Prayers

ALL NEED PRAYERS:
1.   Why should we Pray?
2.   What is Prayer?
3.   Jesus' Teaching about Prayer

4.   Prayer discovers God's Agenda
5.   How did Jesus Pray?
6.   Common Prayers
7.   The Holy Rosary
8.   Novena to Our Mother
9.  
Other Prayers...

10. Your Prayer Requests

WHY SHOULD WE PRAY?

Feel often during the day the need for prayer and pray.
" Prayer opens the heart, till it is capable
of containing God himself. Ask and seek and your heart will
be big enough to receive Him and keep Him as Your Own." (Mother
Teresa) (Click here to have a look at the page on
MOTHER TERESA, "The
Living Saint")
(This page includes her biography, her words, experiences,
pictures & newspaper clippings, cause of her beatification,
her prayers etc.)
   The Lord invites you to sit at His feet and spend
time with Him so that you realise His plans about you.The sad thing
about many of us is that we put more trust in our ability than in
God’s power. Consequently we spend more time planning and charting
out our ministries, than waiting upon the Lord asking for his guidance
and direction. The result - disappointments, failures and frustrations.
And so we are no different from other secular organizations who
too depend on their own power and capacity to get things done, all
with the resulting tension, fatigue, ulcer etc. If the local rotary
club or political party works to conduct a conference or a convention,
they immerse themselves in planning, charting and implementing,
utilizing their own ability and strength.      When
we believers conduct a convention, sadly we too spend the majority
of our time charting and planning, leaving very little time for
prayer and that too entrusting it to the so called Intercession
Ministry. We forget that intercession is not a specific gift of
the Holy Spirit assigned to a few people, but is our life-line to
the Lord-our basic supply of wisdom and power.
We seldom remember that our HEAVENLY FATHER fis a God of miracles
and wonders, and that HE delights in doing impossible
things for his children. Yes, HE truly delights in helping us. But
many of us find our ministry disappointing, frustrating and grudging
work with few victories and results. This is because we don’t
delight much in spending time with Him, as HE does with us.
Be with the Lord :
Primarily, intercession is spending time with the Lord, sitting
at the Master’s feet, listening to him and worshipping him
even when a thousand and one problems are revolving around you.
Only when we spend time with Him, coming to know Him more and more,
can we pray for others in childlike confidence that our Daddy will
not even delay a moment in coming to answer us. Mary Magdalene was
a very good intercessor. She remained with Him at His feet while
her sister Martha tried to solve the problems of the day (in her
ministry) by running here and there, and ultimately grumbling to
the Lord about her sister Mary, who apparently to her seemed to
be doing nothing. But the Lord knew who was wiser and perfect and
commended Mary whom he said had chosen the right thing-to sit at
His feet.
GOD cares for you :
This is an action-oriented age and we are action-oriented creatures
living in a fast world. To do nothing sitting at the Master’s
feet would seem to us foolish, very foolish. But ‘to remain
still and know that He is God’ is what we need to do in this
time. To know that He is always there, planning, guiding and interceding
for us before His God and Father should surely free us from our
action-oriented life and help us to be still before him. Moses for
all his work and action in the palace for 40 years could not be
of much use to the Lord. So the Lord had to make him look after
the sheep in the wilderness for another 40 years to teach him that
he could do nothing by himself and had to depend on Yahweh for even
the smallest thing.
Action should always follow prayer. We succeed in our ministry
only to the extent we pray. If we think we can carry out our ministry
with a little bit of prayer now and then, here and there, we are
totally mistaken. The Lord does not need good and efficient Christians,
He needs humble believers who depend on him for everything and who
are fully conscious of their own helplessness.
Prayer is the bloodline that supplies us with the
energy and wisdom of the Holy Spirit; choke
that supply line by lack of prayer and we are truly finished. The
more we expand and widen that pipe-line by prayer, the more of the
Spirit, we will get-the Spirit who energizes us and directs us and
re-invigorates us. Isn’t it better for us to depend on that
Spirit than on our own wisdom to guide us? As the scripture says
‘the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of men,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength ’(1Corinthians
1:25)and ‘this world's wisdom is foolishness!’
     We need prayers in order to better carry
out the Work of God, so that in every moment we may know how to
be completely available to Him. We should make every effort to walk
in the presence of God, to see God in all the persons we meet, to
live our prayer throughout the day.
  The way to receive things from God, is to ask Him in
prayer.
We all human beings are commanded to pray. As Jesus himself said,"Men
should always pray and never become discouraged."(St. Luke18:1)
  What God wants from us is that to, "Be joyful
always, pray at all times, and be thankful in all circumstances."
(1Thessalonians 5:16-18)
   And that joy in all His believers is too obtained from
prayer, as Jesus said,
"I am telling you the truth : the Father will give you whatever
you ask Him for in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything
in my name; ask and you shall recieve, so that your happiness may
be complete."(John16:23-24)

WHAT IS PRAYER?      
Prayer is the lifting of our minds and hearts to God; it
is talking to him with attention and devotion. The prayer that comes
from the mind and heart and which we do not read in books is called
mental prayer.
In vocal prayer we speak to God; in mental prayer He
speaks to us.
It is then that God pours Himself into us. Mental prayer is greatly
fostered by simplicity - that is, forgetfulness of self by transcending
of the body and of our senses, and by frequent aspirations that
feed our prayer.
In mental prayer, says Saint John Vianney, "Shut your eyes, shut
your mouth, and open your heart." God speaks in the silence of our
heart, and we listen. And then we speak to God from the fullness
of our heart and God listens. Prayer feeds the soul - as blood is
to the body, prayer is to the soul - and it brings you closer to
God. Prayer is a joy.
Prayer is the sunshine of God's love, prayer is hope of eternal
happiness, prayer is the burning flame of God's love for you and
for me.
The fruit of prayer is the deepening of faith and cleansing of the
heart.
Let us pray for each other, for this is the best way to love one
another.
The fruit...
The fruit of silence is prayer the fruit of prayer is faith the
fruit of faith is love the fruit of love is service the fruit of
service is peace. (M. Teresa)

JESUS'
TEACHING ABOUT PRAYER(St. Matthew 6:5-8)
Jesus said, "When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites!
they love to stand up and pray in the houses of worship and on the
street corners, so that everyone will see them. I assure you, they
have already been paid in full. But when you pray, got to your room,
close the door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your
Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you."
"When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans
do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers
are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you
need before you ask Him." We should pray with attention, devotion,
reverence, humility, faith, perseverance, and great love because
God is our Father, our Creator, Redeemer and Protector from all
evil and from all catastrophe, diseases, illnesses and accidents.

Besides this,we should pray with an open, clean and an honest heart
and we should submit and surrender everything we have(all we have
is given by God) in prayer. And whatever we ask in prayer should
be in his will. Then only we can expect God to hear our prayer.

   "We have courage in God's presence, because
we are sure that He hears us if we ask Him for anything that is
according to His will. He hears us whenever we ask Him; and since
we know that this is true, we know also that He gives us what we
ask from Him." (1John5:14-15)
  Jesus said, "If you believe, you will receive whatever
you ask for in prayer."(St.Matthew 21:22)
  Jesus said, "Ask, and you will receive; seek,
and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For
everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find,
and the door will be opened to him who knocks." (St.Matthew
7:7-8)
  Jesus said, "I will do whatever you ask for
in my name, so that the Father's glory may be shown through the
Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it."
(John 14:13-14)
Again, it is not necessary that we should pray in private or when
we are alone, but we can pray anywhere and at anytime. We can pray
together with our Family, with our Parish members, with prayer groups,
during Holy Mass, during Liturgical Services, Night Vigils etc.
Jesus said, "Whenever two of you on earth agree about anything
you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For
where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them."
(St. Mattew 18:19-20)
Along with prayer, we should also try our best to fulfill the will
of God because-
  Jesus said, "Not everyone who calls me 'Lord, Lord'
will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my
Father in Heaven wants them to do." (St. Matthew7:21).
And that, "Whoever does what God wants him to do is my brother,
my sister, my mother." (St.Luke 3:35)
Jesus wants us to pray to him persistently and ask him with faith
in prayer, and he will give it as he has been given all the authority
and power by the Heavenly Father and nothing is impossible for him.

Jesus said, "What is impossible for man is possible for God."

(St.Luke 18:27)
Jesus always used parables to explain things related to the Kingdom
of God, revealing the secrets of the Kingdom and its people.
Jesus used the following parable for us to understand that what
God requires from us is prayers and praise, nothing else. Also,
we can give nothing to Him since all things belong to Him and are
provided by Him.

THE PARABLE OF THE WIDOW AND THE JUDGE:         
(From St.Luke18:1-8)
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they
should always pray and never become discouraged. "In a certain town
there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And
there was a widow in that same town who kept coming to him and pleading
for her rights, saying, ' Help me against my opponent!' For a long
time the judge refused to act, but at last he said to himself, 'Even
though I don't fear God or respect man, yet because of all the trouble
this widow is giving me, I willl see to it that she gets her rights.
If I don't, she will keep on coming and finally wear me out!' "
And the Lord continued, "Listen to what the corrupt judge said.
Now, will God not judge in favour of His own people who cry to Him
day and night for help? Will He be slow to help them? I tell you
He will judge in their favour and do it quickly. But will the Son
of Man find faith on earth when he comes?"
If there are Night Vigils arranged in your church or in your prayer
group, you should try to join them in prayer because at that time
everyone else will be sleeping and your prayer reaches more easily
to the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. Since you are sacrificing
your sleep, going against your body's daily routine, you will certainly
get some reward.


         It was common
knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus praying
during the early morning hours. When they needed him, they knew
to go to the place of prayer. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he led
his cohorts to Jesus' place of prayer where he used to pray every
evening. Everytime the Lord Jesus faced an important decision, He
prayed to His Father.
When He was being tempted to do things by the world's methods instead
of the Father's, He prayed(St.Matt 4).
When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night(St.Luke
6:12).
If the Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine
the Father's mind and to gain strength, how long might it take us
in prayer to clearly determine our Father's will? Because Jesus
was so often surrounded by crowds, He knew He must find a quiet
place so that He could clearly hear His Father's voice. At that
time only two persons were there - the Father and His only Son,
Lord Jesus. Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction
of His life.
His disciples wanted Him to go where the crowds were(St. Mark 1:37).
The crowds wanted to crown Him King(St.John 6:15).
Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following(St.Matthew
4:1-9).
But Jesus knew that his mission was not to attract a crowd, rather
than to remain obedient to His Father, as he had said in St.John4:34,

"My food is to obey the will of the one who sent me and to finish
the work He gave me to do."
So, it was prayer that set agenda for Jesus' ministry(St.Luke 6:12).

Prayer preceded the miracles(St.John 11:42-44; 6:11);
Prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments(St.Luke 9:28-32);
Prayer enabled Him by strenghtening Him to fulfill God's will and
take up the cross and drink the cup of suffering and pain set for
Him(St.Luke 22:41-44); and Prayer kept Him alive despite excruciating
pain(St.Luke 23:46).
Jesus, even though was the only Son of God, has set for us an example
to show how much prayers were helpful and to show that even He needed
to pray. This enabled Him, the Son of Man, to lead a sinless, Holy
life in obedience to his Father in this corrupt, sinful world. Even
after this, he was beaten up, insulted, mocked, stripped off his
clothes and crucified, although he had committed no crime and had
said or done nothing sinful.
But it was God's plan to let sinful men crucify Him and later give
glory to his Son by raising him from death, setting Him free from
its power and seated Him at His right hand in Heaven in all glory,
giving him all authority and power. So, we ought to follow the Savior's
example, and should let little bit of our time each day alone with
God, in prayer, to set the agenda for our life and to know God's
will for us. Through prayer, God will work in us, protect us from
all evil and harm, provide us with everything we need, guide us,
strenghten us, will enable us to lead a sinless, Holy life as Jesus
himself led for us so that we may become the dear children of God
and inheritors of eternal life in Heaven with the Heavenly Father.

HOW
DID JESUS PRAY :               
The night on which Jesus was to be handed over to the authorities,
he went to pray as usually, to the Mount of Olives, but his disciples
could not keep awake and pray.

As we can read in the Gospel of St.Matthew, which reads as follows-
JESUS PRAYS IN GETHSEMANE :
(From St.Matthew 26:36-46)
Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane,
and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray."
He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish
came over him, and he said to them, "The sorrow in my heart is so
great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me."

He went a little farther on, threw himself face downwards on the
ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, take this cup
of suffering from me! Yet not what I want, but what you want."
Then he returned to the three disciples and found them asleep; and
he said to Peter, "How is it that you three were not able to keep
watch with me even for one hour? Keep watch and pray that you will
not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is
weak."
Once more Jesus went away and prayed, "My Father, if this cup of
suffering cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done."
He returned once more and found the disciples asleep; they could
not keep their eyes open. Again Jesus left them, went away, and
prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then he returned to
the disciples and said, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look!
the hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power
of sinful men. Get up, let us go. Look, here is the man who is betraying
me!"