Prayer is listening and talking to God

It is good to pray. Prayer is an encounter with God and so prayer sustains and enlightens our relationship with him.

Prayer is listening to God

The great commandment to love God and our neighbour begins this way: “Listen, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God ….”

It takes time to listen. We have to try and slow down in body, soul and spirit. But if we do, then great things happen. The Psalmist proclaims: “Be still and know that I am God.” This is a great promise and it is the fruit of being still.

Try at first to allow 5 or 10 minutes each day to pray. You can then adjust things as you go.

A very helpful method is to use the daily readings as they appear each day at Mass. You can find them on a variety of websites, or apps, or buy a Missal.

St. Thomas Aquinas asked how long should I pray? He responded, “Until I reach a point of desire.” So, don’t straight jacket yourself. Let yourself be led by the Holy Spirit.

Simply become silent and still. Then read the Word of God. The first reading of the Mass may help. The Psalm may help. The Gospel may help. A word, a phrase, a scene may speak to you. If it does, let it enter your mind, heart and feelings.

Prayer is talking to God

When this happens, then respond to God in your own, unique way. You can see the momentum of prayer now. It is God’s initiative and we try and respond.

It is not a bad idea to finish with the Lord’s Prayer. The disciples observed Jesus pray and they asked him how to pray. He said, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”

1. Simon Tugwell, Prayer: Living With God: A very fine book.
2. Universalis: This very fine app has all of the Church’s daily Liturgy.
3. Daily Gospel: A simple app that accompanies the daily gospel with a reflection.
4. Living Word:

The Living Word Team