I dont know how to pray the right way


Okay, like many non believers there have been times I have shouted out in close calls driving something like, oh God, help me!

But, that is more like a conditioned reaction than prayer, and I did not care about God or his existance when doing so.

I dont pray, and want to try to. Just not sure how to start. If it helps me to understand christianity better to do so, I am willing to try.

Any ideas for me?

I tried this morning, but it was a moment where I just could not figure out what to think of or ask God so I just shut my eyes and said to myself, God help me to pray. I dont think that counts.


You wrote,

I tried this morning, but it was a moment where I just could not figure out what to think of or ask God so I just shut my eyes and said to myself, God help me to pray. I dont think that counts.

Yes, indeed, that counts! In fact, a saint named Josemaría Escrivá said,

“You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’ you can be sure you’ve already begun.”

In the Gospel, we read that the apostles asked Jesus to teach them to pray (Luke 11:1–4). What He taught them was what we call the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father):

He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

A longer version of this same prayer is in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 6:9–15). This is the perfect prayer not only because Jesus (God Himself) taught it, but also because it contains in it the major types of prayer. So here are the words of the Our Father as we pray it today, and what you can think about as you slowly pray it:
*]"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.” Worship and praise God. Thank Him for His gifts to you and others.
*]“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Conform yourself to God’s plan for you. Ask Him to reveal His will to you. Listen.
*]“Give us this day our daily bread.” Ask God for what you (and others) need. “Bread” means everything we need. For Catholics, it can also mean the Eucharist, where Jesus feeds us with Himself, the living Bread from heaven.
*]“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Ask God for forgiveness for all your sins. Ask Him to help you forgive others. Be specific: examine yourself to see how you might have offended God. And think whether there is anyone in particular whom you need to forgive.
*]“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Ask for protection from physical and (especially) spiritual harm, for the grace you need to avoid sin.[/LIST]


Okay, it appears I am on the road to praying.

I understand you are trying to help me, but the prayer you suggest is for believers that already believe. I would be feeling like a hypocrite praying that one, because its a prayer for a commuinty that you do a prayer like that, and I am not in the community. I need to pray to ask God to help me to see things more clearly so I CAN believe. The hardest thing, is to know how to do this.

Maybe I am making this a little hard. I just thought there were ways I could figure out how a christian approaches God in prayer, if they dont know what they need but need help.

Thank you for the encouragement though. I dont know about very many saints, and just read about St Monica yesterday. Since I carry the name Monica.



You are dearly loved. And even though I am usually reticent to speak for God; in this case I’ll go out on a limb:

He definitely hears you :slight_smile:

May His peace rest on you always and in all ways.


But I think that the fact that you are asking these questions, and that you are beginning to pray — even if just by crying out, “Help me pray!” or “Help me believe!” — means that you are already beginning to believe. God is already planting the seed of faith in you. Open yourself up and allow it to grow!

You don’t have to belong to any particular church, faith community, formal religion, or “club” to pray as Jesus taught us. He wants us to address God as a loving Father. So you can do that in your own words, too. Speak to God as a Father (He is!) who created you and loves you very much (He does!). Tell Him whatever is on your mind. Ask Him for the gift of faith. Ask Him to show you the next step.

Many of us on this forum will be praying for you.


Thank you, bjustb, and P (long name, sorry I forgot it)…

I need to try to pray about this nullity thing because I am getting angry thinking about it, and I dont like getting angry, and I know God wont help me if I am angry like this.


I prayed the Our Father before I was sure about being a Christian, and now, even if I have to make myself pray it in times of doubt and dryness. Praying it consistently continues to open my sometimes reluctant heart to God when all I can manage is to take a very small step toward Him.

So, it’s not for just us pew-fillers :smiley:


You are getting much good advice here. Do you have a special quiet spot you can go to avoid any other distractions? If you can find one and go there and just sit quietly for awhile, don’t stress, the words you are longing to say may get a chance to come out to Our Lord.


Yes, I do. I like my back porch for quiet thinking. I stare at my flowers outside, and can think more clearly then.
Thank you for the idea.


Praying is a communication with God, He understands when you are angry, just talk to him and tell him whatever you want to.
I think that saying this short prayer, just like the one you already said may help:, "I would like to ask you for the grace to believe, I need Your help."
He already loves you and wants to help you through everything. Just trust that is true. I will keep you and your daughter in my daily prayers too.
I already gave you a link on one of your other threads so I won’t repost that here. He has already sought you out, He is calling you to a closer walk with Him. I think your first prayer was beautiful.
You mentioned something about an annulment. You can call your closest Catholic Parish and ask to speak to a Priest about it, he can fill you in on what that is all about and answer your questions. It’s alright to ask him even when you aren’t a “believer”.


try this.

Go to your quiet place with a Bible.

Before you begin, close your eyes and just relax a minute. Then, turn to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gift of Faith. Ask Jesus, to help you and to come into your life. You may even just say the words, “Lord Jesus.” You can say them softly, but its better if you say them interiorly. Then, just rest in His presence, as you say His name. After awhile, turn to your Bible and open anywhere that you come to, and read. Take just the first chapter that you find. Don’t worry about understanding or receiving some profound message or experience. If that happens, fine, but don’t concern yourself with it. For most people, the fruits of prayer are not understood until well after we’ve prayed.

In all, pray from the heart. Prayer is an act of love, between you and Jesus Christ. Trust in Him, and allow Him to transform your life.

God Bless

P.S. your PM box is full. :slight_smile:


Oh, thanks for letting me know about the PM box, apparently they only let me store 10, and someone else PMed me but I cant reply, because this laptop is not hooked up to a printer, and I need to save the information I got before I delete. So, I was going to clear it after printing the information. I will try to clear it if I can figure out how to transfer the stuff to a word document or something.

Thank you for the great tips.:slight_smile:


Just do this:

  1. copy/paste the message you want to save to Word
  2. Go to Word
  3. Click “File” on the upper left corner
  4. Click “Save as”
  5. Give a name you want to save under to the right of “File Name:” in the box
  6. Click “Save”

Also, you can clear your sent email in your PM box by deleting them, that will also give you some room.


saint teresa…
(rough translation)

“For me prayer is a pulse of the heart…a simple gaze to the sky A thankgiving in good times and in bad”


Thanks InLight and to you also s joseph.

Right now I am going to search for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, as someone offered to pray it for me for nine days. I dont know much but I am searching this site first.

I wont be praying it, but it would be interesting to know what that person is doing.

I told God, I am confused and I am told that the Holy Spirit will be be able to help. If this is correct, can I ask you send this Holy Spirit to help me?


There is no right or wrong way to prayer, its what you feel most comfortable with, i always had that problem and thought i was doing it wrong i am giving you the answer my priest gave me hope it helps:)


That’s perfect! You’re getting the hang of this prayer thing. Keep it up.

You seem to be trying to soak in a lot of information in a short period of time. Relax, you have a lifetime (all of us are still learning). May God bless you as you continue your journey.

I prayed for you at Mass this afternoon.

God bless you!


Hi Monica, the Divine Mercy Chaplet is a very nice prayer. Since you’re new to prayer, you may want to stay with rote prayers for now, meaning prayers that are already written, in common or maybe not so common use, like the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Apostles Creed, or this one, to St. Monica, who I see you’ve mentioned before. Or, if you prefer, just “St. Monica, pray for me/us”. She will intercede for you.

Dear St. Monica,
troubled wife and mother,
many sorrows pierced your heart during your lifetime.
Yet, you never despaired or lost faith.
With confidence, persistence, and profound faith,
you prayed daily for the conversion
of your beloved husband, Patricius,
and your beloved son, Augustine;
your prayers were answered.
Grant to us that same fortitude, patience,
and trust in the Lord.
Intercede for us, dear St. Monica,
that God may favorably hear our pleas
for all non practising Catholics
and those discerning conversion to the Catholic Church,



She is the opposite of me, so maybe she can help me.

I will give it a go tomorrow morning. And, If I can make mass tomorrow morning at 8:45 am.


I think you’ve got many good advices about prayer.
Please take your time as Philothea said.
I will pray for you and may Holy Spirit guides you.

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