Friday, January 30, 2015

Thoughts on Prayer

Thoughts on Prayer - Prayer is an action of talking and listening to God and there are 4 types of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  St. Therese Quote:  Prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.  - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com




My biggest goal for 2015 was to improve my prayer life.  And earlier this week, we had a major disappointment in our adoption journey when we got news that our match with the twins has fallen through.  (Going through something challenging can really be an eye opener into what you need to work on in your life, that's for sure!)

These things have really got me thinking about prayer itself a lot lately and how I truly need to grow in this aspect of my life.


So I was thinking...what is prayer exactly?   

Prayer is talking and listening to God.


The first 2 things that come to my mind when I think of prayer are memorized prayers and asking God for things need.  But really, there is a lot more to prayer than that!

First, prayer is not only something that is just memorized, like the Hail Mary.  I should try to pray to God just like I'm having a conversation with a friend.  He is my truest Friend after all!  

I need to talk to God in my own words, telling Him whatever comes to my mind and making sure to listen to what He is telling me as well.  (I wouldn't like it if a friend just talked and talked and never listened to what I had to say.)  Talking is the easy part; listening can be hard.  So I need to try to be as open as possible - open to what God's will is in my life, no matter how difficult it might be, like our adoption fall through - and truly listen and follow where He's leading me.

Thoughts on Prayer - Prayer is an action of talking and listening to God and there are 4 types of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  The Lord came and stood there, calling out as before: Samuel, Samuel!  Samuel answered, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:10 -  www.sweetlittleonesblog.com
This can be so hard sometimes!

And I'm not trying to say that memorized prayer isn't good at all.  It really is great!  But it shouldn't be the only way we pray.  In my Catholic faith, I should use the beautiful things that God has given us - the Mass, the Sacraments, the Rosary, the Stations of the Cross, Eucharistic Adoration, the Sign of the Cross, memorized prayers, novenas, other devotions, etc. - to help me to pray.  

But with memorized prayers, I can't let them become commonplace or say them without truly meaning what I say.  What I need to do is pay attention to what I'm saying and doing when I pray this way.  So what I guess I'm trying to say is that action needs to be involved when I pray using memorized prayers! 


Second, there is more to prayer than asking God for things.  There are four kinds of prayer (I learned this easy way to remember them from a wonderful priest):


A - Adoration - praising God for His power, wisdom, and love and acknowledging my total dependence on Him
C - Contrition (Expiation) - showing sorrow for my sins and asking for His mercy and forgiveness
T - Thanksgiving - showing gratitude for what He has given me and others
S - Supplication (Petition) - asking God for things I need


In my human frailty, I tend to forget about the first 3!  (I'm sure I'm not alone here!)  So the big challenge is to incorporate all the ways to pray into my prayer life.  But I really do have a good start in my everyday life when I think about it: 


- My family thanks God when we say grace before meals 
- When I make the Sign of the Cross, I'm praising God by showing I believe in the Trinity.   
- When I receive Jesus in the Eucharist, I should be adoring Him, thanking Him for coming for us, and expressing sorrow for my sins. 
- When I say an Act of Contrition or make an Examination of Conscience I'm asking for mercy and forgiveness.  
- When we say our bedtime prayers as a family, we ask God for special intentions for ourselves and others
 

I'm sure there are many things I'm forgetting that fall under these categories of prayer that I do or should be doing everydayI can't let these fall by the wayside - I really need to seize these opportunities to pray and grow closer to God every single minute of every day!


Thoughts on Prayer - Prayer is an action of talking and listening to God and there are 4 types of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing.  In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com




For my February resolution (and for the rest of my life!), I'm really going to focus on improving my prayer life.  I don't want it to be something I only focus on when something bad happens.  My prayer life needs to be a sincere and constant action that's lived out in every part of my life.  So I'm going to use what I've talked about here to set out a game plan to follow, not just for the month, but for my whole life!

I'd love to know some of your thoughts on prayer - especially on how to incorporate the 4 types of prayer into our everyday lives as busy women, wives, and mothers.  Please share!

God bless,

Thoughts on Prayer - Prayer is an action of talking and listening to God and there are 4 types of prayer: Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. - www.sweetlittleonesblog.com

               



These are my thoughts on prayer as a Catholic.  I hope that we - people of all faiths - can grow closer to God by encouraging and inspiring one another with love and respect, no matter what we believe.



 Linking up with
Saturday Spotlight
 Women with Intention Wednesdays with Jenny,  
The Shine Blog Hop with Jennifer,  
Make a Difference Mondays with Sybil, and
Capture Your Journey Wednesday with Amber

7 comments:

  1. I love how you helped us visualize what it is like if we are doing all the talking and no listening. I think it is so important to keep an ongoing convo with God as it helps me to be more in tune to what He may be trying to say to me. So important to be still and listen! Thanks for this

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  2. Thanks, Keri! I'm trying so hard to be still and listen...it's definitely the hardest part of prayer! -Jess

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  3. So sorry to hear that your adoption fell through. Turning to prayer is exactly what I would have done too. I always say that I'm a work in progress and that can be said for my praying as well. I love how you have broken it down and I found a few things I'm going to try myself.
    Thank you for sharing the recipe on the SHINE Blog Hop!

    Wishing you a fabulous weekend!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    Co-host #SHINEbloghop 2/5

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  4. So sorry not sure why my cell phone decided that post was recipe. lol You've got to love technology! 😉

    xx
    Lysa

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  5. Thanks, Lysa! I love how you said we're a work in progress. I think that's so important to remember so I don't beat myself when I fail at times. I need to pick myself up and keep working to improve myself! Thanks for hosting! - Jess

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  6. Jenny @ Women With IntentionFebruary 11, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I'm sorry about the adoption, too. I really struggled for a long time with memorized prayer...it didn't have feeling for me, you are right, it needs ACTION. Thank you for sharing your heart and for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! :) I'm looking forward to what you share this week!

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  7. I think that is my biggest struggle too....praying and listening as an action. It takes practice, but we'll get there, right? :) Thanks for hosting! -Jess

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