12-17-2017 God Calls Us to Pray

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary-St. Richard Catholic Church
Journey of Faith
December 17, 2017—Third Sunday of Advent
Opening Prayer
Scripture Readings
Is 61:1-2a, 10-11; Lk 1:46-50, 53-54; 1 Thes 5:16-24; Jn 1:6-8, 19-28

"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thes 5:17)


Can you have a meaningful relationship with someone who only talks and doesn’t listen?

Prayer helps us develop a meaningful relationship with God. In its simplest form, prayer is having a personal conversation with God, who calls us into loving communion and friendship with God and with all people of God. We respond to this call with an attitude of love, awe, wonder, adoration, praise, worship, humility, dependency, and trust. In prayer, we talk to God about what concerns us, our needs and the needs of others, what we are thankful for, where we have failed to love, and we ask for God’s help, discernment, forgiveness, and grace.

Most importantly, we rest in the silence of our mind and with an open heart to listen to God speaking to us. Sometimes, we experience God’s voice directly and immediately in our hearts., Other times, we find God’s response unfolding through the events or persons we encounter in life. Prayer does not change God but rather helps transform us into the person who God calls us to become—the image and likeness of a loving, compassionate, and merciful God, exemplified by Jesus, the human face of God for us.

The basic ways of praying are adoration, petition, repentance, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. The willingness to "pray in a daily, sustained, and structured manner is essential to becoming a prayerful person."

There are three, general kinds of prayer: vocal, meditative, and contemplative. These forms include personal and communal expressions, formal and informal paths, popular piety, and the liturgical prayer of the Church.

We engage in vocal prayer when we offer our prayers orally, either individually or communally, such as during Mass. In meditative prayer, we use our thoughts, emotions, imagination, and desires to deepen our faith and to discern God’s will and plan for us. We do this through the use of aids such as Sacred Scripture, creation, sacred writings and icons, liturgical texts, and other resources. There are many methods of meditative prayer, with the most prominent being the Lectio Divina, Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and the simplicity of Franciscan spirituality. In contemplative prayer we rest and attentively offer ourselves in love, listening in the silence of our heart, mind, and soul to God, who speaks and transforms us.

"Pray without ceasing" (1 Thes 5:17).

U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults, Ch. 35.

 Reflect on Your Experience

What practices help you pray? Do you dedicate a particular time of day or place for prayer? What else helps you pray? Do you focus on a verse from Scripture, an image or word, or hold a Rosary?

How has prayer helped you to grow in your relationship with God and transformed your life?

      U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA)  Catecismo Catolica de los Estados Unidos para los Adultos

"What is Prayer? (Bishop Don Hying)

Prayer (Bishop Robert Barron)

"How Am I Suppose to Pray?" (Bishop Don Hying)

"Prayer" (Fr. James Martin, S.J.)

"Introduction to the Power of Prayer"

"The Five Forms of Prayer"

"Three Expressions of Prayer"

"A Users Guide on the Ways to Pray"

"The Nature of Meditation and Contemplation" (James Finley, Ph.D.)

“Christian Prayer Life” (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Prayer in the Old Testament” – CCC 2566-2577 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Prayer of David, Elijah, Psalms” – CCC 2578-2597 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Example of Christ's Prayers” – CCC 2598-2622 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Forms of Prayer” – CCC 2623-2649 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Wellsprings of Prayer” – CCC 2650-2682 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Prayer of Saints” – CCC 2683-2697 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Expressions of Prayer” – CCC 2698-2724 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“The Battle of Prayer” – CCC 2725-2733 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Trusting in Prayer” – CCC 2734-2745 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

“Prayer of the Hour of Jesus” - CCC 2746-2758 (Fr. Daniel Mahan)

Advent and Christmas Music Selections

Rites, Symbols, & Practices

"A User's Guide on the Ways to Pray" (Vocationsnetwork.org)

The Daily Examen (Ignatian Spirituality)

"Ignatian Spirituality: The Daily Examen" (Video)

"The Daily Examen Prayer" (Video)

"Learn Lectio Divina" (Video)

"Lectio Divina" (video)

"Lectio Divina - Step-by-Step Guide" (video)

"Ignatian Contemplation" (Fr. James Martin, S.J.) (video)

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at: aff@hrsrcs.org
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