Failing in prayer


Hey all!
Recently I’ve really been trying to pray for the saints intercession. However coming from the evangelical church I find it hard for me to really put my heart into it. I love saying the hail Mary and pray novenas, I even have a prayer book that I try to read from, but whenever I do it just feels dry and scripted. Does anyone have advise on how to improve my prayer life?


Reading the Psalms are wonderful prayers .rosary try to meditate on the word of God,or the divine office,way of the cross, in an orderly form .you know what i mean a spiritual time table,attending Holy Mass ,family prayers examination of conscience at the end of the Day



How many times have you asked a friend to pray for you? Somehow, knowing others are praying for me helps me. Think of the saints as your friends in heaven. They are there to intercede for you.

Plus I hang out on the CAF prayer forum and intercede for others. You should pop over and start praying for others.

God bless you, friend in Christ!


Sounds like you answered your own question, when you said…

Not sure what you meant, but you know…

1.) Try Lectio Divina as a form of prayer. This is not formal, repetitive prayer, like the Rosary; Lectio Divina is more a way of discovering what is significant and relevant to scripture in your life at the present moment. Since you have focused on the Saint, the 2000+ years of church history provides a wonderful array of great examples to contemplate. You’ll probably find a friend in an Angel or a Saint (identifying with a charism), and that will fill you with joy.

2.) Recollect yourself. Saint Theresa of Avila speaks of Recollective Prayer, but I tend to think recollection as a meditative exercise is a bit understated in the church. Today recollection seems to get lumped in with philosophy, and upstaged by a lot of psychological theories. But I used to experience the “recollective effect” a great deal more when saying the rosary a few years ago. Another great way to recollect yourself is by saying the Examen Prayer. In any case, setting aside time just to “gather yourself” works wonders.

3.) If you are Catholic, and you can receive the sacraments, receive them worthily. If not, ask a Priest what you can do in lieu of them. Receiving the sacraments is perhaps the greatest thing you can do for yourself.

4.) Fast. There’s a certain mentality to fasting that makes it unlike any other devotion. Assume, for instance, you were a regular at a bar, like Norm on Cheers, where the usual thing was to drink. Imagine, then, Norm telling everyone he wanted to go on a fast. His friends might object, but I didnt say he had to leave them. I just proposed he go on a fast for awhile. What would happen is, Norm would find time for other things, and he’d develop a unique sense of sovereignty as a result.

5.) When you dont have a lot of time to meditate, practice “spontaneous prayer” and “presence”. Read about St Therese of Lisieux’s “little way”.

6.) Go on a retreat. The positive experience of being in fellowship with others will give your spirituality a booster shot.

7.) Visit Bible study or take a class. Learning inevitably brings forth new ideas.

8.) Participate (i.e. serve) at mass. Sing, Usher, Read, etc… There’s plenty to do… :slight_smile:

9.) Volunteer to help with a ministry at large.

10.) All in all - focus on doing something redemptive for yourself or others… Because after all - you’re working out your salvation… :slight_smile:

In my case, I’ll offer one last one… Sing a lot… LOL For, when you sing, you pray twice…



What sometimes helps me is to have a conversation with Jesus—and you can do that in your heart everywhere.


ETA: This is from a great interview with Fr Henri J Nouwen and in the link below he goes through many other ways to pray.

It’s good to have a prayer on your lips wherever you go. There are so many moments in life when you are free to pray. When you are waiting for the cashier in the Supermarket, getting mad because he or she doesn’t hurry, say a little prayer: “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.” Take that prayer with you wherever you go. Say it anytime, and then focus your mind and heart on God.


How do you fail in prayer?


You’re trying. That’s 90% or better there. Many of the saints felt a spiritual dryness, but they persisted. Read about Mother Teresa or her namesake, St Teresa of Avila. Both had these ebbs and flows of spiritual encounter. None of that is failing. In addition to the good suggestions above, find your own way as well. You don’t have to do what you might think others do.


Try meditating. The Stations of the Cross is a good way. Soon you will be moved to prayer.


So long as you try, you do not fail. Prayer is a battle, and oftentimes the sweetness can seem absent, sometimes Acedia, that is to say a kind of spiritual depression can make it hard, but persevere and in time it will come. Start with the prayers you know and love, especially the Our Father and Hail Mary, focus on the words, and say them slowly if you need to, fervent prayer will come in God’s own time.


I recommend every video of Fr. Mike Schmitz and all his homilies :grinning:


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