Prayer is communion with God. Prayer can be public or personal, spoken or silent. The Book of Psalms in the Bible are prayers that we sing. They have been part of the Church's communal prayer since the earliest days of the Church. Prayer is a communication, a conversation, with a God who loves us and desires to be in relationship with us.
Jesus teaches us about the importance of prayer. The Gospels record seventeen times that Jesus took time apart to pray. In the Scriptures, Jesus prays often, morning and night. He prays during critical events in His life and He prays before ministering to people in need.
Jesus is a model of prayer for us.
Prayer is essential to living a full, Catholic life. The central communal form of prayer for the Church is the Mass.
Some of the Church's most traditional and foundational prayers are as follows:
Grace Before Meals
Bless us, O Lord,
and these Your gifts,
which we are about to receive
from Your goodness,
through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace.
The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women;
and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with Your help,
to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior, Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God, have mercy.
Hail Holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy,
our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To you do we cry, the poor banished children of Eve;
to you do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of sin.
Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
your eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary
Pray for us most holy Mother of God,
that we may be found worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen
Saint Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him we humbly pray,
and do thou O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God, cast into hell, Satan,
and all the evil spirits seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
The Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with You forever in the next.
There are also contemporary ways to pray. Talking with God each day, no matter the form or the words used, nourishes our relationship and helps it to grow.
Silent prayer or meditation helps us to center our thoughts on God's goodness and offers renewal in a noisy, hectic world.
Lectio Divina is a way of praying with the Sacred Scriptures. Find a Scripture passage that speaks to you. Read it out loud and then reflect upon it silently for several minutes. Read it again. Notice any words or phrases that stick with you or make an impression on you. Ask God what you are to learn from this passage. Listen.
Keep a prayer journal with all of your wants, needs, thoughts, and reflections related to your prayer life.
Scripture - Catholics believe that the Bible is God's self-revelation written in an inspired and inerrant way.
Saints - The Saints are exemplars of how to follow Christ. They teach us how to live holy and faithful lives.
Mary - The Blessed Virgin Mary is the greatest among the Saints. At the Annunciation, Mary said, "Yes, may it be done to me according to your word," and became the Mother of Jesus, the eternal Son of God Incarnate.