Catholic Q&A

Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life I really desire to pray, but I don’t know how to do so. Could you please teach me how to pray?

I understand. Our daily lives are so hectic that at times it is hard to pray in silence. Yet, for that very reason one may say that prayer is vital. Prayer is so to say, the breath of those who live the life of God, and without it we get devoured by the chaos of this world, and become tainted by worldly values and way of viewing things. Prayer is what enables us in our busy lives to align and renew our orientation before God. Hence, to pray or not is a life and death issue, for those who seek to live the life of God.

As regards the issue as to how people ought to pray, let me teach you a simple method which would be possible for anyone. When you wake up in the morning and while you are still on your bed, utter the words, “ Lord, I dedicate this day to you.” This would be a great way to become wide awake, and besides, it could be done even when you feel sleepy. Christians often make the sign of the cross. Making the sign of the cross is one of the cherished acts of faith within the tradition of the Catholic Church. Even in the morning when you have barely woken up and your mind is still foggy, when you make the sign of the cross you pray so to say with your entire body. In doing so you offer God the Father all your thoughts, words, and acts of the day, as well as your joys and sorrows and your crises and hopes, in union with the offering of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross.

Similarly when going to bed at night, you can pray on your bed by saying the words, “Thank you for this day.” Remember and give thanks to God the Father for the work you did in the course of the day, for your fellowship with people, and for your successes and failures. Despite your miseries, or rather, precisely on account of your miseries, end the day by thanking God the Father for His guidance and extolling Him for His mercy. If you are a Christian you should not forget the sign of the cross. For instance, even if you come home drunk and go to bed with a slap in the face, it would be a good idea to remind yourself to make the sign of the cross daily, before you go to sleep. In this way, you can make your life begin and end in the Lord.

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