Persevering in Prayer

Prayer is an integral part of the Christian life.  Jesus prayed and taught His disciples to pray.  The Scriptures teach the necessity of prayer and those who are trying to walk in Christ’s steps feel the need to pray.  While Christians acknowledge the truth of these statements, the majority of them still have difficulty in developing a meaningful and effective prayer life.  Probably the greatest weakness in the lives of individual Christians is lack of payer.  They are prepared to work and sacrifice for Our Blessed Lord but become uneasy and embarrassed when He quietly says “Come to me”.

Many Christians do not pray, because even they feel it is futile.  Others complain that whenever they try to pray, their thoughts and imaginations go on the rampage and they cannot concentrate.  So they struggle on trying to be Christians and know very little about the effectiveness and reality of prayer in their lives.  If you are prepared to give the cultivation of an effective prayer life top priority and make this your goal, you will find the Holy Spirit working within you towards this end.  Your reading will be dedicated to this purpose and you will share experiences with those who have the same goal.   As your desire to pray grows stronger, so will your knowledge of God increase and you will understand His plan for your life as it unfolds through prayer.

See further “Christian Prayer” in The Catechism of The Catholic Church.

Key Catholic Prayers

The Sign of The Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses 
as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen.

The Creed

I believe in one God, 
the Father Almighty, 
maker of heaven and earth, 
of all things visible and invisible. 
I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, 
born of the Father before all ages, 
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, 
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation He came down from heaven: 
(All bow for the next three lines)
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, 
and became man.

For our sake, he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried. 
and rose again on the third day 
in accordance with the Scriptures. 
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, 
and his kingdom will have no end. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, 
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
who with the Father and the Son
is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the Prophets.

I believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come.

Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessèd art thou amongst women, 
and blessèd is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

The Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.
We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory.
Lord God, heavenly King, 
O God, almighty Father. 
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world, 
have mercy on us; 
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One, 
you alone are the Lord, 
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

Confession of sins 

I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, 
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, 
and in what I have failed to do;
(and striking one’s breast three time, continue)
through my fault, through my fault, 
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessèd Mary, ever virgin, 
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters, 
to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Amen.

The Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, 
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. 
To  thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve, 
to thee do we send up our sighs, 
mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. 
Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us, 
and after this our exile, 
show unto us the blessèd fruit of thy womb, Jesus, 
oh clement, oh loving, oh sweet Virgin Mary.

Amen.

Your Sense of Values and the Spiritual Life

What you consider to be important things in life depends upon your sense of values.  If a large bank balance, a hectic social life and a desire to be popular with your contemporaries have priority in your life, it reveals that your sense of values is lopsided.  Experience has shown that these and similar motives often lead to disillusionment.  Great wealth does not always impart peace and satisfaction; a high social position and being the life and soul of the party can often become a wearisome and frustrating life.  The hard truth is that if your life lacks a spiritual awareness, it lacks a firm foundation.  Our Blessed Lord clearly taught that life is a spiritual experience and its success or failure depends upon your relationship with the Living God – the creator Spirit.  There are things that are more real than the things that you can see and touch.  This is especially true when your emotions are stirred and the forces of pride, bitterness and hatred, anger and strife are released into your personality.  All are unseen but their fruits are well known.

Christ’s message and personality calls you into a new relationship with God.  He promises that if you surrender yourself to Him, He will remake and revitalise your life and implant within you a new sense of values.  Possessing spiritual values you will be able to differentiate between the important and the unimportant things of life.  Grant me Divine Father the gift of discernment so that I may know what is really important.

Our Prayers

Trust in God

My God, you have created me to do you some definite service.
You have given some definite work to me which you have not given to any other.
I have my place in your plan.
I may never know what it is in this life, but I will be told it in the next.
Therefore, I will trust you in all things.
If I am sick, my sickness may serve you.
If I am worried, my worry may serve you.
You do nothing in vain.
You know what you are doing.
You may take away my friends.
You may put me among strangers.
You may make me feel forgotten.
You may make my spirits sink.
You may hide my future from me.
Still You know what you are doing and I trust you.

Amen.

Cardinal Newman

Learning Christ

In all the events of my life –Teach me, my Lord, to be sweet and gentle in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insecurity of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.
Let me put myself aside, to think of the happiness and well-being of others,
to hide my pains and heartaches, so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.
Teach me to profit by the suffering that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may mellow me,
not harden nor embitter me;
that it may make me patient, not irritable;
that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow, haughty and overbearing.
May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind,
less notable for having been a fellow-traveller in our journey towards eternal life.
As I go my rounds from one distraction to another, let me whisper a word of love to you.
May my life be lived in the supernatural, full of power for good and strong in its purpose for good,
and strong in its purpose for sanctity.

Live in Christ

Always seek the Lord Jesus, grow in friendship with him, receive him in
Communion.  Learn to listen to his word and also to recognize him in
the poor.  Live your lives with joy and enthusiasm, sure of his presence
and of his unconditional, generous friendship, faithful even to death on
the cross.

Pope Benedict XV1

Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the most pure heart of Mary
I offer thee all my prayers, works, sufferings and joys of this day,
for all the intentions of thy divine heart,
through the Holy Mass

Give us this day

Remember that the present day is given to you
in order to gain the future day of eternity.

St Francis de Sales, 17th century

Be still, my soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Katharina von Schlegel, based on Psalm 45(46)