“For me prayer is a surge of the heart, it is a simple look towards Heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

We here at the DCC want to help you learn how to pray. After all, prayer is the first and most fundamental thing we can do in our Christian lives to grow closer to God. Why is this the case? Well, because prayer – at its most foundational – is simply talking to God. Prayer is that moment when we’re hanging out with our best friend and sharing with Him whatever is on our heart. To that end, there are all kinds of ways to pray! But here’s a guide on tried and true ways to pray that help lead you closer to God.

Scriptural Meditation

St. Jerome is reported to have said “Ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Whoa… let that sink in for a second. We do believe that Jesus Christ is the Word become flesh, so the quote makes sense! Do we pray with the scriptures? Do we let God’s word sink into our lives each day and teach us how to live, how to think, how to speak, and how to behave? If you want to grow in this area, here’s some resources on how to continue to learn how to pray with the Scriptures:

The Rosary

When I was a child, I took a photograph of my parents on their wedding and drew myself and my brother on it with orange crayon. Of course they were so upset, but I did it because I wanted to be there with them on that special day! When we pray the rosary, we are like little children of Mary and Jesus trying to imagine ourselves in their life. What would their life have been like? How would I have responded to Jesus in these situations? This prayer can help us draw closer to Jesus and His Mother. We’re already a part of their family, but the rosary teaches us that deep truth.

The Divine Office (a.k.a Liturgy of the Hours a.k.a. The Breviary)

The Divine Office is the prayer of the Church! Priests and nuns pray this every day – multiple times a day! This is also another way to pray with Scripture, and especially to pray with the psalms. Not sure what exactly this even is or what I mean?

Mass

Mass sounds like an “easy way out” on how to pray more and grow closer to God, but Mass is actually the pinnacle (on earth) of prayer and union with God! Jesus truly is present in the Eucharist, so receiving Him in Mass is the closest we can get to union with God on earth! Here’s resources on how to make the most out of Mass:

Eucharistic Adoration

When Jesus said to His disciples, “I will be with you always” (Matthew 28:20), He really meant it. And one of the ways Christ is faithful to these words is through the Eucharist — the real presence of Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. Eucharistic Adoration is one of the greatest gifts of our faith, because it is a privileged time in which you and I get to spend time with Christ in this mind-blowing way! Here at the DCC we offer two main opportunities for this. The first is our Wednesday Adoration each week at 8pm in Goodson Chapel (that’s in the Divinity School if you did not know). There we have live music, as well as time for silent prayer with, you guessed it, Christ in the Eucharist. The second opportunity is better put as “opportunities” because our chapel at the Falcone Arena House has a special tabernacle that allows you to expose/reveal the Blessed Sacrament on your own at any time. How much better can it get! We hope you will take advantage of these amazing opportunities to spend time with Jesus.

Examen

The daily examen was created by St. Ignatius of Loyola to help us reflect on our day and to grow in awareness of God’s work in our hearts each day! It’s such a great tool – I pray it every night, even if it’s for only five minutes, because it helps me to see where God was in any part of the day (even if I didn’t recognize it in the moment!)

More

If you want to keep diving deeper in prayer and are looking for more resources, check these sites out: