Catholic or Protestant, we tend to know the “Our Father” and without question pray it.
We pray it at our church services, we pray it before meals sometimes, we pray it at funerals and weddings.
no one questions how or why they say it….they just do.
It is the Prayer Jesus taught us to pray……well actually
Jesus said…when you pray …pray like this:
Matthew 6:9New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
9 “Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
In the previous Verses Jesus talks about not praying like non christian’s many words… no feeling behind it
and while it is good and right that we pray the Our Father
I challenge you to think of it as more than just a prayer
a framework for
how to pray
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
forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the power and the glory forever and ever …amen.
(whoa…reverse….that last line….not in the bible…at least not in this chapter and verse)
but I digress
this post is about prayers… not just one prayer.
Do you want to know the Scriptural Basis of the Nicene Creed?
this is most certainly a prayer and an affirmation of faith.
As Catholics we say this Creed(a statement of beliefs) at every mass in one form or another(sometimes recited sometimes asked in questions and answered with “I believe”)
Coming up with a prayer….in the spirit…from the top of your head is great, and it’s a fine way to praise and give thanks to God.
you don’t have the words.
you don’t have the thoughts
all you have is what you know
the Hail Mary
the Our Father
the Lamb of God
the Glory Be
(said as a prayer in catholic churches but also used as a song in other denominations)
When we pray
we are not being
we are not
merely being repetitive
we are praying with our whole heart
calling out to god
Thy will be done
crying out to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving
these “scripted” prayers
comfort to the sorrowing
peace to the worried
joy to the thankful
when we pray with our heart and soul regardless of words used our prayers reach God
and lest you think I forgot
a repetitious celebration
a repetitious prayer
through word, song, and actions
we pray to God throughout the Mass
Until death we cannot be closer to God in any way than through Prayer and this Mass we Catholics attend to (regardless of music used or how in tune the choir is)
is one of the most beautiful forms of prayer I have ever been privileged to be a part of
Here is one mass setting (so many to choose from, by so many talented composers….)
and finally there are so many meditative prayers
based on scripture
pick a favorite scripture passage
read a random passage
read it several times
think about what you’ve read
think about what sticks most in your mind
the catholic church calls this form of prayer Lectio Divina
what about icon gazing this is where you look at a holy picture/ icon and observe it, make a mental note of what you notice in the picture, how does it speak to you, how do you feel when gazing at it….the link above does a great job of describing.
finally I’d like to mention Biblical Guided Meditation
a way of hearing a bible verse read to you and allowing your imagination to bring you into the biblical history story and meet Jesus
guided meditation is powerful and brings many to tears.
The following is one I found about the woman at the well.
and although it is in print only perhaps play soft music and ask a tender voiced friend to read it to or with you
click here for the meditation
go out and pray
however you pray
make the prayer part of your heart and soul and