Difficulty praying


#1

Hello,

(Yet another thread from Epistemes. :wink: )

I’ve been having some difficulty praying which has caused me to somewhat want to not pray at all – or, I guess I should say, that I find it easier to pray to our Blessed Mother, asking for her prayers, than saying anything to Jesus. When praying to Our Lord, I have no idea what to say because I frequently acknowledge that He already knows my heart, thoughts, and everything about me; therefore I turn to asking for forgiveness of my sins, but I get so stuck on my sins of pride, vanity, and how I’m not trying hard enough to convert my life that I again feel dumbfounded and at a complete loss for words.

It’s starting to become extremely aggravating!

Like I said above, I find it so much easier to talk to our Blessed Mother, to tell her my problems, my thoughts, my concerns, and to ask her to deliver these to her Son for consideration – but when I try to ask Jesus directly, I immediately think, ‘Well, He already knows’ and I feel ashamed for even attempting to stand in His presence, sinner that I am.

Anyone else ever experienced this? What did you do? What should I do?


#2

Yes, the Lord knows everything about you, but He also wants to hear your praise, thanksgiving, and he deserves your adoration.

Prayer is not only asking for forgiveness, and for the things we need, but it is a heartfelt conversation with the Lord.

Meditation and thinking about the Passion of our Lord, or other parts of the Bible can help us to get to know him better.

Vocal prayer said from the heart can do the same.

As far as not feeling like praying, I think that comes to everyone. Yet, we must do it whether we feel like it or not…that is how we grow in faith. We pray because we want to show the Lord we love him, not because we want his consolations.


#3

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

I do not know why you are having trouble with your prayers. I do not think it is uncommon for people to have trouble praying.

When we pray the Most Holy Rosary, we remember that at the First Sorrowful Mystery the disciples fell asleep with Jesus Christ during his Agony in the Garden. He told them “Watch ye and pray”, ** (Matt. 26:41) for the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." What is prayer but drawing close to the Lord and Savior anyways? When we pray the Most Holy Rosary, we remember that at the Fifth Sorrowful Mystery Crucifixion, only the Blessed Virgin Mary and the disciple John, who Jesus loved, and Mary Magdalene stayed close to Jesus. ** “Woman, behold thy son. Son, behold thy Mother.” (John 19:25-27)

St. Louis Mary de Montfort, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Dominic, St. Padre Pio, St. Maximilian Maria, Mother Theresa, St. Therese of Liseux were all devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Therese of Liseux and St. Maximilian Maria were devoted in the way mentioned by St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary and the Secret of the Rosary. St. Louis Mary de Monfort did warn that sometimes God sees our sins and finds it hard to answer our prayers.

**St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.147-149. Intercession of Our Lady with Our Lord.(thank Edward Henry :thumbsup: **

  1. "She enriches our good works by adorning them with her own merits and virtues. It is as if a poor peasant, wishing to win the friendship and favor of the king, were to go to the queen and give her an apple - his only posession - for her to offer it to the king. The queen, accepting the peasant’s humble gift, puts it on a beautiful golden dish and presents it to the king on behalf of the peasant. The apple in itself would not be a gift worthy of a king, but presented by the queen in person on a dish of gold, it becomes fit for any king.

  2. Mary presents our good works to Jesus. She does not keep anything we offer for herself, as if she were our last end, but unfailingly gives everything to Jesus. So by the very fact we give anything to her, we are giving it to Jesus. Whenever we praise and glorify her, she sings today as she did on the day Elizabeth praised her, “My soul glorifies the Lord.”

  3. At Mary’s request, Jesus accepts the gift of our good works no matter how poor and insignificant they may be for one who is the King of kings, the Holiest of the holy. When we present anything to Jesus by oursleves, relying on our own dispositions and efforts, he examines our gift and often rejects it because it is stained with self-love, just as he once rejected the sacrifices of the Jews because they were imbued with selfish motives.
    But when we present something to him by the pure, virginal hands of his beloved Mother, we take him by his weak side, in a manner of speaking. He does not consider so much the present itself as the person who offers it. Thus Mary, who is never slighted by her Son but is always well received, prevails upon him to accept with pleasure everything she offers him, regardless of its value. Mary has only to present the gift for Jesus to graciously accept it. This is what St. Bernard strongly recommended to all those he was guiding along the pathway to perfection. “When you want to offer something to God, to be welcomed by him be sure to offer it through the worthy Mother of God, if you do not wish to see it rejected.”

Your prayer problems may not have anything to do with you though. Mary was the only one Mother Theresa could turn to as well. Her consolation in prayer life left, and this article suggests that Mother Theresa was being asked to share in the same trial of belief suffered by the poor and destitute. zenit.org/article-22398?l=english

*Praying to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary was questioned by Pope John Paul II: *
Pope John Paul II on St. Louis Mary de Montfort
"…At one point I began to question any devotion to Mary, believing that, if it became too great, it might end up compromising the supremacy of the worship owed Christ. At that time, I was greatly helped by a book by Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort entitled 'Treatise of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin." There I found the answers to my questions. Yes, Mary does bring us closer to Christ; she does lead us to him provided that we live her mystery in Christ… … thanks to Saint Louis, I began to discover the immense riches of Marian devotion from new perspectives." Pope John Paul II “Gift and Mystery” pp 28-30

So, maybe confession and the Rosary and then another attempt at prayer life?

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#4

Even knowing one has difficulty praying… is a prayer (from the heart).

Perhaps ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ are giving you a little ‘latitude’ to do/be what you are to-date. Yes, you are still thinking about them, but you have learned to walk now, and can feed yourself. When you are again ‘hungry’ you will look for food. Then you will be full… and not hungry at the moment.

We live many cycles: sleep, awake; eat, work; tuesday, sunday; co-workers, family; alone, social; summer, winter; speak, listen; pray, do/be; etc…


#5

I’d like to say few words on this part. You need to pray for being patient with yourself. It is not you who convert your life, but it is your coorporation with God to allow Him to work in you. It is crucial to know that we are sinful; however, we tend to want to change so quickly but we don’t really know where to start. In this eagerness to change without patience can be part of pride also.

Let God show you what needs to be changed first then you ask His Grace to help you change that. In your case, it is wonderful that you go to His Mother.

One step at a time … one step at a time.


#6

You’re definitely right, which is why I lump my eagerness along with pride and vanity.

Reflecting on my sins can prove to be a big stumbling block. It’s not that I doubt in forgiveness, but I get so caught up in thoughts of, ‘When will I ever be better than this?’

I try to remember that it’s only God who has delivered me from my past sins and keeps me from sin here and now, but I find that I want to be better than I am even now – not for me, but for Him and how much I *want *to love Him.

I don’t say this to sound like some saint – because I’m far from that, as my threads in the forum well attest – but when I try to pray to Jesus, I realize that there’s this vast gulf that separates us and how much my actions suggest that I don’t love him, therefore I feel ashamed and can only pray that change be more immediate than it has been.

Like you said, I should pray for patience along with true conversion.


#7

Hello friend :hug1:

You should just keep trying. None of us are worthy of asking Him for anything – but that’s the beautiful gift of His love – His sacrifice allows us to ask for His help! Most of my prayers are spontaneous ones in which I beg forgiveness, ask for protection for my family and friends (and people here at CAF :wink: ) and so forth. Jesus already knows all, but when we go to Him in prayer, we are acknowledging our dependence upon Him.

I can tell when my young daughter needs my help, but being the age she is, she likes to try to do things on her own. I understand this is part of the learning process, so I step back and tell her when she needs me I’m right there. She gets frustrated, keeps trying to do whatever she’s doing, and finally, she’ll ask for my help. All along I knew she would ask me to help at some point, I just had to let her get there on her own. I think it’s similar with God – of course He knows everything about us already, and He gives us room to learn, room to try, room to fail, room to come to Him with our needs and our acknowledgment that we need Him.

If I forced help upon my daughter, she’d get even more upset, but because I give her the reassurance that I’ll be there when she’s ready, she can learn how to trust me. I in turn do what I can on my own, but I learn more and more to trust in Jesus, and learn that when I do trust Him, everything goes more smoothly.

One more thing: in the meantime, I don’t see anything wrong with asking Mary to help you. Ask her to help bring you closer to her son, and she will – that is her sole (soul? lol) desire. :slight_smile:

I hope this helps. Praying for you! :crossrc: :hug1:


#8

As you mentioned earlier that you like to go to Our Mother Mary, that is the surest way and She will help you to Jesus. Have you thought about the Total Consecration to Our Blessed Mother Mary in the manner of St. Louis de Montfort?


#9

Have you thought of directly asking Jesus when you feel stuck and ashamed…Lord, why am I having problems speaking to you? Please give me the words.

I’m the sort of person who likes the direct route. :slight_smile:

Peace this day,
IC


#10

Our Blessed Mother desperately wants to lead you to her Son. Let her! Tell her exactly how you feel, including the praise and worship you want to express to her Son. Yes, I have gone through this and since I had no blocks whatsoever to talking to Mary, I did so and after a while she took me to her Son.

Another thing that I learned while my daughter was a teen. Even tho’ I knew pretty much what she was thinking when she wouldn’t speak to me - it was horrible! I so wanted her to open up to me! It must be the same way for Our Lord. He may know just what we’re thinking (much more than I did as a mother of a teen) but I can only feel “sorry” for Him since so many of us won’t talk to Him (from anger, despair, etc.).


#11

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque also only prayed to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Excerpt from Vie par elle-meme by St. Margaret Mary Alacooque, to whom was revealed the **Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, ***“The blessed virgin has always taken great care of me. I had recourse to her in all my necessities and she has preserved me from great dangers. I did not dare address myself to her divine son, but only to her and I often presented her with the little crown of the rosary, which I said on my bare knees, or genuflecting and kissing the ground at every Ave Maria.” * "http://www.episcopalacademy.org/drum/trea/TREA5-06/Wrighttrea06a.pdf

I think that I once read that you have taken both the St. Louis Mary de Montfort consecration and the St. Maximilian Maria consecration, which seem to me to be basically the same thing. Perhaps, the Immaculate Heart of Mary is lovingly holding you to the terms of this consecration. An excerpt from the Act of Consecration “Since I cannot lay claim to anything except what merits your rejection and displeasure, I dare no longer approach the holiness of your majesty on my own. That is why I turn to the intercession and the mercy of your holy Mother, whom you yourself have given me to mediate with you. Through her I hope to obtain from you contrition and pardon for my sins, and that Wisdom whom I desire to dwell in me always.”

Praying through the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a solid practice, if it was done by His Holiness Pope John Paul II himself!!

Pereptual online Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus louisville-catholic.net/WebCameras/AdorationChapel/tabid/825/Default.aspx
True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin montfort.org.uk/Writings/TrueDev.html
**Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
Preparation for 33 day consecration to the Blessed Virgin saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#12

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