Am I abusing prayer?


I have problems sleeping due to body aches and pains (yea, I’ve seen docs about it. Thought a surgery I had last year would help. Nope.) So I do tend to wake up at night. I would then have problems going back to sleep. What I’ve been doing lately is saying the Lord’s Prayer.

The thing about the Lord’s Prayer is that it does help to calm me down. If I find myself getting anxious, or having a ton of conversations in my head that are just driving me crazy, I’ll go into the Lord’s Prayer. When I wake up at night, I say the Lord’s Prayer with a “quiet request” that He help calm me and help me go to back to sleep. (This does work by the way.) At other times, it is to help me “get present,” remind me that this day is His, and then I can get back to work, or whatever is at hand. Sometimes I’ll say a Hail Mary.

Praying helps to calm me, to “clear my head.” I’m recently coming back to the Catholic church after a couple of decades away. I grew up Catholic and so was taught these prayers and taught that peace and calm can come from God. But now I am worried that I am abusing these prayers.

Sometimes on my way to work I’ll say three “Our Fathers” on the drive. It has helped to cut down on me being annoyed by other drivers on the road.


Wise, you are, in wondering if you’re abusing prayer.

Every time you turn to God, you give His Mercy glory. And God is so merciful that a single sigh from your heart is enough to make Him swoop down to you and clasp His Arms around you, wrap you in a robe, put sandals on your feet, a ring on your finger, and prepare a feast for you.


You are “practicing the presence of God” through this prayer, which is a way that God speaks to you especially. This isn’t abuse - it’s prayer!


What they said. I find the Rosary helps me in the same way.


Thank you for your reassurances, folks.

Katy, I’m looking into learning the proper way to pray the Rosary. :slight_smile:


1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing;

Philippians 4:6
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Though I don’t have sleeping problems usually, I have had many anxiety and stress problems myself over my life, and since I started RCIA a few months ago and began praying regularly, I often use it in the same way that you do. I certainly agree with the other replies here - praying often is not abuse, it is actually the way to do it. If you prayed constantly, over and over all day, you would be much better for it. That, from what I’ve heard, is essentially what monks do anyways.


Yep! Answersplease reminded me of:

1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing;

And I had a moment of, “Wow, it’d be so very cool to be able to just ceasingly pray. Like, non stop.”

But sometimes I gotta spend brain cycles to do my job. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m glad you’re turning to prayer in the same way. This thread has reassured me and it’s comforting.


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