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Whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mt 6, 6-15


Praying with Scripture/Psalms (The Bible)

Praying with Scripture is a powerful way to pray. It is a dialogue between the Word (which is Jesus) and you. As we are told in the letter to the Hebrews, "The Word of God is something alive and active: It cuts like any double-edged sword but more finely: it can slip through the place where the soul is divided from the spirit, or joints from the marrow; it can judge the secret emotions and thoughts." 2
And so, great healing can happen when we really let the mystery of the Lord's Word penetrate our hearts. Take time with these methods - they are worth it!

See "Familiar Scripture Passages" if you would like the references for some familiar Scripture passages.

We give three methods of praying with Scripture, as follows:


Method 1: Lectio Divina

This is a traditional method of praying with the Scriptures, which was developed in monastic situations. It consists of four stages called 'Reading (Lectio), Meditation (Meditatio), Prayer (Oratio) and Contemplation (Contemplatio). It is much more than a reading or study of Scripture. It is an encounter in faith and love with the Word of God. If you can devote 20-30 minutes a day to this, you will find it very profitable. And, as you are developing new skills of reflection on these texts, do not feel that you have to exhaust one text in the day. You can come back to the texts again and again.

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Method 2: Using Scripture as a mantra:

A mantra is a "prayer word", a word or phrase which we can use over and over again, and which helps to bring us into the presence of God. It is a popular way of praying in the East.It involves choosing a word (such as "God", "Abba, Father", "Love", "Advocate") from Scripture and mulling it over in your heart.You can also use a phrase (such as "God is Love", "I love you Lord my strength", "Only in God is my soul at rest" or "Be not afraid").Because you are using Scripture, you are bringing to bear on your soul the very power of the Word of God, which is Jesus Himself.The Word has a dynamic of its own and by bringing it into our souls in this way, we are letting it grow within us and form us. This way of praying is particularly suited to the busy person, as it can be used at any time. Once you select your word, you can use it during your prayer time, or while working around the house, waiting for a bus, travelling by train, etc. You can return to it at any time during the day.

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Method 3: Praying with the Psalms:

This is a wonderful way to pray. Every human emotion is expressed in the psalms, so it is not difficult to find a psalm to suit our mood. It is the way Jesus Himself prayed, and, the fact that they were dear to Him is borne out by the fact that He often quotes from the Psalms (Mathew 21:16 & Luke 4:10 for example). Even as He was dying, He was praying the psalms. They are particularly useful when we cannot find the words to pray, because we are sure to find something which suits our needs.
For example, Psalm 138(139), which starts off by saying:
"O Lord, you search me and you know me,
You know my resting and my rising."


Becoming aware of this, we are brought into the presence of the Lord, who is always with us. We become conscious that He is intimately aware of everything about us, and knows us better then we even know ourselves. To pray with the psalms, you can use either of the above methods, to which they are ideally suited.

See "Psalms to suit different moods" for the references of Psalms.

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