could your participation in
Sunday Eucharist strengthen your
commitment to daily prayer?
4. What are the challenges committing to a
life of prayer?
Gods Calls Us to Pray

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