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section on Prayer contains the following links:
|The true essence
of prayer is focusing on God with a pure and repentant heart. We need to
'touch God with our hearts' by becoming so preoccupied with Him nothing
else matters. How we do this varies enormously and there are so many different
ways to pray and millions of different prayers.
I received the following from a good friend who is always sending me little reflections for the Prayerful Thoughts & Thoughtful Prayers pages. It says it all I think:
"I am Too blessed to be stressed!" The shortest distance between a problem and a solution is the distance between your knees and the floor. The one who kneels to the Lord can stand up to anything. Love and peace be with you forever, Amen.
So let's just take a quick look at the different ways to pray.
Mind Prayer is holding little conversations with the Lord within our head, its visualising the Father, His Beloved Son or Mary the Mother of God. It's reading a passage from Scripture, meditating on it then imagining the scene and placing ourselves in it.
Vocal Prayer is said out loud alone or in groups.
Contemplative Prayer is 'being lost' in the beauty and wonder of God and His creation, acknowledging His greatness in all things.
Reading Prayer is with Scriptures or meditating upon the writings of recognised Christian writers.
Singing Prayer is in the joy of song and music through hymns alone or in groups.
Silent Prayer is closing out the world from distraction and in silence 'opening the door of the heart' to the Lord.
Working Prayer is dedicating our day's work joyfully and honestly to the Lord.
Vernacular Prayer is bringing God's name back into everyday language - 'Thank God' or 'Thanks be to God' during conversation.
Thanksgiving Prayer is praising and thanking God in all things, even in the difficult situations.
Prayer is a little like first love - that person is on our minds constantly, so too with the Lord when we learn to pray completely. Just as there are many different ways to pray so too are there many different types of prayer.
Simple Prayer can be said in tiny aspirations throughout the day - 'Praise You Lord'; 'Jesus Mercy Mary Help'; 'My Lord and my God'; 'Jesus I love You'; 'God, in You I trust'. The link will bring you to a few simple prayers.
Morning Prayer, said on rising, helps us to get through the day. For Christians we should say the prayer given to us by Jesus - The Lord's Prayer then follow up with a dedication of all we do during the day to the Lord. It's like placing a protective shield around us for the day.
Night Prayer is a thanksgiving for the day and an act of sorrow for any wrongs or hurts we may have done or caused. It's a surrender at the end of the day to the protection and grace of the Lord.
Prayers for Protection - these prayers are powerful intercession to seeks the Lord's protection in all types of situations.
Prayers for Addictions - Blessed Matt Talbot, a former chronic alcoholic has brought about many releases from addiction to alcohol.
PRAYER FOR THE ADDICTED
God of mercy, we bless You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who ministered to all who come to Him. Give Your strength to (Name) Your servant. bound by the chains of addiction. Enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God's children. Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, and strengthen them in the work of recovery. To those who care for them, grant patient understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Group Prayer is following up on the promise of the Lord when He told us that when 2 or more are gathered together in His name there too will He be in the midst of them.
Healing Prayer and Prayer for Deliverance, with many, many really great Healing Ministries everywhere, is creating New People in God through prayer, reconciliation and repentance. For Catholics, this is also most powerful at the Sacrament of Confession and in celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and we should be bringing all our fears, doubts, requests and thanks to the altar during the Eucharist.
Sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord in a Church or Chapel of Adoration, where the Host is in a monstance on the altar, is being in complete communion with Him. Here we are giving Him our time like little 'thankyou gifts'.
Prayer to The Holy Spirit seeking wisdom and discernment in all we do and say leaves us like an open channel to the wishes of God.
Foscussing on the suffering, passion and death of our Divine Lord by saying the Stations of the Cross is a great way to pray
Prayer to the Father and His Beloved Son through His Blessed Mother and the Saints is pleasing to God, especially realising the important role of Mary as Mother of God and our earthly mother. It in no way diminishes the place we have for God in our hearts but rather it is a way to seek the help of those who sit at the feet of God in heaven. Our Lady is our mediatrix, our intecessor to the Father. The Son does not refuse His Mother Her requests. One of the most powerful prayers in the Church after the Eucharist is the Rosary and there is a full section dedicated to this most beautiful of prayers.
Prayers to the angels, especially to Saint Michael the Archangel and our own Guardian Angels help us to focus on the bounty of God's blessings and grace and leave us open to those little voices of conscience.
We stray off the straight path at times and need to get back on again. This falling away from the Lord, from what is right, by our mistakes and wrong-doing separates us from Him. A good way to 'cleanse the soul' is to tell the Lord we are truly sorry for ANY wrong-doing, ask His forgiveness, find a way to make amends, seek the forgiveness of those we have harmed and make a solemn promise to try and avoid repeating the same mistakes again. No sin or mistake is too big to stop the Lord forgiving the truly repentant heart who cries out to Him. No matter how desperate you feel or how despairing the situation appears He loves us with a love unimaginable and waits for us to turn to Him in genuine sorrow for our errors.
For Catholics the grace of the sacrament of confession (reconciliation) is all powerful. Forgiveness comes from the Father only if we are truly sorry and genuinely make an effort to avoid repeating our wrongs. Some of the greatest biblical leaders and saints were also some of the greatest sinners - King David, author of the Psalms and Saint Augustine! But in their misery they turned back to God, sought His forgiveness and found peace.
Personally I find a quiet hour in church to be of great benefit. Again, for us Catholics, we believe that Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament, either in the tabernacle or exposed in the Monstance on the altar. Just to spend a short while in front of the Blessed Sacrament can bring great peace to the soul, mind, spirit and tired body.
Prayer is always answered, but often not in the way we think it will be. People trying to cope with personal or family illness often feel they have been abandoned by God. There is no answer as to why some have to suffer, but praying and offering all to God in surrender or thanksgiving will bring rewards, if only in the peace of mind to be able to accept what life throws at us. Hard to do I know!
Since time immemorial there has been sickness and death, and no amount of advancement of medical science or technology will ever alter that. However we can pray for the scientists and doctors to help them in their search for cures to the various illnesses. But we must also pray that their search does not bring them down the wrong paths by experimenting with and killing the unborn. There can never be a justification for killing one to find a cure for another!
Children and the young die, accidents happen. When death comes to our doors unexpectedly or too early, turn in our anger, misery and loneliness to God, even if it is to shout at Him over it all. But ask for the strength and peace of mind to be able to cope - it will come.
Here's a brilliant website choc-a-block full of traditional and all sorts of Catholic Prayers
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