Helpful guidelines on how to pray
There are many acceptable and efficacious ways of praying, and members of this Prayer Apostolate are strongly advised to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit so that they may be led towards the way of praying which best suits their particular disposition. Remember that all prayer is not equal……some prayer is much more powerful than other prayer, much more pleasing to God and much more likely to be answered. We all have a duty to seek to grow in our prayer life and not bury our talent, as taught by Jesus in the Parable of The Talents. The prayer model we offer to members of this Apostolate draws on the following :
The Communion of Saints
This dogma of the Faith is enshrined in the Apostles Creed, tracing its origin back to the very early Christian Church. It is the belief that the faithful on earth, the souls in Puratory and the saints in Heaven are all in communion with each other, in and through the Holy Spirit. At the very start of our prayer therefore we always unite ourselves in spirit with all the other members of the Prayer Apostolate, with the faithful on earth, with the souls in Purgatory, with the saints in Heaven particularly Pope John Paul 2 and members of our own family, and especially with our brother Jesus and our mother Mary. We then claim the words of Jesus “Where two or more are gathered together in My name there am I in their midst”.
Anything you ask the Father in My name will be granted
This is the epicentre and power of our prayer. We now go in spirit to Calvery remembering that God is outside of time. We stand at the foot of the cross. We unite with Our Lady in offering Jesus to the Father. We remember that Jesus is the perfect sacrifice of infinite merit. We know with deep faith that Jesus so loves us that He gave up His life for us. We know with deep faith that He thirsts for the salvation of souls, especially those in danger of being lost, that there is no grace He would refuse if it is for our good. We now turn our prayer to the Father. We take all the petitions of our Prayer Apostolate and we lay them before the Father. We do not tire ourselves out by needlessly naming and enumerating them all. Instead we learn from Our Lady at the Marriage Feast of Cana when she simply said “Son, they have no wine” and trusted that He would know how to deal with the situation. We believe that this childlike trust pleases the Father greatly. We now ask the Father in the name of Jesus to grant our petitions. We do not ask that they be granted out of their own merits or even for the sake of the people concerned, even though that would indeed be a worthy prayer. Instead we ask the Father to grant them because this is what would please His Beloved Son, Jesus, hanging on the cross. The Father cannot refuse, because of His love for the Son. Therein lies the secret to truly powerful prayer, and the real meaning of those words of Jesus “Anything you ask the Father in My name will be granted”.
We now sit back and trust in the Father’s love for the Son. We do not trust in our own prayerfulness, or in the worthiness of the cause we are praying for…… but rather in the Father’s love for the Son. We do not hang on to the slightest personal responsibility for whether the prayer may be answered or not. It is now in God’s hands and we are out of the equation. Praise the Lord !! This is a huge relief for us and also helps to ensure that our own ego does not obstruct the prayer. This “trust”is vital. Remember what Jesus told Saint Faustina “The vessel through which I pour My Mercy is the vessel of trust”.
In addition to this trust we also believe. We believe Jesus when He says “Anything you ask the Father in My name will be granted”. When we believe Jesus in this way we open the way to miracles: miracles of healing, miracles of deliverance from evil, miracles of abundance in our life.
Be still and know that I am God
This last element of our Prayer Model is optional, but is highly recommended for those who desire to be refreshed by prayer, as Jesus was, rather than wearied out by prayer as many of us often are. It is based on the sad reality that we all take on board varying elements of destructive stress and anxiety during the course of a given day and the belief that such stress and anxiety have no place in God’s kingdom. How often did Jesus greet His disciples with the words “Peace be with you” and “Fear not”. It draws strength and comfort from the invitation of Jesus “Come to Me all you who labour and are over-burdened and I will give you rest”. Above all it seeks refreshment from God in the words of Sacred Scripture Be still and know that I am God.
We therefore seat ourselves comfortably and place ourselves in the presence of the Lord. We ask His Spirit to fill our mind. We let go of all conscious thought other than the thought that the Holy Spirit is now dwelling in our mind. Gradually we begin to feel His presence, His stillness, His silence. Each time a thought comes to the surface of our mind we calmly give it to Jesus. When our mind has been refreshingly filled with His silence we direct Him towards our heart and allow His love to fill our heart. We then direct Him towards every ache and fatigue in our tired body and marvel as He thoroughly refreshes our body. Lastly we allow His Spirit to flow freely in the unity of our mind, heart, soul and body. The power of this prayer lies in our humble acceptance of our need to be ministered to by a loving God Who is pleased to give Himself to us. If you practice this form of prayer for about fifteen minutes each day it will revolutionize your life. Bear in mind however that it may take some time before you yield fully to its power. The Poem below may help you.
Don’t Speak a Word
And so at last,
Impelled by need,
I took my tired body
And I took my troubled mind
And I sat before my King.
“Don’t speak a word”, He said.
“No prayers and no petitions.
Do not even think a thought!
For I already know your deepest needs.
Just lay your heart upon My heart,
That I may rest in you
And you in Me.
It pleases Me you trust Me so
To act in silence
On your soul :
My power of Love
To make you whole.”