Saturday, August 13, 2005
Conditions for Prayer

While reading This is the Faith by Canon Francis Ripley I came across a list of conditions for prayer. If you are having trouble with prayer and want to be able to pray honestly please see my comments as those from the book on page 39.

I believe before anything else when we pray we must admit our sinfulness and helplessness. Prayer is an absolute vital necessity (CCC 2744) because it is communication with God; it is a dialogue. Before we pray the Rosary or any prayer we should briefly examine ourselves and see how we can improve our lives and avoid sin. If we do not acknowledge our helplessness to God then our prayers are useless. Humility must reign in our heart.

These are from the book on page 39, with the detail coming from my opinion:

  1. Sincerity: Whether we are praying an Our Father or Hail Mary or just a prayer from our heart we must actually mean it. We should actually believe everything we are saying.
  2. Attention: We need to find a good place to pray and actually know the words we are saying. We shouldn't go about praying for others to see us as that is a horrible sin of pride, but we should pray silently to God with focusing exactly on our words and its meaning. During this time I have heard many times that people can receive temptation and "bad" thoughts in this time, but you just need to resisit them and continue to go on. We can not commit a sin if we are not willfully doing it. Temptation and sin are seperate.
  3. Humility: Again, examine how small we are before God. Try to kneel or at least lean forward. Never just lie back and pray in bed because it is too easy to fall asleep.
  4. Confidence: Trust Our Lord and know that He hears all of our prayer even if He doesn't answer them. His will and ways are far above ours, but know that in the end the outcome will all be for God's glory.
  5. Perserverance: Never give up on prayer - never. God hears you and will answer when the time is right if it is in accordance with His Holy Will. When you pray say, "Please, Lord grant me these requests if they are in your accordance with your will..."
  6. Resignation: Remember that God is Our Lord and maker is much higher than us. Let us humble ourselves and remember that He is always right so let us leave our prayers to Him.

Above all, never doubt that God loves you. Keep praying and offer God praise and thanks before anything else. And, remember, no matter how much doubt or temptation came come to you, that the Lord is Our God, the same person who freed us from sin as recorded in scripture and passed down through the Tradition of the Church. Never let doubt win and break us from prayer or faith - never.

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