2 Analogy of PrayerImagine if the Mars Rover that we created and placed on Mars chose not communicate.There would be a great disappointment among the scientists, engineers, and astrologers.It would seem that all the investment would be wasted. It would be impossible for us to share in the rover’s discoveries.
3 CommunicationJesus said, “I call you friends.” He said this to his apostles because he shared everything with them, he even laid down his life for them.Jesus is alive and well, in Heaven, and so he is ever-present to all his disciples. He invites us into friendship in the quiet spaces of our heart.
4 SharingIt is in prayer that we can share the secrets of our life, as we do with our dearest friends.Most people do not understand that Christ in turn, in genuine friendship, shares his secrets with us.Christ will reveal to you what is otherwise hidden about Him when you pray.
5 4 Types of PrayerThere are 4 major types of prayer that can be remembered by the word ACTS:A – Adoration and PraiseC – ContritionT – ThanksgivingS – Supplication
6 Praise and AdorationGod created us. There is nothing you don’t owe to God’s love.Every achievement you make is due to the gifts that God bestowed on you.So we praise and adore God in great humility for He is mighty in his love.God is Good, and it is right to give thanks and praise to what is Good.
7 ContritionGod created us to be free so that we would indeed be separate.This way we could freely come back together in love and friendship.When we use our freedom to withdraw from God, to deny friendship for our own interests, it is what we call sin.In order to repair friendships divided by selfishness, we must apologize and make amends.Prayers of contrition bring us closer to God who is merciful and forgiving.
8 ThanksgivingWe are dependent! We may be autonomous (self-controlled) but we are NOT independent.The one we depend the most on is God.God set the sun in the sky without which we could not live. Did we create the earth, the trees, and the sky? Or do we depend on these gifts, given by God, for our very existence.So we give thanks to God in whom we our dependent for our very existence. And we thank God for the other things and people we depend on.This act of thanksgiving prayer draws us closer in friendship to God.
9 SupplicationFriends share with each other, we learn that in kindergarten.God who possesses all things will share with us what we need.What child that asks his father for bread will be given a poisonous snake?What father would give his child heroine because he asked for it? Not a good father.When we genuinely ask Jesus for what we need, God will indeed provide.Sometimes God demands persistence in prayer.Ask, and you will receive.
10 The Words of PrayerImagine reading your side of a conversation with your best friend from a piece of paper someone else wrote.Imagine talking to your closest friends in Thee’s and Thou’s.Ultimately our traditional prayers are tools to initiate conversation. They are all meaningless without love.Prayer comes from the heart, from the soul within you.God does not want you to pretend you are a monk.Be respectful and reverent, but be yourself!God knows every last dirty secret about you, there is no faking it. To act fake with God is to disrespect God.
11 Keep it realIf you are phony with your friends, you will soon discover they are not friends with you but the imaginary person you were pretending to be.Be honest with God. A good prayer may be something like this:“God, I realize I don’t pray that much, but I really want to know you better. I can’t imagine what being friends with Almighty God might entail. In fact, I think it is kind of scary. I want to be a good person, I want to help people, and I want to be successful in what I do. I get dragged into things I know aren’t good for me. Will you help me figure this all out? Will you teach me why people keep saying prayer is good? They say I should praise you, but I don’t even feel like I know you. What can I do to know you better?”
12 ListeningAfter you ask your questions, you should listen for answers. Let your heart wander, allow God to communicate through your mind, heart, imagination, and even sometimes through sensations of peace and/or joy.I am not the best at “Prayer” but I am in constant contact with God. A lot of that is personal, except to say that the more you pray, the closer you come to our ever-present God.
13 Chaplet of Divine Mercy As you hear the chaplet sung, I invite you all to look at the picture of the sacred heart of Jesus.The idea is to let your heart/mind wander closer to God. Don’t worry about getting it right, just go with your heart.If your mind is wandering away from God, toward distractions, focus in on the words of the prayer to re-orient you.Rest and relax in this prayer, we are celebrating God’s mercy on us and on the whole world!