The Importance of Prayer
Prayer should be an integral part of a Catholic’s life. One can enlist the help of the Rosary, the Bible and prayer cards to enhance the act of prayer to help us live a life closer to Christ.
Contemplative prayer is all about finding that innermost sanctum where you can communicate directly with God. Jesus tells us that it is imperative that we persist in our prayer to maintain and help build a relationship with him.
Cultivating the habit of praying throughout the day, during the morning, noon and at night, draws us closer to God. It can also provide a moment of quiet reflection by creating a peaceful space that helps you tackle all life throws at you through communion with the Lord.
It is written in Matthew 7, "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Here are some more powerful prayers that can be recited throughout the day to increase peace and enhance both faith and devotion.
Prayers for the Morning
As soon as you arise in the morning, reciting words of praise and dedicating your whole day to God is a devout way to start off any and every day. Once you awake after a night’s sleep, praying to ask the Lord to bless your day, protect you from trespasses and sanctify your daily activities (especially those that come with everyday life) is a powerful practice to make part of your daily morning routine.
Remember that God always wants us to talk to Him, telling Him our dreams and our worries, as well as asking Him to help quell our anxieties. By starting your morning off with words of praise, you’re not only allowing in God’s blessings for you and those around you, but you’re also sowing seeds that will help cultivate a stronger bond between you, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Reciting a morning offer to the Sacred Heart is a powerful meditation that can set you on the proper course to go about your day.
“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.”
Another potent meditation one can use before starting off the day is this great daily offering.
“In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I will begin this day. I thank you, Lord, for having preserved me during the night. I will do my best to make all I do today pleasing to You and in accordance with Your will. My dear mother Mary, watch over me this day. My Guardian Angel, take care of me. St. Joseph and all you Saints of God, pray for me... (followed by Daily Offering)”
Prayers for Noon
As you go about your day, the stresses of work and everyday situations can crop up and steal your peace away. To maintain a connection with the Lord’s plan for your day and to help keep you balanced (so that no external thing can set you off course), midday or noon prayers such as the Angelus, are a great way to get or keep you focused.
Reciting this simple prayer is an effective meditation meant to focus your attention on God and all the gifts, He has, and will bestow.
“O God, grant me a moment to reflect on your gift to me of this day. Help me to see your touch in all that has already happened and to hope you will be with me in all that is still coming my way. For the tasks you have given me and for the strength to face them, I thank you, Lord. For these moments of peace and for the ways you keep me going, whether I am aware of them or not, I give you thanks. Amen.”
The Angelus (which is traditionally recited at noon) is a beautiful prayer for this time of the day. Although often recited in a group, it can be read alone by just reading both lines. It’s a wonderful meditation on Mary the Mother and her role in the Incarnation of Christ.
V: The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary,
R: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of death. Amen.
V: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Hail Mary . . .
V: And the Word was made Flesh
R: And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .
V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray: pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.
This last suggested midday prayer, is a personal favorite, as it paints a humble and heartfelt meditation on Christ our Lord:
“Draw us into your love, Christ Jesus, and deliver us from fear. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. O Lord, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.”
Prayers for Night
At the close of each day, take a moment to examine your deeds and actions (also known as the “daily examination of conscience”). During this examination one can thank God for the day's blessings, ask forgiveness where we faltered in what we did or what we failed to do, and seek God's help in any areas you wish to do better in tomorrow.
Taking a moment to thank God for the bountiful gifts/harvest in your life, for His constant hand in taking care of you and your loved ones and professing your gratitude for the gift of life is vital in building a solid relationship with the Lord. To close this time of reflection with the Lord, it is good to offer a prayer of contrition:
“O my God, I am heartfully sorry for having offended thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishment, but most of all because I have offended Thee my God, Who is all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more, and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.”
Of course, we can always pray as Jesus taught us by reciting an “Our Father” also known as "The Lord's Prayer" as part of our evening prayer:
“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. Amen.”
If you wish to include an expression of gratitude and a petition for renewed dedication to a life in Christ for the next day, then there is this prayer traditional prayer:
“God, come to my assistance. Lord make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. O my God, I thank you for having preserved me today and for having given me so many blessings and graces.I renew my dedication to you and ask your pardon for all my sins.”
About my Guest:
Megan Dahle's posts tend to be contemplative and revolve around prayer life. She also likes giving reinforcement to live bravely as a Catholic. Her family lives outside of Harrisburg, SD. She enjoys coaching robotics for her daughters' FLL team and gardening. Megan and her husband Travis own DiscountCatholicProducts.com. You can read more from Megan at her blog.