Trouble Praying...

Hello, I want to say hello and ask you for a little bit of advice. I have been having trouble praying lately because I have scrupulosity. I either pray excessively, or I stop praying. I can’t tell what God is telling me or what my brain is telling me. I have become slothful with prayer because it requires work. In addition, whenever I feel good while praying, I feel an enormous amount of responsibility on my soul, which then makes me feel bad. I would like a simple way to pray that doesn’t require much effort, but that may no be the thig that I need. Tell me I I’m wrong. I need your prayers as well.

Also, this may be a long shot, but can a 15 year old commit a mortal sin. and think about this word of advice from St. Thomas that goes something like, the less rationality you have the less reason you have. Perhaps bcause of my scrupulosity, perhaps i am not at the age of reason yet?Could scrupulosity play a role in my reason? Also, my teachers catechized me well, so I know, minus the scrupulosity what is a nd what isn’t a sin.

Please, pray for me. :shrug::slight_smile:

You can pray as much as you want. But I suggest you pray daily. Pray what you feel in your heart, for as long as you feel you need to. Do not feel that it is a responsibility, but rather, feel that it is a generous work that you are doing.
“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words." RSVCE
-Matthew 6:7
If you’re praying, make sure you’re praying with your heart and soul, and not repeating words/phrases that you think will certainly grant your request and or salvation.
User patrick457gave a great response regarding this verse.

*Anyone *can commit a mortal sin, no matter the age, if they fulfill these **three **conditions:

  1. They commit a grave sin.
  2. They commit the grave sin with their deliberate consent.
  3. They commit the grave sin with full knowledge of what they are doing.


If you’re questioning whether or not you committed a mortal sin, then you probably didn’t, because you’ll know be certain when you commit a mortal sin. Check out this article regarding grave sins:

As for prayer, I recommend just sitting in silence with our lord and look at a religious pic or a statue and just talk to Him.

As for your scrupulosity, laugh at yourself everyday.

Anyone can commit a mortal sin if they’re past the age of reason, which I’ve heard is like seven years old. In any case, at fifteen you are past the age of reason. If you feel unsure about it, just confess it anyway and forget about it.

I would suggest that you stick to simple things. Say the morning offering when you get up. Try to think of Jesus during the day but with no anxiety about it. Just form a picture of what he looks like in your imagination…something comforting. I think about Him looking down on me sometimes and how is His hair looks, His robe, how white it is, how bright, with the crystal sea and His throne behind Him etc Details help to keep the picture in my mind. I think about Him in other situations too from His life, but that’s just an example. When you get that picture of Him in your mind, just think about it every now and then and maybe say something to Him when you have time. Take the focus off yourself and just say something about Him…like why you love Him or something or I bet you know what this feels like, or the right thing to do if you’re in a tough situation.
Say a rosary daily, or just one decade if the whole rosary is too long. Then, say something at night, like an act of contrition before you go to bed.
The divine mercy chaplet is very simple and I find it comforting and also powerful for intercessory prayer. Especially if you picture Jesus on the cross as you are saying it.
Just pick one simple thing for morning, one for during the day and one for evening and just do those every day (making sure you keep that picture of Jesus with you in your mind as much as you are able) until you feel like you can do more without becoming anxious.

There is a book I’d like to recommend to you. It is a very simple book and you’ll be able to understand it. It’s called ‘Consoling the Heart of Jesus’ by Fr. Michaely Gaitely. It helped me with feeling more scrupulous and learning that loving Jesus is the ultimate point, beyond everything else.

A tip I got from a priest in my parish was to not only think of Jesus as our lord and saviour, but also as a close personal friend that loves you and wishes you to talk to him. Don’t force something you’re unconfortable with, just pray at your own pace and if it feels right, it probably is.

Great advice!

He wants to come to you as much as you want to go to him.
It isn’t one sided. He is your friend who likes your company.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

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