Over praying.

I know God wants us to go to him for everything and the Blessed Mother encourage us to pray. But I’m kind of stuck in the middle here. Not to long ago a priest that I talk to told me to back off a little and let God work, regarding a couple of issues in my life. I know God does things in his own time and not to force his hand. But how does one pray to God without sound like a broken record.

Perhaps the father meant praying one “perfect” prayer is as effective as making prayer recitation over and over again “imperfectly.” God loves and He loves you so maybe by ONE really good prayer of the Lord’s Prayer or Hail Mary or Glory Be - it outweighs the prayer value of a lot of quickly and hastily recited prayers.

There is the Rosary, a powerful contemplative prayer. You might consider praying the Rosary every day. I cannot conceive that the priest meant you should stop praying. He likely meant that patience is necessary.

St. Monica prayed for the conversion of her son, st. Augustine, we are told, for over 30 years, if I’m not mistaken. so, I bet you have a long way to go to surpass her patience and faith in prayer.

We pray for certain things, over and over – I certainly do. but, don’t neglect how prayer transforms us, who do the praying. If our prayer is not answered as we would have things, look how much good prayer is doing in transforming ourselves.

the Lord has answered SO MANY of my prayers, for impossible things, that I almost feel I don’t have a right to ask for anything else. I remind myself that what I need most is God Himself, and that gives me perspective on the other things on my list.

Jesus tells us to seek out solitude for prayer. we need to get away from the noise and distraction around us, so much. It almost seems that some people use that noise to push God out of their mind and are trying to push God out of our minds, too.

There is no over-praying, that I can tell from scripture.

In Judaism, where the Jews experienced the exiles in Egypt, assyria, and babylon, they came to believe that prayer was a substitute for the sacrifices that they used to (and would have preferred) offer in the Temple. We are all priests, and what we have to offer first is ourself, over and over, every day.

correction: I heard that the number of years st. monica prayed for the conversion of st. augustine was 17 years, not 30.

During the time of Augustine, it was a not uncommon practice for a person to wait as long as possible before receiving Baptism. This was done since the belief is that baptism absolves all prior sin. I’m thinking this might be mentioned in Saint Augustine’s ‘Confessions’ and that to some extent it was a reason why he delayed his own baptism. The best scenario was to become baptized just prior to death.

I don’t know. It has always seemed to me like an attempt to game the system and that there could be consequences for it. :wink:

Correct about baptism wiping away prior sins; however, there is a bit more to it.

Confession, Reconciliation or whatever name we wish to give the sacrament, was in the early Church practiced for major sins (adultery, murder, and etc.), involved public recitation of the sin(s), and as practiced appeared to be something that was a one-time or else extremely limited sacrament in terms of its availability.

It was due to the Irish monks that the practice of frequent confession was introduced to the wider Church, and the practice of private confession as opposed to public confession.

The perception prior to the monks’ missionary work on the continent was that baptism was a one-time thing, and confession was a one-time thing, and then if you sinned again, well, you were just sol. This resulted in any number of people doing the “deathbed” conversion.

Maybe he was implying that balance is required. Too much prayer is possible… In the sense that it must be balanced with your works in your daily life. If that ratio isn’t close to 50/50, something is wrong. There is a saying “Pray like everything depends on God, work like all depends on you”

Are you sure he meant to “back off” in terms of your prayer, or in terms of the mental energy you are expending on these issues, including that used by including them so constantly in your prayers?

I’m facing some difficulties in my life right now as well. I thought, at first, that my solution had to lie in praying faithfully for God to intercede and DO SOMETHING. Then, after a near-meltdown, it suddenly struck me - I was asking for the wrong thing. I didn’t need to be asking God to do something for me - He knows I am suffering, and He knows I want these issues resolved. He will lead me through this, one way or another. I needed to ask God to give me patience and faith so that I could accept that He has a plan for me, and to let me peace while I wait for His plan to reveal itself.

I’ve now realized I don’t have to focus on the “issues.” I can focus on finding the faith I need to get me through those issues. I can focus on growing closer to God by trusting that He has a plan for me. And through God’s grace, those are prayers that I can see being answered - God has brought me closer to him and given me a sense of peace in my life - which makes it all the easier to wait for His plan.

If you’re convinced you’re “over-praying” it though, maybe another conversation with the priest in question would help you to understand how you can better cope with these issues through your faith.

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