A practical guide to personal prayer

  1. Pray often and everywhere.
  2. Give God thanks and praise.
  3. Contritely repent of all your sins, asking God’s forgiveness as you carefully confess them, in kind and in number.
  4. Have a firm, personal intention to avoid committing those sins again, in the future.
  5. Humbly submit all your personal requests/petitions to God, taking as much time as necessary to completely explain to God, precisely what you need and why.
  6. Firmly believe you will receive that for which you have prayed.
  7. Repeat, as necessary.

Editor’s note:

Holy Baptism gives us the right to pray to God, as well as the supreme privilege of actually expecting God to hear/receive our prayers, according to the grace obtained for us by Jesus Christ, as facilitated by the Holy Spirit, by virtue of our full, faithful membership/personal participation in The Holy Catholic Church.

That said, God is under absolutely no obligation to grant any of our prayers or petitions. Anything he chooses to do for us, he does graciously, because he is all good, he loves us and he wants only the best for us.

God already knows what we need, so our primary mission here, is to keep the faith, perfect our prayer craft and try to avoid “fouling things up” as the Providence of God graciously and powerfully works (for good) in our lives.

(1) In the Gospels, Jesus instructed us to “pray without ceasing”.

(2) Giving sincere thanks and praise to God is completely appropriate, always and everywhere.

(3&4) Contrition (sorrow) for having committed sin, plus a firm purpose of amendment, along with a genuine possibility of actual repentance, coupled with a divinely acceptable form of “satisfaction” (penance) is typically required for the forgiveness of sins. Hence, for this and many other good reasons, numbers 3&4 are best accomplished in and through the great, Catholic Sacrament of Reconciliation.

(5) Having made our peace with God, we presume to (once again) ask him to bless us and keep us.

(6) If a person does not firmly believe his/her prayers will be answered, then what is the point of praying, at all?

(7) God’s “timing” is perfect and exquisite. Our “timing” … not so much. Faithfully relying on God to answer our prayers in his own good time, in the best possible manner, is the way to go.

The best way to discover the truth and power of all this is to keep a personal prayer journal, where all your prayers and petitions, as well as the dates you submitted them, are fully documented, with subsequent fulfillments duly recorded and fully correlated, over time.

Make a Perfect Act of Contrition (link)

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