Tag Archives: prayer

Learning How to Pray {5 Helpful Resources}

11 Apr

St. Louis de Montfort Prayer Quote

I’ve wanted to write a post about prayer for awhile, but it just seems like such an overwhelming subject to tackle! There are so many different ways to pray and so many books on the topic! I’m not going to let that stop me, though!

Since it’s such a popular subject, prayer is clearly important. It is one of the most vital things that we can do to grow closer to God and be molded into who He wants us to be. It’s essential in order to discover His will for us. Praying must be more than just a few petitions tossed up throughout the day or a quick “thank you” when things work out our way. Prayer needs to be a priority so that everything else is rightly ordered and our “paths are made straight” (Proverbs 3:6). Just as a couple needs to continuously communicate and sacrifice daily in order to cultivate a healthy marriage, the same must be done to grow deeper in a relationship with Christ.

Improving my prayer life is something that I’ve personally been focusing on the past several months. Even though I’m a full-time working mother, I try to find moments in my day that I can dedicate consistently to prayer. This idea of making a point to set aside a specific time to pray each day has been a recurring theme that I have come across often in my reading.

I use my drive to work in the morning to pray and prepare for the day. I’ve been trying to get back into praying the rosary consistently, too. (It helps that my radio is broken, too – no distractions!) I also spend a little time reading the Bible after tucking my girls in at night. I’m not spending hours in prayer, but I have found that I feel much more at peace when I stick to my new routine, however short it is.

I do have to say, though, that the more I am aware of the blessings in my daily life and promptings to do God’s will, the more I feel like my actions and special moments are like little prayers. Sometimes I find myself soaking in a genuine smile from one of my daughters and I feel it’s God showing me His love and allowing me to experience true joy that only comes from Him. I can feel God in the moment. No words even need to be said.

Pray Without Ceasing Quote

In doing my research on prayer, I have come across some very helpful and inspiring resources. Instead of trying to quote and paraphrase, I think it’d be best to just share and link, because they each deserve to be read in their entirety!

Recommended Resources on Prayer:

1. The Prayer Process as shared in The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic by Matthew Kelly. This 7-step process is a great daily way to pray. It helps me reflect on the accomplishments and failures of the day, how God is speaking to me, and what I can do for others.

2. Prayer Primer: Igniting a Fire Within by Fr. Thomas Dubay. This book really is a must-read on prayer. There were many great insights in this book. Not only did it address the various types of prayer and their value, but it discussed how to help children pray and how to pray even when we are busy. I know that this is a book I could re-read over and over again and continuously learn more.

3. Lesson One in Prayer by Peter Kreeft. I love how Kreeft writes – so visual and direct. This brief article on why to pray and how to get started is definitely a kick in the pants! Kreeft has also written Prayer for Beginners, but I haven’t read it yet. It’s definitely on my list and is actually available from Lighthouse Catholic Media for $5.

4. Meditation Stuff: The Laudate app is free and has daily readings and meditations. I also like Word Among Us for their daily meditations on the readings. I recently discovered The Catholic Company’s Morning Offering daily email. At first, I was like, “I don’t need another thing to read and meditate on,” but I have discovered that I really like the saint quotes that they share! Each day they feature that day’s saint, Liturgy of the Hours, and more. I highly recommend it!

5. St. Josemaria Escriva. One of my favorite bloggers, Erin of Humble Handmaid, has mentioned this saint’s writings often on her blog. She recently shared this post, “Making Every Breath a Prayer,” where she again shared some more of his wisdom. I definitely need to get to know this saint more!

How do you fit prayer into your daily life?  Do you have any favorite resources or tips?

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Moments of Grace No. 3

17 Feb

Since last I wrote a Catholic Woman’s Almanac post, the blog and link-up names have changed. It is now…

Moments of Grace Logo

Happy to be joining Jenny and ladies this week! Here we go!

Thanking God for
…a home heating system that continued to work through all of this crazy cold weather!
…hot tea to ease my congestion!
…wonderfully supportive parents!
…my amazing husband who loves being a daddy so much! He took our oldest girl to a Father-Daughter dance a couple weeks ago! Someone captured this beautiful pic of the two of them that’s featured on the parish website! Melt my heart!

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I am praying for
…some fellow Catholic bloggers who are going through some hard times right now, including things like miscarriages, autism, family addiction issues, etc.
…my mother-in-law’s continued fast healing after her hip replacement surgery.
…the souls in purgatory.

I am pondering
…purgatory. (See next section.)

I am reading

  • Hungry Souls: Supernatural Visits, Messages and Warnings from Purgatory by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg. This book has been on my wish list for quite some time. I finally downloaded it and it is very interesting so far. I haven’t spent too much time thinking about purgatory lately, but our prayers and sacrifices truly make a difference to these souls so that they can be finally united with God for eternity. I’m trying to be more conscious about praying for specific people and not just going through the motions for the “souls of faithful departed”.

I am creating
…hand-knit dishcloths. I love that they don’t take much time to knock out and most of my old ones were in desperate need of replacing!

I’m learning
…more about prayer. I just finished up Prayer Primer by Fr. Thomas Dubay a couple weeks ago. I’m really trying to commit to a more dedicated prayer life. I plan to post something later this month about some helpful insights I have come across.

Around the house
…My two girls and I were sick most of last week/weekend with the flu. We’re finally on the upswing. Thankfully, my husband did not catch the bug!
…Adam is clearing out the storage space today that we rented while the house was on the market. It’s going to be interesting to try to re-integrate this junk back into our house! Can anyone say, “garage sale”? The weather needs to warm up ASAP!

Look what I found
…Brandon Vogt does a weekly book give-away on his blog. Three of the current ones on this week’s Love and Marriage Book Giveaway just happen to be on my to-read list right now! Crossing my fingers that I win one of them!

I am looking forward to
…attending a protestant church service with one of my friends to hear Eric Metaxas speak again! (Love him!) Also, Christopher Duffley, will be singing! If you haven’t checked out this precious boy on YouTube yet, you should! He will amaze you and make you weep like a baby!

A favorite quote for today…

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For more of my favorite quotes on prayer, click here!

Have a great week, everyone!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Prayer

12 Feb

I’ve really been focusing a lot on improving my prayer life lately – it’s definitely one of my main goals for this year. I’ve been reading some great books, including Prayer Primer, by Fr. Thomas Dubay, and I’ve been coming across some great words of wisdom about what prayer is and what it does for us. I thought I’d share!

10 Inspirational Quotes about Prayer

1. “The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” -Soren Kirkegaard

2. “The best thing each of us can do for those we love is to become a saint, a man or woman of deep prayer.” -Thomas Dubay, S.M.

3. “To pray well one must live well.” -St. Augustine

4. “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” -Mother Teresa

5. “Prayer is a mother who conceives and nourishes all virtues.” -St. Catherine of Siena

6. “Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.” -Matthew 21:22

7. “A soul which gives itself to prayer, either much or little, should on no account be kept within narrow bounds.” -St. Teresa of Avila

8. “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” -Corrie Ten Boom

9. “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.” -Mahatma Gandhi

10. “If you ever want to be holy, to know God, to live His will, then the number one thing that you are going to have to do is pray. PERIOD! Nothing else matters.” -Fr. Larry Richards

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Do you have a favorite quote about prayer? If so, please share below!

Five Favorites (vol. 19)

5 Feb

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Last month, I wrote about my goals for 2014! This week, I’m writing about five of my favorite things that are helping me to be intentional and achieve these goals!

{1}
Home Budget App

HomeBudget with Sync

Finally, we found something that makes it as easy as possible to categorize and track spending! I love that this syncs between my iPad and both of our iPhones!

{2}
7-Minute Workout

This is a great little interval training video and something that I can totally fit into my schedule at least few times per week! Seven minutes is better than nothing, right?

{3}

Study the Gospels in a Year

I started receiving daily readings in my inbox in December, but you can still join and start reading now if you haven’t already signed up!

{4}

The Word Among Us

My parents bought me a subscription for Christmas! I love the daily meditations in this Catholic devotional magazine!

{5}

PowerSheets

Lara-Casey-Shop---2014-Making-Things-Happen-PowerSheet-Set_compact

I’ve mentioned these amazing planning sheets a couple times already on this blog, but it’s worth sharing in a Five Favorites post! I highly recommend these for anyone who wants to be purposeful and make sure their goals align with their priorities! I totally adore Lara Casey, who created this amazing system!

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Have a great rest of the week! Check out Hallie’s and the other lovely ladies’ Five Favorites at Moxie Wife!!

October’s Dreamer in the Spotlight

6 Oct

This month’s post is probably going to be a little different from any other one that I will ever write for this series.  The person that I have chosen has no idea that I have a blog and that I would ever choose to write about her.  I can’t use her real name because of privacy rights, so I will refer to her as Fran.

I met Fran earlier this week at the community mental health agency where I work.  Fran shared with me how she is desperately wanting to move out of the apartment complex where she currently resides due to people threatening her life.  Fran said that she reported a neighbor who was beating his  three-year-old son.  She is not getting much help from the landlords, either, and is afraid she may be evicted.  I am not sure of any other incidents that may have occurred leading up to this point, but Fran was clearly in distress about her circumstances.  In addition to this major stress in her life, Fran is dealing with custody and child support issues regarding her daughter.  She is currently unemployed and has suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past.  Needless to say, this woman has been through a lot.  It definitely made me thankful for all the wonderful people in my life, the roof over my head, and my job.

While talking with her, Fran brought up her trust in God.  She mentioned that despite all of the negative things she has experienced in the past several years, she has “such peace.”  She stated that she knows that God is having her go through these things for a purpose and that this is just the beginning.  Fran wants to be able to help people through similar situations.  She recently has already taken the step to talk in front of state politicians  about holding judges accountable for their actions.  Fran told me that she once had to spend 15 days in jail because a judge overlooked that she had paid her child support on time.

I don’t know the decisions, reasons, circumstances, etc., regarding what has happened in Fran’s life.  I don’t know if things have happened due to poor choices that she has made or not.  I do know, though, that this woman is hurting, but despite her pain she continues to rely on God and have faith in His plan for her life.  I let her know that her trust was inspiring and that God would reward her faithfulness.

While driving home from work that day, I wondered if she had anyone to pray for her.  Fran could use some support and love right now.  I’d like to ask you to pause for a moment and join me in the following prayer:

Lord,

Please be with Fran during this difficult time and continue to wrap her in your peace.  Send your angels to protect and lead her.  We ask that you bring someone into her life who can offer support and guidance.  Give her the strength and wisdom she needs to follow your will.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and offering a prayer for Fran.  She is already helping others by sharing her unwavering faith in God’s plan.

 

 

Photo courtesy of luigi diamanti via freedigitalphotos.net