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How do you do it?

4 replies to this topic

#1 Hannah Henrietta

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:22 PM

I've been thinking about prayer recently and wondered if others would mind sharing details of how they approach prayer.

I've been trying to be more conscious in expressing appreciation instead  of only praying when I want/need something but I'm not sure that I'm  feeling anything...which is leading to doubt as often I feel that I'm just talking to myself.

I'd appreciate any suggestions which may help to make my prayer life more meaningful.
  • Do you pray every day and is it always at a particular time of day?
  • Do you adopt a particular posture for prayer?
  • Do you use a "standard" prayer such as the Lord's Prayer or do you use your own words?
  • Do you speak aloud or just in your own mind?
Just some background information about me. I was raised by atheist parents although sent to a catholic primary school. I went through the RCIA program when I was about 19 soon after the death of a close family member. I then had very little to do with church or religion until I was in my mid to late 30's (I'm now in my early 40's).

My husband is an avowed atheist. None of my family members or friends have any religious beliefs that I'm aware of so I feel quite isolated in this aspect of my life. I do attend Mass on a semi regular basis but I don't feel that there is anyone at church that I can discuss this with.


#2 Ange remplie

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:10 PM

QUOTE (Rosa Sinclair @ 17/01/2013, 10:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
  • Do you pray every day and is it always at a particular time of day?
  • Do you adopt a particular posture for prayer?
  • Do you use a "standard" prayer such as the Lord's Prayer or do you use your own words?
  • Do you speak aloud or just in your own mind?

I try (I have a baby, so this doesn't always work!) to say morning and evening prayer.  Notionally, morning prayer is at 9am, and evening prayer is at 6pm, when I'm at home, but in practice they're whenever I can get uninterrupted time.

Mostly I don't fuss about posture, but I do light a candle and I find that a helpful focus.

I tend to use the set forms in "A Prayer Book For Australia" (it's an Anglican missal), or to mix it up, sometimes I use "Celtic Daily Prayer" which has come out of the Northumbria community in England.  Both of these have places set aside for your own requests and thanksgivings as well as the set words.  I do tend to speak aloud, because I find that slows me down and I don't race through, so I think about what I'm saying more.

I remember once, that I was talking to a priest I know about using prayer book forms, and he commented that he noticed that when he uses them he praises a lot more; that when he just uses his own words he tends to dwell on his own worries and requests and stuff, but tended to skim over the praise and thanksgiving, which is so important.  I thought it was a valuable comment!

Look, to be honest, I think it's much easier to pray better if it's shared.  Finding a prayer partner or small group can make a world of difference, but it isn't easy!

#3 Expelliarmus

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:18 PM

Do you pray every day and is it always at a particular time of day?
Do you adopt a particular posture for prayer?
Do you use a "standard" prayer such as the Lord's Prayer or do you use your own words?
Do you speak aloud or just in your own mind?

In the evening, at eating time.
I used to kneel but now I just sit because of my knee, arms folded, eyes closed, head bowed.
I use my own words.
I speak aloud if it's a prayer with others, in my mind if it's a personal prayer.

#4 feralangel

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:46 PM

Hi OP,
I've always found mass to be the best place for me to pray (because of its communal nature).
Have you considered joining a social/prayer group affiliated with the church?
Outside of the church I usually only pray in the evening (with my eldest daughter) as part of her bedtime routine.  We keep it simple (more like a conversation about and with God.  We ask for blessings (including a long list of people and pets), give thanks and finish with "The Lord's Prayer" and "Ave Maria".

#5 Hannah Henrietta

Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:51 PM

Thank you so much for your replies - you've given me some food for thought.

Thanks again.

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