What is prayer?

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy” (St. Therese of Lisieux).

“‘Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.’ But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or ‘out of the depths’ of a humble and contrite heart? He who humbles himself will be exalted; humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that ‘we do not know how to pray as we ought,’ are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. ‘Man is a beggar before God,'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2559).

How Can I Pray?

Prayer For Beginners (audio book)

In short, straight-forward, and practical chapters, author Peter Kreeft covers all the key areas for developing intimate prayer and conversation with our Creator. He covers topics such as as the necessity of prayer, various motives and methods for prayer, steps, patience, suffering, sin, faith, and grace.

Get access to this free audio book (and dozens more) on formed.org. To create your free account, CLICK HERE to go to formed.org, enter the access code K3ZWQZ, then create a personal account using your email address and a personal password. Then type “Prayer for Beginners” in the search bar on the top of the page to listen to the audiobook or download the free ebook.

Praying with the Bible

The Church has always held up the Bible as the Word of God. “In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, ‘but as what it really is, the word of God.’ ‘In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them,'” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 104).

Reading Scripture is powerful, but can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. Hear Fr. Josh Johnson’s tips in the video below:

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

The Divine Mercy Chaplet comes from St. Faustina, a Polish sister in the early 20th century who began having visions and conversations with Jesus, which she recorded in her diary. In these visions, Jesus taught her this prayer. He told her, “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy” (from The Diary of St. Faustina).

The Divine Mercy Chaplet takes about 10 minutes to pray and repeats a few central prayers over and over, encouraging us to trust God, and to ask repeatedly for God to pour out His great love and mercy on us.

Pray in song with the Divine Mercy Chaplet below:

The Rosary

The Rosary is the ancient prayer of the Church where we meditate, with Mary, on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Pope St. John Paul II explained how we can pray the Rosary through the eyes of Mary:

“Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: ‘She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart’. The memories of Jesus, impressed upon her heart, were always with her, leading her to reflect on the various moments of her life at her Son’s side. In a way those memories were to be the ‘rosary’ which she recited uninterruptedly throughout her earthly life,” (Pope St. John Paul II, in his letter The Rosary of the Virgin Mary).

Learn to pray the Rosary here:

And pray the four mysteries of the Rosary here:
The Glorious Mysteries
The Joyful Mysteries
The Luminous Mysteries
The Sorrowful Mysteries

More Tips on How to Pray: