For Ex-Protestant Catholics: How do you pray as protestant christians? (lifelong and other catholics welcome)

How do you pray? Did it change throughout your life as a non-religious, christian, or catholic?

Basically my questions are:

How do you pray as protestants?
If the understadning of Jesus is not totally in line, then how you approach God may be different as well? I don’t know.
During the first years of primary school I just followed sunday classes and pray, because everyone else in my community does. We are taught stories found in the bible and talk about sacraments during sunday class, and prayer/bible classes in school. So usually we say those prayers like our father, hail mary, glory be.

What leads you into Catholicism?
Jesus must have find you worthy of the catholic baptism. As our parish priest said to the new Catholics during his homily, “When you choose Jesus as your saviour, it is actually Jesus selectring you as his disciples.” Well, it this seems true as grace is God-driven every time.
In my primary school the first holy communion is taught alongside with reconciliation. I remembered telling my parents at the chapel that I felt full after recieving the host! Maybe faith does work, don’t you think?

How did your prayers change?
Any spiritual, structural, or any differences? I don’t know, but I think our priest’s advice that “don’t be afraid to call God ‘papa’ (in English: daddy)” is a good one.
When I join the altar boy society the memorisation of the creed and gloria was a requirement, as well as the altar server prayer (St John Berchmans, pray for us). Before procession the parish priest would lead a prayer as well, so we learn from him, that first we thank God, then tell him your thoughts, and then ask him for anything. Usually ends with Our father or Mary or glory be.

The typical prayer-wish-list is not completely gone, but it’s becoming smaller and smaller since getting back into the Catholic Church. I was already trying to get out of the habit of wish-list-prayer anyway, but I believe returning to the Catholic Church helped a lot in that matter. Plus the things that DO remain on the wish list are less materialistic and worldly; praying to remain more within the will of God, in other words. There’s a lot more thanks and more prayers for strength against sin.

The Catholic Church is much more prayerful than any church I’ve been to.

How do you pray as protestants?
For me? Badly…it was hard always trying to make up prayers…and it did become sort of a wish list. I never felt holy enough to make up a prayer…and would NEVER pray out loud in a group setting. So my prayer life became small…

What leads you into Catholicism?
The Eucharist…plain and simple. Even when I was protestant…I appreciated the reverence that Catholics had for the Eucharist.

How did your prayers change?
I pray a lot more…I pray more for others…and not so much of the wish list type prayers. I pray for conversions and the strength to carry the crosses that come my way.

We were taught to pray using the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ as a basic model: praise, requests, praise. We didn’t recite prayers because that was vain repetition. I found spontaneous prayer very difficult, as a sort of mental one-sided conversation. I didn’t pray very often unless I’d done something I felt I needed forgiveness for.

After leaving my parents’ faith, I had a hard time finding a belief system that worked. The Tradition and beauty of the Church appealed to me, as well as its appeal to reason. Growing up a fundamentalist pentecostal, I felt I had to lock my brain in a box.

I tend to recite prayers now. I don’t have much of a routine, but the prayers of the rosary are my staples. When I go to mass, I recite my prayers and then add in a personal note, like a request for my family or my current stresses. Something that I’d like to mention (for any protestants that don’t like recited prayers) is that just because the words of the Hail Mary or Salve Regina aren’t mine, doesn’t mean I don’t mean them when I say them. :slight_smile:

How did I pray?
Over time I prayed less in public because well, I had a crisis of faith. It’s still going.

What drew me to Catholicism?
I came to the Church via Orthodoxy. It all started(or rather accelerated) when I learned that Sola Fide, ‘by faith alone’ wasn’t true. All the pillars of Protestantism fell away. I eventually realized that “I couldn’t trust myself but I could trust the Church”. My brother was pretty amazed when I said that. He asked if I had read his history book. I hadn’t, it was the start of a shift in ways of thinking.

How have my prayers changed?
I’ve prayed the Hail Mary and such, but it hasn’t turned into a devotion yet. I try to be “everyday”(no offense intended) and just pray about what’s on my heart.

Like most evangelical Protestants, I prayed extemporaneously, addressing God as a Father, Friend, and Brother, as well as Almighty God of the Universe.

We seldom used any kind of rote prayer, believing that such prayer was vain repetition. We did pray the Lord’s Prayer a few times a year in a corporate setting, and we were encouraged to pray it in our own words in our prayer closets.

We also were taught to pray the Bible, and often I would take passages or chapters and pray it out loud to the Lord.

I prayed with groups of Christians in prayer meetings and Bible studies. I was always comfortable with praying out loud. I prayed with children a lot in the many children’s ministries that I did. Many of us had prayer partners, women that we prayed with on a daily basis.

Many of us kept a prayer journal.

I prayed whenever we sang. To us, singing and prayer were the same thing. So much for all the Catholics who believe that Protestant singing is “happy clappy hootenanny music”–I would suggest these Catholics learn the facts and get to know some real Protestants instead of making up things about them based on prejudice. (Yes, you’re right–I get very upset when Catholics criticize Protestant music and singing and make mean-spirited comments about it.)

We were strongly encouraged to have a daily “Quiet Time” or “Morning Watch” or “Daily Devotions” time, during which we would read the Bible, praise the Lord, and pray. At times, this “Quiet Time” became almost legalistic, as those who did not do it were considered “carnal” or “fallen away.” In our theology, people didn’t lose their salvation, but if they practiced sin, or if they didn’t practice certain good works, we said that they were probably never Christians to begin with. So in our view, those who didn’t have a regular Quiet Time were probably not really Christians. I agonized over this, as I found it very difficult (especially after our children were born) to have a regular Quiet Time. Often I worried that I was not really a Christian.

A book that would help you to understand how Protestants pray is Evelyn Christenson’s great book, What Happens When Women Pray. This is basically how I prayed. While I was growing up, Mrs. Christenson’s husband was my Senior Pastor, and my mother was friends with Mrs. Christenson. Every lady in the church was friends with Mrs. Christenson. Her book is a classic–read it, and you will understand Protestant prayer. Here’s her website: evelynchristensonministries.org/

The Holy Spirit led me and my husband together into Catholicism. The Holy Spirit prepared us both for 47 years for our conversion to Catholicism. The actual process was initiated, I believe, in 1988 when we went to the March For Life on the “Catholic bus” out of Raleigh, North Carolina, and a lady on the bus prayed a Rosary for us in honor of my husband and daughter’s birthday (Jan 22, Roe v. Wade decision). I believe that the Holy Spirit used this as a starting point, and over the next 20 year, worked with us to bring us to a point where we were willing to convert. What precipitated the actual decision to convert was being kicked out of our evangelical Protestant church after many years of active and faithful service.

My prayers have changed because I now pray more of those “rote” prayers that I once considered mere repetition. I have come to see the truth of Romans 8: 26, that the Holy Spirit prays for us. I feel that the traditional prayers and the prayers of the saints enable me to allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, instead of me just giving God a list.

I also implore the saints and angels to pray for me, especially my patron saint, St. Ruth, as well as my friend, St. Anthony of Padua, along with St. Cecilia. This is something that very few evangelical Protestants do or even believe in. I know that there are Protestants who come to believe that the saints are praying for them, because they have had personal visions in which they saw and heard a saint praying for them–this happened to my mother-in-law, a Pentecostal evangelical Christian. So never assume anything about Protestants.

How did I pray?
Prayer was a huge part of our faith. My father has been a Pentecostal minister since before I was born, so we were very devout. Back then, my prayers were usually for the well being of others, asking for strength against sin, asking God’s forgiveness, and praise. It should be noted that a great portion of my prayer time was spent praying in tongues.

What drew me to Catholicism?
When I was a teenager (15 or 16yrs old) I began to read all kinds of commentary on scripture as well as classic philosophy. As I studied the Bible I found that I did not, I COULD not subscribe to the faith of my father. Too many rules had been invented and too many sacred beliefs had been discarded. When you realize that Protestants don’t believe in the Holy See, it’s easy to understand how a 15 year old could so easily disagree with his church; the church had no more authority than I did. As I grew older, and this new revelation grew inside me, my father was having a much more difficult time. His church did everything to him but tar and feather him. I couldn’t take the betrayal.

For quite some time I was out of church. Then, I came to a Catholic church (because of even MORE reasons…) and I saw God there. I saw Him in the reverence, in the beauty, in the tradition, in the history; I saw Him everywhere. It took a few years (10!) for me too finally be initiated, but I basically knew from that day forward that I was Catholic. In some ways, I think I was always Catholic in my heart.

How have my prayers changed?
My wife and I pray the Liturgy of the Hours every morning seperately and every evening together. I’ve found that my prayers are more focused now. It really helps to have the prewritten as I’m able to focus on God and not just my needs. I feel like I’m getting to know him better every day. I’ve spent a lifetime believing in Him and calling on His name, but only now do I feel so free from the confines of my own mind. In short, my prayer life has increased in quality and quantity!

Sidenote:
I too get very defensive when I hear or read ridicule toward the Protestant faith. Everyone in my family, in my wife’s family, and all of our friends are Protestant. I HATE it when they ridicule the Catholic church and my feelings are exactly the same when their faith is belittled in front of me. While I don’t expect anyone to endorse their belief system, I think it’s important for us to remember that there are followers of Christ on both ends. I am at war with no man, especially those who are striving to please the same God albeit in a much different way.

I can not speak for anyone else, but my prayers only changed in that i added prayers that i had not previously said, like the “Hail Mary”.

Protestants pray in much the same way as Catholics do. It is after all, the same God, essentially the same Bible (the New testament is identical, the old may or may not differ), etc.

Why would you think that protestants pray differently?

Before I returned to the Catholic Church prayers were often treated as communication between me and God. I would speak to him as a friend and rarely use scripted prayers. There were times when I went into prayer and didn’t know what to say so then I’d sing songs of praise. However, there were times when I just wanted to be silent so I would go into prayer by opening the bible to the book of psalms to guide me in thought. This later view (using the psalms is often how I treat repeated prayers now that I’m a Catholic. As a guide to communicating with God focusing on aspects I otherwise would not have and direct my thoughts for a more meaningful prayer.

Basically my questions are:

How do you pray as protestants?
If the understadning of Jesus is not totally in line, then how you approach God may be different as well? I don’t know.

Most protestants have a Catholic view of God in the sense of his Trinity. Prayer is an intament relational discussion between man and God. However, there are many differing kinds of protestants that have differing views of God so a baptist will pray silently making petition before God. A charismatic pentecostal type my entreat God with a “Name it and claim it” philosophy thinking that if they trust God, God like the Jinn comming out of the lamp will provide their desires. However, even in those communities this is the minority case. Most have a heart felt prayer life where they pray for their needs and the needs of others

During the first years of primary school I just followed sunday classes and pray, because everyone else in my community does. We are taught stories found in the bible and talk about sacraments during sunday class, and prayer/bible classes in school. So usually we say those prayers like our father, hail mary, glory be.

One of the reasons I first left the catholic church was because I said those prayers and they were just repeated words they had no meaning form me. It was then easy for a protestant to engage me and say God doesn’t like prayers that are just words repeated. He wants your heart. I didn’t realize at the time the problem wasn’t the prayers but how I approched saying them.

What leads you into Catholicism?
Jesus must have find you worthy of the catholic baptism. As our parish priest said to the new Catholics during his homily, “When you choose Jesus as your saviour, it is actually Jesus selectring you as his disciples.” Well, it this seems true as grace is God-driven every time.

I would say the Holy Spirit after all I was raised in a Catholic family. However, what really lead me back is the intense study of scripture and history and the only way for the bible to be consistent internally is if its understood from a Catholic perspective. Protestants emphasise the “do nothing” aspect to salvation. I can’t earn salvation thus its a gift and there is nothing I can do to deserve it. Which in one part is true however they avoid verses which shows Jesus Judging us based on what we do and this is always rationalized in such a way that it doesn’t mean Christians will be personally judged for their actions. The only way to reconcile these two seemingly oposing thoughts is to come at if from the Catholic perspective.

In my primary school the first holy communion is taught alongside with reconciliation. I remembered telling my parents at the chapel that I felt full after recieving the host! Maybe faith does work, don’t you think?

Faith absolutely works.

How did your prayers change?
Any spiritual, structural, or any differences? I don’t know, but I think our priest’s advice that “don’t be afraid to call God ‘papa’ (in English: daddy)” is a good one.
When I join the altar boy society the memorisation of the creed and gloria was a requirement, as well as the altar server prayer (St John Berchmans, pray for us). Before procession the parish priest would lead a prayer as well, so we learn from him, that first we thank God, then tell him your thoughts, and then ask him for anything. Usually ends with Our father or Mary or glory be

As I’ve said I use repeated prayers as a guide to my thoughts and direct the personal prayers I have.

Does this help you?

Wow! This sent chills up my spine! And when I was reading it, I had an imagery of saints praying for me. I always knew intellectually, but never before could picture it in my mind.

I’m glad.

My mother-in-law was praying for her grandson (my nephew), who was 2 at the time and was undergoing treatment for cancer (neuroblastoma). It was during that prayer that she saw saints praying for him.

Since she was a Pentecostal, a vision like this didn’t frighten or upset her at all. Pentecostals expect miracles, dreams, and visions, and they are used to asking the Holy Spirit to validate the event to make sure it is of God or from an evil source. She knew that what she was seeing was from God. She was very encouraged from then on.

My nephew (her grandson) recovered. He’s now 6, and has four more years to go before he is pronounced totally cured of his cancer. But he’s doing really good.

I was under the impression that most protestants didn’t believe that saints can pray for us or us to them? If so, how did she reconcile this with her pentecostal beliefs? Do you know if formed a belief system a little different than her own faith tradition due to this?

I’m so happy for your nephew! May God continue to help him heal.

I don’t know very much, but the Orthodox and Anglican brothers have the understanding of saints like catholics right?

For other protestants though if they ever believe that saints pray for them, it wouldn’t be “this” or “that” saint, just people of God in general. For many protestants “saint” is synomous to “earthly christians” though.

It’s in the Bible–Hebrews 12:1. That’s what’s important to evangelicals and Pentecostals.

They don’ pray for grace because they are already justified. And once justified, always justified, although some would say that someone might never have been justified to begin with if they sin a lot. And they wouldn’t pray for grace because they are basically foul or sinful with a blanket of goodness over them to cover up the evil inside. Therefore there is no way to get rid of that inner evil and to grow in goodness inside which grace performs.

They pray for others to receive justification.

Now they pray praise to G-d and sing praise to G-d.

They pray for fininacial well being, and health, for themselves and others.

I imagine they have conversational prayer with G-d as well.

But do they pray the prayer of sorrow for their sins? Since once justified, even tho they
may sin again, if it is not frequently or habitual, then they do not need sorrow for sin?
And if they do, is it perfect sorrow for the love of G-d, or the lessor sorrow for fear of hell?

But they didn’t believe in praying for the dead?

Did they pray to the saints? Someone said here that they saw saints praying for them? But they didn’t request the saints for their prayer.

And they don’t have the real presence so that particular close prayer with Christ Himself
is not available.

Do they make a morning offering to give all that they do that day to the love of G-d, even
all the little things? They probably won’t because they don’t believe in good works.
This type of prayer was the kind that the “little flower” made.

Do some not pray at all if they believe in absolue predestination. And if they do, why?

And those who are absolute in “once saved, always saved” , they would not pray at all
for a deeper holiness since justification is absolute once received. Is this correct?

If anyone can answer any or all of these questions, I really would appreciate it, because I
really would like to know.

In the Baptist faith all prayer was spontaneous (no liturgy, at all)

Studying history, as well as the church fathers, help to lead me to the Catholic Faith

Now I pray more often and my prayers are more liturgical then they were before.
:thumbsup:

Prayer in the Presbyterian church was pretty much informal, except fot the Lord’s prayer, and the saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” if I remember rightly.

At one stage I made a bit of an effort to memorise a few Catholic prayers, although my prayer life is still spotty. However due to a certain number of “spiritual” experiences, I’m very much aware God is through me, in me and around me at all times.

Hence I’ve only got to pray, talk, or complain to Him and I know full well I’ve been heard, for better or worse.

So in that respect I don’t see much difference between a rote prayer (eg. Hail Mary, Confiteor, formal prayers in church) or impromptu prayer.

That said, I think the Rosary does have some value, but I find it very difficult to keep going without getting bored, It’s so repititious. I think I’d make a very bad monk.

:thumbsup:

For those who embrace John 14:6, Romans 8:15 is theirs, by adoption.

Christians can communion directly with God.

To know we are adopted by God, and can communion directly with Him, is more poignant than joy can express. :bowdown2:

:slight_smile:

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