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Catholic Prayer Forms, methods – a “how to” guide!

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1 Catholic Prayer Forms, methods – a “how to” guide!

2 How Should I Pray? Be sincere, communicate from the heart Formal/traditional prayers (e.g. Hail Mary) are a good way to start or end prayer time – try to talk to God in a more personal way Leave time to hear God (meditative silence) Include the Scriptures Pray for others – intercessory prayer is enormously powerful Intercession – praying directly to God for other people, asking saints/Jesus to intercede to God for us

3 The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches about prayer in three ways: Gift: When God created humans, he gave us the gift to communicate. God wants to communicate with us. Covenant: A covenant is a “serious promise... concerning future action or behaviour”. If we pray and we mean it, then we are making an agreement with God. Communion: By accepting the gift of prayer and using it to allow God to enter our lives, we enter into a relationship (or communion) with God.

4 Four Basic Forms of Prayer (note-taking exercise) Prayer of Blessing and Adoration (praising God) In this prayer we express praise and honour to God – praising God simply because He is God. This form of prayer encourages physical expression, such as standing with arms raised or dancing. Because God blesses us, we can also return those blessings to God through adoration (“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall always be on my lips” (Psalm 33)) or to dedicate people and things to a sacred purpose (e.g. “Bless us, O Lord and these they gifts…”).

5 Prayer of Petition (asking for what we need, including forgiveness) This is probably the most familiar prayer form of prayer. We are often taught to ask God for the things we need, but asking and praying for them are not necessarily the same. When we pray our petitions, we are asking God, who loves us very much, for something that we believe is good—for ourselves or for others. By using this form of prayer we are mindful of the needs of others as well as of our own needs. We are aware that God wants us to bring our problems and worries to prayer knowing that he will always hear and answer those prayers. God may answer our prayers in a different way and in a different timeframe than we are seeking but God will always give us what we need. Prayers of petition serve to remind us that God expects us to care for one another and for all his creation. We can pray about the ordinary experiences of life— for people who are sick, for someone who needs a job, for help in our school work, for a safe trip. We pray for peace in our families and in our world. We can also express our sorrow and contrition to God in our prayer.

6 Prayer of Intercession (asking for what others need) This form of prayer is prayer on behalf of others. This form of prayer can be a source of blessing upon others, the Church, and our world. Because we know that Our Lady and the saints intercede for us before God, the Church encourages us to pray to them for their intercession. Such prayer can bring us great strength and courage and also great peace of mind and heart. Prayer of Thanksgiving (for what God has given and done) This form of prayer helps us to be grateful for God's many blessings, spiritual and temporal, and helps us to recognize and appreciate all the good things God gives to us. Reserving some time to praise and thank God for his gifts—the gift of life; the gift of our families and friends; the gift of food, clothing, and shelter; and the numerous other gifts we often take for granted—helps us to form a true spirit of gratitude.

7 The Lord’s Prayer Locate The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:1-4. Which version is the one that is most like the one we use liturgically? What forms of prayer appear in this prayer? In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus uses two prayer forms: adoration and petition. Which line reflects adoration and praise? Hallowed be thy name - Consider that this line demonstrates the respect Jesus shows for God the Father, and instructs us in the reverence we should have for God.

8 There are seven petitions to be found in The Lord’s Prayer. List them, leaving space to write a description next to each. 1. Thy kingdom come – Jesus is asking (petitioning) His Father to help bring about the love and justice humans need to have for one another on the Earth. 2. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven – the Father has a plan for human beings and Jesus is asking to help bring about this plan. 3. Give us this day our daily bread - Bread refers to two things. First, it literally refers to food. Second, Jesus refers to Himself. In John 6:35, Jesus calls himself the “Bread of Life.” Jesus hopes that human beings will accept the Gospel He gave to them so that they will not suffer spiritual hunger.

9 4. Forgive us our trespasses - In the Lord’s Prayer, trespass refers to sins or wrong actions. Jesus is quite simply asking His Father to forgive the wrongs we have done. 5. As we forgive those who trespass against us - If we expect to be forgiven, we need to remember that we need to forgive others.

10 6. And lead us not into temptation – We have free will to choose our actions. Jesus asks God to assist us in not taking the way that leads to sin that harm others or ourselves. 7. But deliver us from evil – We know there is evil in our world. We ask God to help to be delivered from the Devil, as well to be freed from all evils.

11 Suggested forms for writing prayers APART A (approach God) – “dear God” P (praise and thank) A (ask/petition) R (reasoning) T (“through Christ our Lord, Amen”) E.g. A – Approach God (“Our Father”) P – Praise and thank (“hallowed by Thy name”) A – Ask (“give us, this day, our daily bread and forgive us”) R – Reasoning (“as we forgive those who trespass against us”) T – “Through Christ our Lord, Amen” (intercession)

12 YOU, WHO, DO, THROUGH You – Addressing God in first person Who – Saying something praising God, and/or thanking God Do – Making a request to God Through – Asking for intercession (through Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) Eg. 1. God, giver of all life. (YOU) 2. You are the one who has made us in your image and made our hearts yearn for you. (WHO) 3. Please open my heart more and more to you. Show me the barriers in my life to greater intimacy with you, and help me to remove them. (DO) 4. I make this prayer through Christ, our Lord, Amen. (THROUGH)

13 ACTS A – Adoration (praise God) C – Confession (ask for forgiveness) T – Thanksgiving (gratitude) S – Supplication (request, humbly asking God to meet your/others needs) Ex. A – God your mercy and love toward me is wonderful C – God I have sinned against you by yelling at my mom T – Thank you, God for forgiving me, and loving me in spite of my sinfulness S – Please help me be a better person, Amen.

14 5 FINGER PRAYER = Who should I pray for? Thumb - Pray for those nearest you such as your family, friends. Pointer Finger – Pray for those who instruct, heal and minister such as teachers, health care professionals, priests. Middle/Highest Finger – Pray for leaders in society, government. Fourth/Weakest Finger – Pray for those sick and in need, including the persecuted. Fifth/Smallest Finger – Pray for your needs.

15 Formal Catholic Prayers Look at the handout of prayers and list prayers by type The rosary – a Marian devotion – we can approach God through Mary The rosary is contemplative (we think about the mysteries), intercessory (through Mary) and meditative (focus on the mysteries, connect with God) Praying the rosary has been encouraged by saints and popes The history of the rosary: Given to St Dominic in an apparition of Mary in 1214 – “Our Lady of the Rosary” Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes apparitions also included the rosary

16 Now you… Starting next Monday, students will be asked to lead us in prayer to begin class. Please submit your prayer on paper to Mrs Coates by this coming Friday and we will select dates. Consider finding a prayer associated with a saint you admire, or a prayer that addresses a topic you are passionate about.

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