Has anybody ever asked you how to pray? Has anybody ever told you that they find it hard to pray? Have you tried to pray?
Sometimes we clam up and don’t really know how to start. But the only important thing to do is just that, start …
Prayer can be many, many things. Sometimes it becomes an exclamation, others an expression of joy and happiness. Sometimes it is a lamentation, sometimes it might be song. Other times it is just a quiet conversation with a loved one, at others it is a questioning, an outburst. Even weeping and mourning can be a prayer.
"Prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love in the midst of both hardship and joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus."
St Therese of Lisieux
With our little ones and even in our serious grown up lives, prayer sometimes becomes a bit of a shopping list. Other times it is just a cry, ‘Lord, give me help!’ or a quick private ‘Thank you.’
Prayer doesn’t need to be clever, complicated or verbose. It doesn’t require that you assume a perfect posture and are wearing a good hat (or even that you have your shoes on). The Lord looks inwards to your heart.
“However quietly we speak, He is so near that He will hear us: we have no need of wings to go in search of Him but have only to find a place where we can be alone and look upon Him present within us.”
St Teresa of Avila
When we cannot find any words (and we all have days like that) we can always begin with the familiar, the comforting. An Our Father, a Hail Mary.
There is a bit in the book of Genesis that describes how Adam and Eve and the Lord would walk & talk together in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. Prayer is like that, just walking and talking with a great friend or Parent figure that knows you well. The talking is open and honest because you know that you are loved, and you know that no matter what, you will always remain so.
"Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness."
St John Chrysostom
Making a Start
There are many prayers which can help us to begin. Jesus taught us a very special prayer called the Our Father. The Hail Mary is a wonderful prayer which comes directly from Scripture and asks Mary to pray for us and with us. Or you can just make your own prayer, from the heart. God loves when we begin to pray, just like a parent who loves to see their child’s first stumbled steps when beginning to walk. Below are some prayers to help you. Make a start, from the heart.