FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: What is prayer?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
I believe that the title is ample description of my question.
Talking to God.
DrBombay Wrote:Talking to God.

So why does it seem like a soliloquy if it is a conversation?
Because he's testing us to see if we are praying out of love for him or because we expect some sort of sensible consolation out of it. 
DrBombay Wrote:Because he's testing us to see if we are praying out of love for him or because we expect some sort of sensible consolation out of it. 

So, do you not receive some consolation out of it? I have tried praying in the past, but have given up on it.
Yes he will occasionally provide you with consolation but then will withdraw it for a time.  It should be done out of love for him not because it makes us feel good.
It's known as the Dark Night of the Soul.  Many saints have experienced it.  If you are experiencing it, it probably means you are making some sort of spiritual progress and should continue praying.  
Mother Teresa is the most recent example I can think of.  You should read her book, Come Be My Light.  She experienced a long period of spiritual dryness. I would also suggest talking to a good priest about your concerns.  He will be able to give much more specific and helpful guidance than you can find on an internet forum. 

Prayer is conversation with God, which consists of not only talking to God, but also listening to God. Often, words are not needed – like when kneeling in front of the tabernacle. Often, we should use our own words. Sometimes, just looking at holy cards or pictures in a prayer book are helpful.


The most fruitful prayer is the Holy Mass and the Divine Office; reading the Scriptures and meditating on them.


Prayer consists of Praise, Thanksgiving, Petition, and Contrition.


Prayer consists of ALL of the above...and more..


I would highly recommend reading the psalms. They contain all the human emotions we have, including anger, despair, boredom, and even no emotions; the feeling that the presence of God has left us, of having no consolation at all. Reading the psalms allows the psalmist to do our praying for us.. Before you know it, the Spirit takes over and you have a real prayer life to call your own again, and the consolation that goes with it.


- Lisa

I regularly recite Psalm 51 (or 50 depending on your Bible). Such beautiful language. But I do not "feel" anything.
DeMaistre Wrote:But I do not "feel" anything.

That's okay. Tell it to God. Offer up the fact that you don't "feel" anything. Even that is a prayer..
Know that perseverance is more pleasing to God than enjoying some kind of instant gratification.  
- Lisa
God doesn't answer us in words.  He answers us subtly in effects.  Sometimes a miracle occurs - like a cure or something.  Usually, not.

Prayer can enflame us and make us feel something, oftentimes it doesn't and this is called "dryness" in prayer.

Try this:

Reread the 10 commandments.  Every day do an examination of conscience.  In the evening, reflect upon your day.  See what commandments you have outright broken if not just kind of dented a little.  See what good things you have done.  Make an account of your day and talk to God about it as if he were a benevolent dad.  Tell him, "I did this wrong, and I did this right."  Ask Him to help you do more good and to realize the wrongfulness of your bad actions so you don't repeat them.  Thank him for helping you do good things, too.  Tell Him you have trouble believing, and ask Him to help you in your disbelief.

Give it a week or two of daily practice, then see if you feel something or notice something subtle as you build a relationship with Him. It could be a change in attitude on your part, something good or a smack in the face.  You'll know it's from God if you look for God in it.

For an example of a smack in the face, way back when I wanted to quit smoking.  I knew it would be tough, so I prayed for help.  At 25 years of age with no history of it, I developed asthma like a week after praying for help and that helped me to quit (though I've started back up since then).  In my case, God often uses irony and plays hardball with me to let me know that something's from Him.  That's my experience, anyhow.  Usually, it's more subtle than getting asthma, but oftentimes I see His hand in things.  Am I imagining it?  Possibly, but because I believe in Him, I don't think so.  He knows me, my personality, etc., and He knows how to get my attention.  I am strong-willed, so in my case a kick in the head is what will work best.

Anyhow, an examination of conscience is a great way to learn to pray the right way.  To talk to God as Our Father and to give Him thanks and ask Him for help, just as the words of the Our Father show us to do.  Give it a shot.  It can't hurt.
Pages: 1 2