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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Testimonials  > Learning to Pray

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2016, 10:53 AM
eschator83's Avatar
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Default Learning to Pray

In the past few months I have quite accidentally come across several references to "false" and even "useless" prayers.
It's not that I want to discuss these, although I would if somebody wanted, but I write because they have raised the questions of how we learn to pray, and what kinds of prayers are "best?" I hope readers will comment on their learning experience.
I cannot remember childhood lessons in prayer, even though a number of those early childhood prayers are firmly imbedded in my old, shaky mind. I feel I've been on a journey in my relationship with God through prayer, and I hope I am growing closer as well as more responsive to Him.
I've collected some aphorisms on prayer, and read several books I think are good, but so far I can't seem to write very much that seems helpful. Yet it seems clear that all who seek to be "good" Christians need to focus on prayer, and to pray frequently in praise, thanks, and supplication for others as well as ourselves.

Last edited by eschator83 : 03-06-2017 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

I think, in the beginning, our prayers please God, no matter how simple they are. He's happy that we've come to Him. We can learn structure from the prayer Jesus taught us, The Lord's prayer. We learn to praise and speak our gratitude, before making our petitions.

I love to pray the Rosary. Many non-Catholics don't know much about it, or have misconceptions, but it's full of Scripture, and done in parts or segments called "decades." Each decade leads us to contemplate different things in the life of Jesus, so the gospel is kept very much alive from day to day.

There are many beautiful Catholic prayers, if one needs guidance.

Some say there is much power when we include Scripture in our personal prayer.

Then there are the moments of spontaneous prayer, like when we see a sunset or a newborn baby, or if an accident was just diverted. Ultimately, we carry God with us, are ever-aware of His presence, and in our Spirit, we begin to understand what it means to pray unceasingly.

I believe there are times we pray without words, kind of like when married people just glance at one another, and much is shared. Often nature speaks to us of God, and we stand amazed or soothed or inspired. Sometimes, going to sleep, it's nice to just think about our faith and feel held.

Last edited by NCC : 11-12-2016 at 10:18 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2016, 12:58 AM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

And music. To play an instrument from the heart, or to sing, or even hum a melody of your own, especially for Him. To understand that He, too, feels pain, all the pain of His creatures, but that He can never sleep. All these things, I think, are prayer.
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Old 11-13-2016, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

Beautiful comments, many thanks. I hope others will join in. Every night I try to pray for "world peace." Seldom if ever have I been very satisfied with my own prayer, and I'm often left wondering if world peace was important to God, wouldn't He take more action to promote it.
Frequently I look for a better prayer than mine on the web. I'd be grateful for prayer suggestions.
I'm consoled for the most part by belief that our human life is a trial, and most (or at least some of us) who seek Salvation will be saved.
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Old 11-13-2016, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

Simply talk with God. Sometimes it may include requests for self or others, but it should nevertheless be a conversation between me and Him. Does God participate in such conversations? He most certainly does.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

I'm deeply troubled by people who claim they have never felt God's Presence nor heard His Voice-some I think are liars who just won't obey and don't want to acknowledge, but others, perhaps most, may not have prayed effectively or enough. Maybe not in private, in silence. Maybe they just talked but haven't listened. Maybe not with humility, as Jesus instructed when He criticized the prayer of the Pharisee.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

I remember looking for passages on prayer one time long ago, and a public prayer said by solomon can be found in 1 Kings 8, where solomon stood in front of the altar and raised his arms. The prayer is from verse 23-52. Also to be found longer in 2 Chr. 6.

1Ki 8:23 And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:
1Ki 8:24 Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.
1Ki 8:25 Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me...

Then there are many references to private prayer as taught by Jesus in the NT.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2016, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

Almost always when I'm wondering about the ideals of Christian life (such as how to pray), I look for teachings by Jesus. I've written elsewhere about how essential I think a good concordance is, and also Bible.org where I love to compare several translations for specific words and verses.
Sometimes, my frequent concerns about my own specific words of prayer are rivaled by the concern or questions I face as I try to understand the prayers of others. I am intrigued that you selected a Solomon prayer. I was reading today that he was the greatest man ever (2 Kings 3:11f) and yet he sinned greatly. Would you comment on what in this prayer attracted you? Also do you know if is this one of the many passages believed to have been duplicated in the Bible because they wanted to include both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms' versions?

Last edited by eschator83 : 03-06-2017 at 10:11 AM.
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  #9  
Old 12-10-2016, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

I wonder if readers would agree that the following are important aspects of prayer, and whether they would add more:
1-Prayer is our search for communion with the Presence and Word of God.
2-Primary aspects of prayer are Praise of God, Thanks, Supplication, and Meditation.
3-The habit of frequent, daily prayer is a hallmark of Virtue and Love.
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  #10  
Old 01-04-2017, 12:15 PM
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Default Re: Learning to Pray

Looking back after 20+ years at our RCIA manual, Exploring Our Catholic Faith, by Rev John Pollard, I remember the 7 page appendix on Prayer, and I recall that it was mentioned during class and suggested for reading privately, which I did. But I'm astonished to find in the index another 44 Prayer references interspersed throughout the text. The importance of prayer was stressed in almost every chapter.
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