What has happened to me, re prayer

Hi, friends. I was surprised to see that 25 are viewing this department. I’m impressed.

Over the years, what has happened to me in connection with prayers is so strange and wonderful! “Strange” is the word to which I am attaching greater weight, here. I’m a little afraid to describe my story, but here is the heart of it.

I would say that my experiences connected with prayer began to change the day I heard a Protestant radio commentator hold-up the Rosary as prayer comprising “vain repetitions” condemned by Jesus in Matthew 6:7.

First I decided that the speaker was wrong, because one of the Psalms is jammed with Rosary-like repetitions. Read Psalm 136. If the criticism were valid, then the Holy Spirit is condemning Himself!

So, what are “vain repetitions,” condemned by Jesus?

I read the NAB translation…

7 In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
8 Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:7-8.

Suddenly, it occurred to me that many times, as responsibilities weigh me down, I pray like this, with desperation…

“God, ya gotta help me!
God, ya gotta help me!
God, ya gotta help me!
God, ya gotta help me!
God, ya gotta help me!
God, ya gotta help me!”

I don’t trust God, So, I repeat the request many times to make sure that He gets the message.

In short, it was the prayer of one lacking in faith!

So, I changed my prayers. Drastically.

First, I always say prayers now with full confidence that God will answer. If I can’t find the confidence, I pray for that, first, with my faithless heart, and the confidence comes.

Next, I force myself to make my request for special help only once.

The rest of my prayers are dedicated to thanking God and praising him.

Next, I have learned to listen when I pray. Some pious Catholic ladies told me this repeatedly. I was upset when they told me this. I thought, “What nonsense!”

But, I tried it, and it works.

God talks back. Not with a “heard” voice, but with words formed out of the praying person’s own mind’s voice.

Next, when the prayer is answered, I frequently “hear,” “Here is the answer to your prayer, Peter.”

The answer to the prayer is usually 125% to 150% of what I ask for.

Finally, after the prayer is answered, I always give God “free advertising,” by humbly reporting how I prayed, and how the prayer was answered.

Here is an example of the process.

Our next door neighbors were Vietnamese. I got to know and grew to love almost like a daughter their little girl.

The husband and wife divorced. The mom took the little girl away. I was devastated. I missed that “little punk” so much.

One day, I was at Mass, and I just started weeping and prayed that God would let me begin seeing the little girl again and begin helping to raise her.

About a week later, a neighbor, a minister, asked me why he hadn’t seen me with “the little Vietnamese girl” in months.

As I began to go over the story with him, that voice made of my own mind’s voice “turned on.” It said, “Peter, I have heard your prayers about little so-and-so,” the Vietnamese girl, “And they have been answered.”

Shocked, I interrupted myself, and said to the minister, “Tim, this sounds strange, but my prayers about little so-and-so have just now been answered. I think that I will be seeing her shortly.”

The minister looked at me like I was crazy.

Two weeks later, the little girl called me on my cell phone, and the mother began to permit regular visits to our house.

Wow. Thanks. I’ll give this a try.

I know that the 54-day Rosary Novena is split into 9 Rosaries of petition, and 9 of confident thanksgiving for the answer to the prayers, whenever that answer comes.

I haven’t tried listening, though - at least, not consistently, only occasionally, when I really needed an answer.

Do you ever get an answer before you have prayed? I just tried this style of prayer, and as soon as I thought of offering up the prayer, I had the feeling that God was answering it and desired to hear it.

Dear Peter, thank you for your wonderful witness,
and for sharing your gift of prayer with us.
I hope that many people read your post, because I think they will find it helpful,
more perhaps than if they read many of the books on prayer that are available.

God bless you…more!

Warmly, Trishie :slight_smile:

On getting an answer before I pray I forgot to say this…

Again and again and again, God plays a joke on me, by structuring reality so that the answer came or began to come before I prayed. I swear that this is true.

If it’s a money problem, after I pray I’ll find out that before I prayed the bank sent me an e-mail, “Mr. Dawson, we just realized that last year we accidentally withdrew $1,000.00 too much from your account. Shame on your for missing this! As I write this e-mail, the mistake is being corrected, and $1,000.00 is being credited to your account.”

In the case I described for you, the little girl confessed to me that she had been crying for me for about six months, and her mom finally gave in!

As far as The Voice is concerned – and, remember, it’s always in the form of my own internal mental voice, but it has energy and ideation that I don’t then possess, and it uses my first name – usually The Voice jumps in during the prayer, or within a second after the prayer.

Again, I swear that this is true.

Don’t forget about the “free advertising,” friend. God does not shoot His Own soldiers.

The protestant minister you mentioned doesn’t understand what the Rosary is all about. Praying the rosary is not mainly about repeating the same prayers over and over again but rather meditating on the mysteries, mostly events of the life of Christ.

Repetition isn’t the problem, but “vain” repetition: that is, meaningless, fruitless, purposeless repetition. Saying the Lord’s Prayer 25 times isn’t 25 times better than saying it once.

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