Why Pray?

Prayer is the food of the soul. Just as our bodies need nourishment so, too, do our souls which, in hungering for God, need to be nourished by prayer. Much of the stress that many people experience today comes from the fact that they neglect to nourish their souls. Our bodies, minds and souls make up a unit. Our society is becoming more and more geared towards looking after the body and the mind, but unless some harmony is restored by including the soul and bringing these three elements together, it is inevitable that people will experience anxiety.

St Augustine said, ‘You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. ’ A lot of the anxiety that people experience in their busy lives could be alleviated if some time was given to prayer and the search for God. Jesus is the Source of Peace and we cannot hope to have peace within ourselves unless we draw life from that source.

Essentially, prayer is a conversation with God, speaking to Him who created and loves us and listening to what He has to say to us. In this book, we want to offer a few different methods of prayer that we feel are well suited to the type of lives we live today. Prayer is a relationship, so we all experience it differently. We have given examples of different types of prayer and hope that you will find an approach that suits you. Why not decide to spend ten or fifteen minutes a day in prayer? If you already do this, why not increase it to thirty minutes?

Prayer and holiness is for everyone in every situation. It is having our whole being in harmony with God’s plan for us. We will never achieve true happiness if we continue to search for it outside the very source of love, which we know is God Himself. Scripture tells us that ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:16).

As Saint John Paul II said in his letter on the dawn of the new millennium, why not ‘start afresh from Christ’ ? You won’t regret it!

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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