"Before prayer, endeavor to realize whose Presence you are approaching, and to whom you are about to speak. We can never fully understand how we ought to behave towards God, before whom the angels tremble."
"There are five excellent qualities which are required in all prayer. A prayer must be confident, ordered, suitable, devout and humble."
"The first movement of the prayer of petition is asking forgiveness, like the tax collector in the parable: "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" It is a prerequisite for righteous and pure prayer. A trusting humility brings us back into the light of communion between the Father and his Son Jesus Christ and with one another, so that "we receive from Him whatever we ask." Asking forgiveness is the prerequisite for both the Eucharistic liturgy and personal prayer."
Lectio Divina is Latin for "Divine Reading". It is a structured daily practice by many around the world of
Often times, what you find the Lord revealing to you can be applied to those He desires you to pray for as well. If you start your day with personal prayer, you will find you'll often have more than enough to pray for others throughout the day. It never gets boring!
For further text on Lectio Divina, and to find a monthly pdf file you can download and use with daily readings, check out the link below. It will take you to the Carmelites site. You can find the current month and download a pdf with a whole month of scripture, reflection, and questions to ask yourself. Since the site is set up to handle multiple languages, just make sure to open the pdf with the English spelling.
You can be as formal, or informal, as the Spirit leads you to be. Just keep in mind the quote from St. Thomas Aquinas above, and you will know how to proceed. Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, "Every action is an unsigned check: when we offer it in the name of God, we sign God’s name to it and give it the value of a prayer."
You may find during a particular season like Lent, you feel led to be more formal in your prayer, and use prayers that have been around for centuries or millennia. At others times, maybe while outside doing an activity or chore, you take a moment to offer a short prayer. They key is looking for ways to "pray without ceasing" as St. Paul encourages us to do.
Absolutely! Archbishop Fulton Sheen said, “Fasting detaches you from this world. Prayer reattaches you to the next world.”
Prayer and fasting together are mentioned many times in the scriptures. (Nehemiah 1:4, Tobit 12:8, Luke 2:37, Acts 13:3) Fasting can be from food/meals, and you can also offer up the denial of other things the body desires, such as entertainment (TV, social media), a hot shower, or things you normally “treat” yourself to. Just remember to offer that to the Lord when you are praying for someone.
For those looking for a blend of formal and informal praying, using the Rosary as a foundation of the prayer time is a great practice. Taking a Rosary walk around your neighborhood, and offering up a decade or individual prayers for people you meet along the way, and inserting a short prayer for that person, is great for building the prayer “muscle”. Prayers that once felt forced or rote can take on new life when offered for a specific need or inspiration from God. And the Chaplet, due to its shorter form, is great for offering up for specific people you may encounter while traveling, on a break at work, or waiting in a long line. As long as they are offered in a spirit of humility and charity, God will hear them, and bless the person you are praying for in the way His love can best fulfill it.
Although this site is called “Two By Two Prayer”, any number of people can gather to pray for others. Most of the time we will be by ourselves, so the content here is focused on helping you grow in praying for others. But as you get more comfortable, You will most likely find yourself excited about praying for others and want to spread the practice. To encourage others, why not invite them to join you on a prayer walk? If you normally travel with another, why not set apart some time to pray for others? If you are out at a meal, why not find someone at the restaurant, and as you say your own “Grace” before the meal, include others there in your prayer. Allow yourself to be inspired by the Spirit!
NOTE: Please take time to check out each page here. Bookmark this site. Come back periodically. If you are like me, at different times/seasons you will find various tips and information helpful.
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