It has been said that prayer doesn’t help our relationship with God, prayer is our relationship with God! The following page will look at some prayers that are familiar to many Catholics, with the encouragement to use some of them in your own prayer life. But more important than that, prayer is first and foremost a relationship with the God who loves you – so when we pray, we do so with all of our heart.
Heart to Heart
The motto of Birmingham’s Cardinal St John Henry Newman (1801-1890) was Cor ad cor loquitur – “Heart speaks unto heart”. This is the simple truth of prayer – our hearts reaching out to the heart of God in Faith, Hope and Love.
Prayer of the Heart
The simplest Christian prayer is just one word: JESUS.
In His Holy Name is contained all that God wants to give to us, and is the Way to the Father, since Jesus Christ is closest to the Father’s heart (John 1:18). It also reveals to us the desire of God to rescue us from what separates us from Him – Sin – since Jesus means, “God Saves”.
The Jesus Prayer
In the Bible, we see many people calling upon the name of Jesus when they are in need, and this has become the basis of what is known as the Jesus Prayer, used by many Eastern Rite Catholics as well as increasing numbers of others. By praying the following words, perhaps using prayer beads:
…we ask God to save us, and all those we love, from sin. Calling on the Holy Name is the beginning, so many saints tell us, of the practice of unceasing prayer, which St Paul exhorted Christians to pursue (Ephesians 6:18)
The Sign of the Cross
Christian Prayer is addressed to the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
How to make the sign of the cross
The sign of the cross is a prayer in itself. Catholics make this in different ways. One is with the hand open and fingers together, touched to the forehead, breast and left and right shoulders. Our five fingers remind the pray-er of the five wounds of Christ’s Passion. Another way is to pinch the thumb, index and middle fingers together. The three fingers remind the Christian of the Mystery of the Trinity, and the two remaining fingers in the palm of the hand, remind the Christian of the Incarnation, or two natures of Christ, divine and human.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary
For Catholics, Mary (the Mother of God) is, in a special way, our mother. As Mary prophesied in her Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55), we continue to call her “Blessed”. Having been filled with the Holy Spirit, we call upon her to bring us close to the Sacred Heart of her son, Jesus, and therefore to the heart of God the Father.
The Rosary is the special prayer we pray to our Blessed Mother to to ask her to draw us into the mystery of this relationship of love. For more information about the Rosary view the video or click HERE.
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.
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
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