Prayers are how we communicate with God. Those of us that have faith would unanimously agree that there is power in prayer. Whether you say a Hail Mary or Our Father, or spontaneously talk with God we pray because we have faith. Many of us spend a lot of time in prayer because we believe it helps.
Power of prayer
St. Paul tells us to “pray without ceasing.” Our lives should be filled with prayer. For those of us raised in a prayerful house we have learned from our parents. Blessings before and after meals, morning prayers, evening prayers and the rosary are common practices. How many times have we said the Hail Mary and Our Father? We have said the prayer so many times it is committed to memory. It becomes a part of us.
If you examine prayer carefully you will find there are several types of prayers. We have prayers of love and thanksgiving (giving thanks to God), prayers of petition (asking God for something), prayers of contrition (expressing sorrow for your sins), and prayers of intercession (praying for others, and ourselves).
Prayers of intercession
Commonly asked question is why do or we pray to the saints or Mary? A prayer of Intercession is asking for help or thanking. As Catholics we are in communion with one another. That spiritual union does not end when we die but continues with eternal life. We believe that the saints and those Christians in heaven remain in unity with us on earth. We pray to the saints just as we would ask a prayer group or friend to pray for us. We are asking them to help us by praying to God on our behalf. Here is an example of one such prayer.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Furthermore there is praying and there is prayerful silence. Strangely the saints have focused more on meditation and forms of prayerful silence. Some might say that prayerful meditation is the way of listening to God while prayer is the way we talk to God.
Including a prayer in your bulletin, it is an act of praying when it is read.
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