Praying properly

Hello everybody,

Here is something which really frustrates me. How do I pray properly?

I often do the Rosary, however this is normally the extent of my praying life simply because I don’t know how to pray correctly. Now, I know there is no ‘‘set’’ way and I know that you can use both formal prayers and just ‘‘talking normally’’ to God? However when talking to God should it be outloud? More thought like instead of words? And also, how do you stop yourself from stumbling when ‘talking’ to God? I often feel like I am just rambling (although it’s genuine and from the heart).

Secondly, with praying formal prayers - is it accepted to ‘read’ a prayer from a prayer card or a prayer which appears in a Catholic newspaper?


  1. Both mental and vocal prayer are valid means of communication. And don’t worry about stumbling or rambling. The Father knows where you are going, and He is patient enough to wait for you to get there.

  2. Absolutely okay.

It is perfectly fine and nessescary to do both. I love to pray from prayerbooks, but as My hopeful future Spouse, sometimes I just gotta lay those prayerbooks aside and express my intimate love for Our LORD in my terms and HIM to me. Both are perfectly acceptable. Please keep doing both!! I hope You grow in many graces for Our LORD!! You can talk to Our LORD inside Your head, or like you said, out loud. I only talk to Our LORD when there is no one around, so as I don’t look as if I am talking to myself, but If I am in a Church alone, or in my room by myself, I will talk to Our LORD as I would if HE were right next to me, listening (in the case of a Catholic Church,HE would be right there, so I express myself out loud). Keep it up, don’t be discouraged and do both!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::smiley:

As long as your being genuine and form your heart, God understands. :slight_smile: You can pray in your head (not out loud) or out loud if you can/prefer to. Just talk to God as a Friend/ Father etc. He is always there to listen and understands our prayers even if we don’t have the words to say them

Hello Neilan and welcoem to the Prayer Intentions Forum.

Firstly to answer your question…there is no proper way to pray, all communication to God is prayer and whether we choose to use formal prayers or prayers from the heart or both or just to talk to God or to type prayers for others (as we do here)…it is all prayer.

When I am at church I pray silently before and after Mass (as do others) because our praying out loud would interfere with them and not be private.

When I am driving my car I often pray out loud or when I am running my bath or cooking dinner etc I might say silent prayers. It all depends on the situaiton. But there is no right or wrong way as such.

I pray directly to God regularly and ask for the intercession of Our Lady regularly also. I also pray to my Guardian Angel every day to guide me and help me.

And yes to read from a prayer card or prayer book is also a form of prayer.

God knows you are sincere .We can learn by Jesus example of how He prayed.

Matthew 6

5 When you pray, don’t be like those show-offs who love to stand up and pray in the meeting places and on the street corners. They do this just to look good. I can assure you that they already have their reward.

6 When you pray, go into a room alone and close the door. Pray to your Father in private. He knows what is done in private, and he will reward you.

7 When you pray, don’t talk on and on as people do who don’t know God. They think God likes to hear long prayers. 8 Don’t be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask.

Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

Matthew 6:6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Kings 4:33 He went in, shut the door on the two of them and prayed to the LORD.

Praying the Rosary is wonderful and I admire you,but you can pray from your heart and God already knows.

God bless you Neilan

One of the most powerful means of prayer is in Christ’s presence at adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. One time there, I prayed for a parishioner who had a serious jaw infection by simply tracing my finger back and forth over her name in the prayer intentions book whilst crying. At the end, I received the most wonderful consolation imaginable from the Holy Spirit. The Lord had healed her. I did not utter a word.

Pray in whichever way brings you closest to God. I do pray the rosary and other “scripted” prayers, but a lot of times I just talk out loud. There’s no need for all that fanciness if you don’t want to do it, or it doesn’t help you. Sometimes you just have to say it like it is, you know? Don’t worry about stumbling or doing it “correctly.” God is God, and he knows what’s in your heart. Be genuine, and just spend time with Jesus.

A very useful penance I received on one occasion was simply to pray the “Our Father”, but slowly, focusing on each word as well as the content and meaning of the prayer itself.

I just finished a book by James Martin, SJ called “The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” it really helped me with my prayers. I have had some really profound moments in my prayers while reading the book and since.
I pray the rosary every morning to help me focus and calm down, then follow by talking to God, or reading scriptures from my bible, or sometimes just sitting quietly and “listening” to what Jesus wants to say to me. Sometimes I don’t hear or feel anything and sometimes i get that “AHA” moment that can be quite unsettling to know he is really there, listening to my heart and knows what is going on in my life.

I do, at times, feel like Satan is in my head and trying to distract my prayers as well. I try not to get discouraged when that happens, some days are worse than others.

That reminds me of a story i hears a priest tell about someone he knew who was terminally ill, and all he could do was lie there and pray. Someone asked him how many Rosaries he could do in a day, and he said something to the effect of “It takes me a week to get through the Our Father.”


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit