A Few Things to Know About Dedication to Prayer

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A Few Things to Know About Dedication to Prayer
by Katie Warner

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“We must meditate before, during and after everything we do. The prophet says: “I will pray, and then I will understand.”  This is the way we can easily overcome the countless difficulties we have to face day after day, which, after all, are part of our work. In meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in others.” — Saint Charles Borromeo

Reflective Questions

  • Just as we must feed our body nutritious foods to keep it healthy, we must pray in order that our souls will be healthy — and fed by God. How often do you feed your soul with prayer?
  • How can you lead your family and friends to pray more? Can you pray more with them, and for them? Do you ask them what they need prayers for?
  • When you dedicate yourself to prayer, you begin to see positive effects of prayer in all aspects of your life. Can you think of someone who has a prayer life you admire? What do they do to keep up with their dedication to prayer?
  • Mother Teresa said we must rely on God 24-hours a day, because we cannot rely on ourselves. This is true. Can you think of times when you were relying on yourself instead of God? It’s easy to try to take control of situations, but try to remember that God is always in control, and ask Him for what you need in any given day to get through those situations.
  • Do you set an example that it is a priority for you to pray? If it has not been a priority in the past, what are the things that have been a priority for you? Do you need to do some re-prioritizing? :)  Think of the things you need to detach from, and the obstacles that come between you and God. Lent is a perfect time to strip those things away from our lives so that we can spend more time in prayer with Him.

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More Prayer Resources

“When You Should Give Up On Prayer” (Dan Burke, National Catholic Register)

“How Our Prayer Lives Should Look Like A Perennial Garden”

“A Prayer to Let Go & Let God Take Control” (Modesty Honors Beauty)

“Unanswered Prayers”

“Four Lessons from Emmaus Road for the Anxious and Discouraged” (Randy Hain, Integrated Catholic Life)

“When God Makes You Wait” (Anna Bachinsky, The Praying Woman)

“Waiting on God” (Mary Annthipie Bane, Catholic365)

rsz_katiewarnerheadshotKatie (Peterson) Warner of CatholicKatie.com is a wife, stay-at-home mom, author and speaker who helps family men and women learn the practical strategies and resources they need to take small steps toward becoming leaders at living more spiritual and meaningful lives, together with their families. Katie is the author of Head & Heart: Becoming Spiritual Leaders for Your Family (Emmaus Road Publishing), a correspondent for the National Catholic Register, and a contributing writer for the IntegratedCatholicLife.org. She has presented in venues like the National Catholic Bible Conference, the Catholic Family Conference, numerous Legatus chapters, the Eucharistic Congress of Atlanta, the Augustine Institute’s acclaimed Symbolon and Opening the Word programs, and on EWTN radio and EWTN television. Katie is the part-time Manager of Communication and Evangelization for Catholics Come Home. Katie and her husband, Raymond, have two children, and her favorite ministry work is family life. You connect with Katie on Facebook, Twitter, and through her website at CatholicKatie.com.

 

The Pray More Retreat (1)

 

Transcript:

The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church describes prayer as, “The great gate
leading into faith”.

If you were dedicated to being a strong spiritual leader and becoming a saint
someday, you know that it is your responsibility, privilege and joy to knock on the
door and enter through that great gate. And, hopefully, to help lead others through
it too!

The effort and the battle to pray is part of what makes us Christians striving to
draw closer to Jesus and become more like Him through conversation with Him in
prayer.

I found that those who are truly dedicated to prayer in their lives know a few things
about the importance of it.

First, it’s soul food.

They know that nourishing their spiritual life through prayer is even more
important than nourishing their physical wellbeing through food. Since their soul is
eternal they know how nourishing it is to feed their soul with prayer.
Second, prayer is about quality time and fostering a relationship.

The strongest prayer warriors I’ve met know that if they want a deeper relationship
with Jesus they have to do what anyone desiring a deeper relationship with
someone does – spend time with each other. With God that is done through prayer.
In prayer we reach out to God. Not as some distant being but as our loving Father
who is right there with us as we pray. Those dedicated to prayer also know the
positive effects of their prayer on every other area of their lives. Resulting in
stronger relationships, better health, better performance at work and greater
happiness.

Third, they can’t live without it.

Blessed Mother Theresa said,”Because I cannot rely on myself, I rely on Him 24
hours a day”.

I learned pretty early on in my life that I need God to help me become the person
that He desires me to be and to be happy, holy and at peace.

Fourth, Jesus said so!

Jesus commanded us to pray. One of our motivations to be dedicated to prayer
should be that Christ commanded us to pray through our scripture and we should
desire to obey His word.

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Matthew 26:41

“Have no anxiety about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving let your request be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

“Continue steadfastly in prayer being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Colossians 4:2

And finally, “Pray constantly.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17

The spirituality of the family hinges on it!

In this fifth point, dedicated “pray-ers” know that their prayer influences the
spiritual lives of their entire family.

They know that their prayers with and for their family have tangible effects on each
of their family members. And that their example of prayer sets a model for their
spouses and children to follow.

Sixth, it doesn’t have to be perfect to efficacious.

The catechism says, “Humility is the foundation of prayer”.

Only when we humbly acknowledge that, “We do not know how to pray as we
ought” (Romans 8:26) are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer.
When humility is the cornerstone of our prayer lives, we realize that prayer, a gift,
doesn’t have to be offered perfectly to be valuable. Fumbled words and feeble
hearts are accepted graciously by an unconditionally loving God.

Seventh, it requires patience.

If we are serious about being dedicated to prayer, it’s important to remind
ourselves regularly that we can’t become perfectly holy overnight. Nor will our
prayer lives always be what or where we want them to be, but to keep praying and
trying to continue growing in prayerfulness anyway. That’s the key!
Finally, Jesus and Mary are great role models of prayer for us.

In prayer, we respond to God’s love with a gift of ourselves. No one has does this
more perfectly than Christ who conformed his human will perfectly to the divine
will through constant prayer. Our Blessed Mother also modeled for us what it
means to give of oneself in prayer. Through her “fiat” she gave God permission to
work in and through her in the most magnificent way. God wants us to look at their
examples to have that kind of openness in our prayer lives too.

Prayer opens the door to God’s outpouring of love in our lives. It glues people to
God and binds couples and families together. So, we should want to make it a top
priority to pray; individually, as a couple and as a family.

What are your motivations for being dedicated to a strong prayer life?

Write one to three of them down and look at them regularly as a source of
encouragement to you to continue in that effort to stay dedicated to prayer.