questions about praying


#1

there is a book by Pope John Paul II ( Spiritual Exercises )

in it he covers a topic in regards to prayer…

I have this book and am still studying it and for such a small book, there is so much information…

but it lead me to wondering about prayer, and if one should pray even when they dont want to…

and in regards to the Liturgy of the Hours, lay people are allowed to pray this as well…

but some of the prayers are in latin, and i participated in evening prayers once, and when it came to the latin part, i was lost, i could pronounce relatively easy the words in latin, and wanting to not throw the group off tried to keep my voice low enough and not stumble through which i didn’t…

but here is the thing, i had no clue what i was saying, it mine as well have been gibberish…

so for me it was empty and i felt horrible … and embarressed… I assumed the rest of the group knew what they were saying …

I would imagine priests learn what the latin words mean… so they understand what is going on…

but what to do when one does not feel like praying ?

wouldn’t ones praying be as empty as not knowing what a prayer in latin means ?

if as a lay person we pray and are just going through the motions isn’t the prayer itself empty at that point ? and not knowing a translation, or why we pray isnt that an issue as well ? or if we are so angry or upset or filled with anxiety, do we still pray ?

and what if our priests are not at peace during mass ?

what if they are going through personal turmoil, does the concecration become empty ? and is then the congegration left up the creek with outa paddle as well and we just dont realize it ?


#2

There are many books on prayer, but little on how to pray.

Prayer is nothing more than communication or dialogue with God (Jesus and the Holy Spirit). It is actually easier for a child to pray or talk to God because they have no preconceived notions as adults do. Children's prayers are pretty straightforward and are backed by a belief that goes way beyond our understanding.

Before you pray, it's a good idea to check yourself at the door. By this I mean, you might do a self review and imagine how God sees you as you stand before Him. Now is the time to repent or ask forgiveness for any wrongs or injustices you may have committed. Secondly, I would find something to thank God for, because praise opens the gates to the glory of God. After you've set the stage, you're now ready for prayer.

You can either talk to God (if that's easier for you) or read selected prayers from a prayer book. The words don't matter as much as the feeling you put behind it--prayer is more a heart to heart communication with Our Father than an opportunity to wax eloquent. Of course, words are necessary and need to be said aloud, but it is the pure and honest faith of the individual that really turns prayer around.

God really does answer prayers, but you need to meet Him halfway by opening the door to your heart. Start to note the times when you pray and see if your prayers do not actually manifest. God, who loves you beyond comprehension, really wants to have a relationship with you more than you will ever know.

God Rocks


#3

Words without meaning are just empty words. Prayer is only about what is in your heart.

Prayer is work. It is a positive activity, generally without an instant reward, that is geared to a longer term result. As with any work, we often don't feel like doing it. We do it anyway.


#4

[quote="MtnDwellar, post:3, topic:292943"]
Words without meaning are just empty words. Prayer is only about what is in your heart.

...

[/quote]

agreed.
And, I think that is why the old saying is that to sing is to pray twice.
As for something that is in a language I don't quite understand, I put it as sometimes while working folks will just hum a tune without words. When I do this, I'm mentally praising God for the good day and the ability to do whatever I am doing at the time. (I really need to hum more often)

But, it is easy to send the text through translate.google.com to at least get the gist of what the words mean so you can concentrate on the meaning, and what it means to you.

Indeed. we all need to be more child like in our prayers.


#5

[quote="john78, post:1, topic:292943"]
but what to do when one does not feel like praying ?

[/quote]

Sometimes we don't feel like going to Mass on Sunday, but God still wants us there, so we should go. The same is true with prayer.

wouldn't ones praying be as empty as not knowing what a prayer in latin means?

Do you think God would rather you be praying the Liturgy of the Hours with a group of devout parishioners, or do you think your time would be better spent watching TV? Even if you didn't know what the Latin meant, it would be far better to pray in Latin. Even better would be to start to learn the Latin, but don't stop praying in the meantime.

if as a lay person we pray and are just going through the motions isn't the prayer itself empty at that point ?

It is normal to think these things are black and white, but they are many shades of gray. Not praying at all is black. Praying like Jesus prayed is white. Everything else is somewhere in between. Just setting aside the time to pray, even it is going through the motions, is better than not praying at all. Obviously, you should strive for better prayer, though.

or if we are so angry or upset or filled with anxiety, do we still pray?

I don't remember which Doctor of the Church said this, but it was in "The Fulfillment of all Desire" by Ralph Martin. They said that sometimes when they would pray they evil or perverted thoughts would pop into their mind. They described this as Satan trying to keep them from praying. Their recommendation was to fight and to keep praying.

and what if our priests are not at peace during mass?

The Mass and the Sacraments have the same divine effect regardless of the priest's attitude that day.


#6

thank you everyone for your responses, and thank you yellow for your insight i found it most helpful,

especially this part of your replies :

I don't remember which Doctor of the Church said this, but it was in "The Fulfillment of all Desire" by Ralph Martin. They said that sometimes when they would pray they evil or perverted thoughts would pop into their mind. They described this as Satan trying to keep them from praying. Their recommendation was to fight and to keep praying.

I have had this happen to me on numerous occasions, either praying in private or at mass and having evil or perverted thoughts pop into my mind, literally,, I really thought the problem was me, that something was really screwed up mentally on my part, and i would feel horrible , and embarressed.

I never considered as this being a literal interaction by Satan himself,,

we as Catholics rarely talk about in mass or at Church functions or rather I should say in my town, about how Satan works against us...

We focus on Christ, and how He and the Holy Trinity wants to be in our lives and so on an so forth.... I never considered that Satan would go out of his way to personally attack and or destroy a specific individual person...

We hear about how twisted society is , how off the path of rightousness and love society is and how they mock christianity and are determined to undermind our religious freedom at every turn and treat Christians as black sheep...

these big references of how Satan works on humantiy is fairly easy to see and understand and avoid, I did not consider that I as an individual as a devout Catholic could be singled out.... I mean one would think those with power and money would be the ones to concentrate on, not the average Catholic/Christian.

Thanks again, to everyone,, all of you have given me a lot of insight to these questions and it has put me at ease with myself and a better understanding on that it is necessary to be steadfast in prayer, even through the hardtimes .


#7

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