The power of prayer and self help

Hi all, can you please help a new Catholic out? :smiley:

How powerful is prayer? Have you experienced its power in your life?

I pray, but I don’t feel I do it often enough. Maybe a few times a week, if that. I can’t say though that I feel that my prayers do anything. I’d like some reassurance but don’t know how to obtain it (without praying for it, lol)

I ask because I could use strength from prayer these days. I find myself with a short fuse, irritable and low on patience lately. If I prayed diligently for patience and grace, would it come? Has prayer helped you overcome your weaknesses? Can you tell me about it?

Thank you so much.

Keep in mind that prayer is useless without action. Let prayer be a motivation to your goals (whether it’d be an intrinsic or extrinsic goal :shrug: ) rather than a wish you think will come true. The amount of “power” that a prayer has depends on how much effort you put into it-- not into the prayer, but effort into the goal you are seeking to achieve.

I had to learn that the hard way when I was a practicing Catholic. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

Hi! :slight_smile: I think that prayer is really powerful and it can change our lives and the lives of others. The more we pray, the better we get to know God. This comes over time… prayer also opens us up to God, and changes our hearts.

Don’t worry if you don’t ‘feel it’ often. If we feel like praying, or if we feel anything during prayer, that’s a gift but it’s not necessary to pray. God hears us all the same, and our prayers can still be genuine and sincere just for the intention. One thing I’ve learned this year is that we can’t really rely on feelings, they come and go. I really believe that when we don’t feel like praying, and when we experience dryness, yet still choose to pray and still choose to follow and love God (love is a choice, not just a feeling) - that pleases God even more than the prayers we say when we feel really close to Him!! Because feeling close to God is not something that comes from us, it’s a gift from Him.

If I can make a suggestion, I’d say that it’s really important to trust. The more we trust, the more we will receive.

Prayer definitely can help us overcome sinful habits and weaknesses. The important thing though is that this also takes our cooperation. So…for example, let’s say I pray for patience. Let’s say I pray every day for a week. Well by the end of the week, it’s not like I won’t ever feel impatient again, neither does it mean that I’ll have no opportunities to feel impatient!! However, I might find it easier to resist these feelings of impatience and choose to be patient daily. :slight_smile: and eventually, as this becomes a habit, the feelings would fade too. But this requires our cooperation as I said… change is God’s grace + our cooperation with His grace. So let’s say you’re in a situation where you feel impatient, but you’re really trying to control that and to act in a patient way…the important thing is to TRY, and God will give you the grace to go the rest of the way. :slight_smile: but it’s not like magic, that’s what I’m saying.

Sometimes prayer can be a really miraculous thing. I can share two stories with you… one time, I was really struggling with a horrible sinful habit. I was struggling with it for years, and no matter how much I prayed, and tried to overcome it, nothing seemed to work! And then one day, I asked Mary to help me… and ever since then, I haven’t even been tempted in this way. So prayer can definitely be really powerful. And every story of an answered prayer is different.

Also, one time my grandmother was really sick… she was in a hospital on the other side of the world, and the doctors said she wouldn’t make it past the night. She was unconscious. I prayed for her really hard that night, and so did other people. I prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet. In the morning, the doctors said that not only would she make it, but that she’s conscious and awake, and can talk, and her blood pressure and temperature are normal!! :slight_smile:

Also, I should say that prayer is not only about asking for things though :wink: an important part of it is just spending time with God, just talking to Him, thanking Him for things… that’s how we learn more about Him and how our spiritual life becomes more integrated with the rest of our lives. Take a few minutes each day just to thank God for something and tell Him you love Him. If you don’t always FEEL thankful, that’s alright, that’s something that comes with time as your relationship with God grows. But the important thing is to just choose it, regardless of feelings.

Hope that helps a little bit :slight_smile: I’m not an expert on prayer lol but this has just been my experience.

God bless you!

it’s true that we have to cooperate with God’s grace, but I have to say though that HIs grace is very real and we should rely on Him, not on ourselves, at the end of the day… because prayer is not just motivational self-talking, it’s talking to someone who is there and listening :slight_smile: and someone who has power to answer our prayers. We just have to trust Him - the more we trust, the more effective our prayers will be.

I wanted to say, also we have to surrender ourselves to God’s will. :slight_smile: He knows what is best for us, we often do not. If a prayer never gets answered, maybe it was never meant to be. At the end of the day, we have to say… “let it be done to me according to Your word” - like Mary did. Our Lady is a GREAT example for us. We can learn so much from her about being good followers of Christ… about being humble, loving, obedient, and virtuous.

I think if you don’t always know what to pray for, pray the Our Father. It’s the perfect prayer and shows us what to pray FOR… think about each phrase and what it means, maybe it would help to just spend some time reflecting on it and making it meaningful for you :slight_smile:

Thank you both so much :slight_smile: I have a lot to ponder.

Prayer is a moral action.

Blade, since you are a self-proclaimed “hardcore agnostic,” why are you giving advice in the spirituality forum?

I still remember what it was like to be Catholic. :slight_smile: Why not pass down the experience when I’m not using it anymore. :yup: It’s like a hand-me-down. :smiley:

Ironically Yours. :heart:

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