What is prayer?
Prayer is the lifting up
of our minds and hearts to God.
Let us lift up our hearts
with our hands to the Lord in the heavens. (Lamentations 3:41)
Why do we pray?
adore God, expressing to Him our love and loyalty;
thank Him for His favors;
obtain from Him the pardon of our sins and the remission of
ask for graces and blessings for ourselves and others.
Watch and pray, that you
may not enter into temptation. (Matthew 26:41)
How should we pray?
We should pray:
with a conviction of our own helplessness and our dependence
with a great desire for the graces we beg of Him;
with loving trust in His goodness;
And all things whatever
you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive. (Matthew 21:22)
For whom should we pray?
We should pray especially
for ourselves, for our parents, relatives, friends, and enemies, for
sinners, for the souls in purgatory, for the bishops, priests and
religious of the Church, and for the officials of our country.
But I say to you, love
your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who
persecute and calumniate you, so that you may be children of your
Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:44-45)
How do we know that God always hears our prayers if we pray
We know that God always
hears our prayers if we pray properly because Our Lord has promised:
"If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you."
And whatever you ask in my
name, that I will do, in order that the Father may be glorified in
the Son. (John 14:13)
Why do we not always obtain what we pray for?
We do not always obtain
what we pray for, either because we have not prayed properly or
because God sees that what we are asking would not be for our good.
You ask and do not
receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it upon your
passions. (James 4:3)
Are distractions in our prayers always displeasing to God?
Distractions in our
prayers are not displeasing to God, unless they are willful.
How many kinds of prayer are there?
There are two kinds of
prayer: mental prayer and vocal prayer.
What is mental prayer?
Mental prayer is that
prayer by which we unite our hearts with God while thinking of His
For the rest, brethren,
whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just,
whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there
be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these
things. (Philippians 4:8)
What is vocal prayer?
Vocal prayer is that
prayer which comes from the mind and heart and is spoken by the
With my voice I called
upon the Lord, and he hearkened to me from his holy mountain. (Psalm
May we use our own words in praying to God?
We may use our own words
in praying to God, and it is well to do so often.
What are the prayers that every Catholic should know by heart?
The prayers that every
Catholic should know by heart are: the Our Father, the Hail Mary,
the Apostles' Creed, the Confiteor, the Glory be to the Father, and
the acts of faith, hope, charity, and contrition.
How do we usually begin and end our prayers?
We usually begin and end
our prayers with the sign of the cross.
Go, therefore, and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
Why do we make the sign of the cross?
We make the sign of the
cross to express two important mysteries of the Christian religion,
the Blessed Trinity and the Redemption.
And the Word was made
flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
How are these mysteries expressed by the sign of the cross?
When we say "In the name,"
we express the truth that there is only one God; when we say "of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost," we express the truth
that there are three distinct Persons in God; and when we make the
form of the cross on ourselves, we express the truth that the Son of
God, made man, redeemed us by His death on the cross.