How do you pray?

fortyfive

Woodpecker
Other Christian
I spent years doing it wrongly. Mean praying and seeking God.
I wanted to have God's blessings with the smallest effort, formal praying, and creating my own rituals in order to please God.
It never worked.

My prayers weren't answered and my life wasn't different from godless people.

Thank God I knew I need to change. I realized it must be me who is to change because He doesn't change. It must be me who did a mistake being a disrespectful lazy idiot.
He is always perfect and always right, and fault cannot be on His side.

I began to read old Christian books about the lives of godly men and women.
And I knew instantly what was wrong with my stupid smart-ass approach.
Unlike me, they were truly humble people before God. Not acting humble, really humble.
They were seeking God genuinely, diligently, everyday reading Bible, and praying on their knees.
They didn't have Bible tossed somewhere under bed and they didn't pray only 15 sec long just before bedtime.

Most importantly, they devoted a certain part of the day to reading Bible and praying in a separate place. And they had results.

I did the same. And it's working. I am not seeking God for hours daily as they did, but every day I isolate time and place only for reading and praying, and I am focused on what I am doing.

And I learned something: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" and "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" James 4:8-10
 

Shwhite

Sparrow
Woman
I've been trying to make an effort to pray every morning and night for the past few weeks now. Having the Orthodox prayer book is very handy. It's got all kinds of different prayers for every occasion.

I like to get down on my knees when I pray. I'll close my eyes when I get to my own personal prayers, which I usually save for the end. I don't always do all the prayers in the prayer book exactly in the order that they appear. It can get a little repetitive otherwise.

Before, I would always say my prayers at night in my head before I went to sleep. Usually only when I needed something. But now that I'm formerly starting and ending the day with God, I find myself thinking of Him and focusing on Him more. Prayer really does make a difference.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
Protestant
A pastor once said we are to pray like Jesus in the garden. If at all possible take this from me, Father, but Your will, not mine. I’ve taken that to heart. It caused me to realize my prayers have been about trying to manipulate circumstances. In one way “His will”is frightening to me. God’s will isn’t necessarily what I’d choose as a mere human who wants the easy life. When I moved over to truly and humbly meaning ”His” will it became a comfort. It’s a way to learn acceptance. I’m willing to be changed.

Fortyfive, yes, exactly.
 

Vigilant

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
God always answers His children: Yes, No, Wait:
When God grants me a specific prayer request, I know that He had already planted it in my soul (mind/heart), before I even had thought of it, as He operates outside time, He granted therefore His prayer that He just made me part of. A confirmation of His will.

If it is "wait", then His Spirit works in us to provide the right attitude or a prayer of His will, or His timing.

If it no, then that is still Him answering.
 

Starlight

Kingfisher
Woman
Protestant
For prayer, I’m definitely not as structured as I used to be. When I was younger, I would get up early and say Morning Prayers, I’d pray before every meal, and I’d pray my Evening Prayers. And then at Catholic school, of course, we’d pray intermittently throughout the day. Having a chapel on campus was really motivating and helpful to spend lunch periods there. When I was on the HS swim team, me and my girl friend (that is, a friend that is a girl lol) were both placed to do the 500yd (500m) freestyle. So we practiced a lot. If you’ve ever swam laps, it can be pretty boring lol. And so, we were talking about how we pass the time while we were swimming and she told me she prayed the Rosary in her head. And that really stuck with me. So now whenever there is a lull or a quiet moment in my life like I’m sitting at a stop light, waiting in line at the grocery store, washing dishes. I’m saying Our Father’s, Hail Mary’s, and Jesus Prayer’s.

When I do a personal prayer, I always start with an intro like “Dear Heavenly Father” or “Lord, God, Heavenly Father,” and then I ask for forgiveness of each recent specific sin I can recall. After that, I thank Him for Christ’s sacrifice to save me from my sins and thank Him for my blessings, both general and specific. Only after that do I give my worries up to God. I don’t ask Him to do “this” or “that” but only that His Will be done and to give me the strength to endure whatever His plan is. Although, I do sometimes plead for intercession. I ask Him bless people and I do ask for the Holy Spirit to watch over certain people and guide them in their lives and protect them, help them to make good choices, etc. I always finish the prayer with, “In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”

After reading other people’s posts, I know I need to up my personal devoted prayer time. Thank you for this.
 

Mrs.DanielH

Robin
Woman
Orthodox
I noticed a pattern early on in my prayer habits. When I prayed consistently every day for a few weeks I would be feeling great, feel connected with God, etc. Then because of those feelings, i would skip a day then a few days, and before I knew it, I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, disconnected, etc. Then I would start praying again and things would get better again. So it is important for me to regularly pray even when I don't feel like I "need" it or want to do it. I guess somewhere along the way I got the wrong message that prayer is only as needed, or asking for help.

Also I say the Jesus Prayer as I'm going to sleep. For years though, I always fell asleep thanking God for all the people in my life and/or praying for them. Why count sheep when you can count blessings?
 

EuropeanCanon

Woodpecker
Trad Catholic
Ok, so I'm catholic, so take that as you may, but I pray the rosary every day for the mysteries of that day and the divine mercy chaplet. I'm gonna pick up on the stations of the cross as well because my wife has been recommending that to me and she is a hard core woman of prayer (she recently converted to catholicism and did the whole RCIA and got baptised and all - this is after been together for years and she was basically a protestant and I never pressured her, I was just satisfied that she was christian but now she is catholic she is making up for lost time I think)

But I also have my basic talk to the Lord like he is in the room with me prayers, which range from telling him how awesome he is and thanks a lot for revealing yourself to a sinner like me, asking him to do the same for a bunch of others to flat out agony aunt stuff where I'm just trying to make sense of stuff about myself - some of this is just whinging and moaning and kicking my own ass. I try not to do too much of this but you know, needs must. He's a good listener LOL but yeah prayer has many forms. I also have been reading a lot the spanish mystics and trying to figure out some of their ideas about contemplative prayer, prayers of silence and so on.

Sometimes I find with prayer its like limbering up, for a while there seems to be some resistance, or maybe feeling bad or whatever, but you keep at it and you break through that, I have come to think of it as a discipline much like physical exercise where you build up strength in a similar way by keeping at it.

Anyway much love and prayers to all, this place is one of my favorite places to talk to other believers and that's rare in this fallen and getting worse every day end time world.

God bless you all and hope you are having a great Easter
 

Kitty Tantrum

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
I grew up chanting mantras instead of "praying."

I learned to pray (formally) when I began learning about (and eventually joined) the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The LDS prayer structure is very formulaic but has an improv segment built-in, basically.

I was never a huge fan of either of those formats, though. Those always felt like performances more than prayers.

Truthfully, the vast majority of my "real" prayers have been silent. In silent thought I am able to deal in ideas without the time-consuming and sometimes clunky process of translating them into words - and God obviously understands perfectly well without the need for spoken language.

These days I am learning to pray the Rosary. I have a standard five-decade rosary, a Servite rosary (seven sets of seven beads, for the sorrows of Mary), and a small nine-bead chaplet featuring a particular saint. I'm also in the process of learning the simple prayers that most Catholics learn in childhood. I use those in a more formal fashion (usually kneeling, sign of the cross, eyes closed, focus inward, spoken reverently, etc.) when it seems appropriate.

It will take some time for me to adopt the practice of praying formally (verbally) as a matter of routine every morning, every night, before meals, etc., but I do see the value in it.

Although I'm still learning, the Catholic "format" for praying works mostly-well for me. I don't have to make anything up as I go along, but the rote spoken prayers are very conducive to the forming and transmitting of the unspoken prayers (the things I can't quite put words to) at the same time. It's very unlike the chanted mantras of my childhood, where the whole purpose was for the chanted words to consume all of your faculties, basically (I mean, they don't put it like that, but that's pretty much it).
 

IconWriter

Robin
Woman
Orthodox
I have time set aside, first thing in the morning for praying for specific people. Keeping a list is helpful. The Orthodox Prayer Book prayers, like the Psalms, are so much more eloquent and beautiful than I could think to say, and help me to remember what is important. Every evening we gather at our icon corner (home altar), read scripture, and do evening prayers together. Throughout the day, the Jesus prayer starts up, especially in times of stress. The hymns we sing in church, which are scripture/prayers, play in my mind (or from recordings) and also bring peace, while walking, painting, working alone. Allow me to share my favorite version of The Lord's Prayer, one we do for liturgies, in English, though:
 

messaggera

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
I have time set aside, first thing in the morning for praying for specific people. Keeping a list is helpful. The Orthodox Prayer Book prayers, like the Psalms, are so much more eloquent and beautiful than I could think to say, and help me to remember what is important. Every evening we gather at our icon corner (home altar), read scripture, and do evening prayers together. Throughout the day, the Jesus prayer starts up, especially in times of stress. The hymns we sing in church, which are scripture/prayers, play in my mind (or from recordings) and also bring peace, while walking, painting, working alone. Allow me to share my favorite version of The Lord's Prayer, one we do for liturgies, in English, though:
Sounds beautiful and peaceful. Appreciate you sharing. A reminder of the blessings given to us by our Lord. Praise be to God.
 

anchor chicken

Chicken
Woman
Catholic
I am a Catholic that was raised protestant. I pray before I go to sleep every night. I start by thanking the lord for the blessings of the day and then pray intentions for my husband and my other family members. I try to pray every morning though I often forget. My husband and recite a prayer before dinner and add on an intention for someone at the end. I will pray randomly throughout the day when it strikes me. I'm not as consistent with prayer as I would like to be. I go through periods of time where I pray the rosary everyday but then fall out of it. When I do pray it everyday, and figured out how to meditate on the mysteries correctly, it was a game changer. I have a few prayers become answered that I attribute to the rosary alone. I also made a pact that if I'm ever mindlessly scrolling and I see a post about prayer I will stop and pray. Sometimes on my walks I will recite prayers like the Our Father, Hail Mary or the Creed and meditate on their meaning. I guess I don't have a consistent schedule and I should be better about that because some days I just don't get enough praying in. My most consistent prayers are the dinner prayer with my husband and my nightly prayers..
 

PineTreeFarmer

Sparrow
Woman
Orthodox Inquirer
They just started cutting a hundred acres of pines across the street from my house. I have the beginnings of an icon corner in my kitchen. For the first time in my life I can see the sunrise in my house through the window beside the icon corner. It brings so much light and warmth to the room. The forest across the street was extremely dense and black before.

Truly a godsend in a time when I could be dreading staring at an empty field for the next several years.
 

messaggera

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
Having the Orthodox prayer book is very handy.

The Holy Trinity Monastery Prayer Book is a treasure to have for prayers and a valuable resource.

Reading a few pages lead to discovering historical context too.

The Orthodox Prayer Book prayers, like the Psalms, are so much more eloquent and beautiful than I could think to say, and help me to remember what is important.

The Psalms readings have been a nice addition to prayer, and look forward to adding as a form of daily prayer meditation throughout the day. Thank you again.

This is a helpful thread for memorizing Psalms:


I noticed a pattern early on in my prayer habits. When I prayed consistently every day for a few weeks I would be feeling great, feel connected with God, etc. Then because of those feelings, i would skip a day then a few days, and before I knew it, I was feeling overwhelmed, depressed, disconnected, etc. Then I would start praying again and things would get better again. So it is important for me to regularly pray even when I don't feel like I "need" it or want to do it.

Experience this too at times.
 
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