Category Archives: Prayer

Stampita Prayer 1: Don’t Quit Prayer

Don't Quit - La Vida Milagrosa

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One of the most encouraging prayers there is, is the “Don’t Quit Prayer”. It speaks of acceptance that some things will go wrong, that the road ahead may be difficult to travel and full of challenges, that there may be lack in finances and material things, and that the mere act of smiling may be hard to do because of the heavy burden we carry. Never the less, it encourages us to rest when needed, to renew strength but never to quit.

It confirms that life will present situations that cannot be explained while reminding us not to give up since the solution we seek might just be around the corner, waiting to be harvested if only we persevered for one more day. It reminds us to be patient in waiting for what we have been seeking for quite some time. Everything will come in its own time and at the very right time meant for us.

Success is said to be just failure turned inside out. The difference may lie in just one more try and we’ll never really know just how close we are unless we see it to the finish. It ends with the emphasis on not letting go particularly during the most difficult times since it could be the turning point towards the attainment for what we seek.

It is easy to be bitter against God especially when we are going through very difficult situations that challenge our human capacity to interpret justice. It can be very hard to comprehend why “bad” things have to happen to good people. Jesus has said that the path to following Him is not easy but there are rewards that await those who do. The ultimate rewards may not be of the earthly kind but trust that Jesus will take care of our earthly needs as well.

My New Year Prayer

Image Source: flickr.com/photos/jenniferschwalm
Image Source: flickr.com/photos/jenniferschwalm

 

Thank you Lord for the year that just passed

Even with situations and people who seemed crass

Thank you for seeing me and my loved ones through

I won’t forget the days you had to carry us too.

Thank you for this day that marks a new year,

For the love and hope that overflows,

And now I know that in my deepest fear,

Your unending and unfailing love will show.

You lay my doubts to rest

And assure me that everything will be for the best

If ever I don’t hear you  the first time

Please show me the way one more time.

I offer myself to be a witness for you

A God that is all-knowing and forgiving too

Help me not to fail you

As I try to guide my family towards you.

Please be patient with me when I complain

Sometimes I have to try harder to go beyond the pain

I will not give up on myself if you won’t

Under your care despair is simply a don’t

In my moments of human weakness

Have mercy on me and bring me back to peace.

Grant me a life that is filled with you

And a death which will have its meaning in you.

My New Year Prayer is simple. I thank the Lord for the year 2013 even with its accompanying trials and problems. I am also very thankful for the new beginnings brought by the new year 2014. I submit all my worries and anxieties to God acknowledging that He knows what’s best for me. I ask his understanding when I fail along the way and pray that He bring me back to safety. Most of all, I pray of a life characterized by true faith in Him and a quiet and peaceful death when my mission is done.

 

 

 

When God Does Not Seem to Hear Our Prayers

One_Last_Desperate_Prayer

 

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Desperate times need desperate prayers, right? Not necessarily. For even in the midst of desperation, God offers hope and solutions.

In this life, it is always possible that we will come across situations that will not only challenge us but push us to the brink of despair. They can break us but only if we let them. They can make us stronger if we allow God to work in his mysterious ways through our prayers.

But what if God does not seem to hear our prayers no matter how loud we say it, how frequent we recite it, and how desperate we present it? Do we give up on God? Do we threaten Him? Do we bargain with Him?

A person who has nothing and no one will always have God. That is a promise He has given and intends to keep. We just need to be patient and pray more for strength while waiting.

God does not want us to suffer but He wants us to learn. He wants us to discover the way to Him as we accept our own little crosses in life. We need to carry them just like how Jesus did with His own.

When you find yourself almost giving up on prayers, stop a while and breathe long and hard then resume. Pray harder, pray more, and pray with more humility. God holds in His hands the power to change things affecting us. Let us rely on His better judgment for our lives.

Hold on a while longer for the change may just be waiting around the corner. Let us not give up before His answer comes. It will be such a waste not to experience His beautiful plans for our lives merely because we gave up too soon.

Before giving up on prayer, pray one more time. Prayer always works.

 

Basic Forms of Prayer

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The Catholic Church teaches that there are many ways to pray. The basic forms of prayer include blessing, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. Prayer is often referred to as conversations with God because this is how we express our innermost feelings and thoughts to Him  while acknowledging that He is all knowing even before we even utter any word.

We pray to ask God to bless our efforts, ourselves, and our loved ones. A good example of this is the morning prayer that is said at the beginning of the day before any work is done.  A prayer asking for God’s blessing is said in the belief that everything that we offer to God will bear more fruits.

A prayer of petition is probably the most popular among the basic forms of prayer. It is a request for assistance from God when facing actual or anticipated obstacles. It is said in the belief that our prayer will be granted if it will be good for the soul of the petitioner. A prayer of petition is best said with complete surrender to the will of the Lord, trusting that He will provide the right answer.

We also pray for our needs and the needs of others through a prayer of intercession. We turn to God for things that may be too big for us to handle. It calls for persistence until the will of God comes to pass thus it is closely associated with prayers of petition.

One of the more commonly neglected forms of prayer is the prayer of thanksgiving because of man’s common tendency to pray only when in need. It has to be remembered that praying to give thanks to God shows appreciation for the things we get even without asking.  We pray to God to thank Him for the gift of life and all the blessings received.

Prayer in praise of God is a prayer devoted only to Him. There is no intention to ask for anything but simply to acknowledge His greatness through praise. The God who loves us, love to hear about our love for Him.

We are free to offer our unique prayers to God beyond the basic forms of prayer. There are no exact words needed because God knows our heart’s desire. We simply need to raise our prayers to Him and he will show us the way.

 

The Morning Prayer

The Morning Prayer is a way of “signing-in” with God at the start of the day. Early morning is usually the best time to pray when the atmosphere is relatively peaceful and calm although any time is as good as any to pray. If breakfast is the fuel for the human body at the start of the day, morning prayer serves the same purpose for the spiritual side. Everyone is free to pray using his  or her own words but this prayer can serve as a guide to having a beautiful heart-felt morning communication with God.

A Catholic Morning Prayer

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my relatives and friends, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.

The Morning Prayer sets the tone for the day as we pray not only for ourselves and our personal needs but for others as well. It also connotes offering the day’s efforts and its fruits to God. It also represents acceptance of the still unseen events of the day and the belief that God is with us no matter what happens.

When we pray, we are in effect asking for guidance and support from God. It is also a way of thanking God for giving us another day of life. Waking up in the mornings attains more meaning when we acknowledge the opportunity that it presents for us to live life in accordance with our faith.

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The Strength of Praying in Numbers

Image: thejoyfulcatholic.wordpress.com

“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in their midst.”

For many Catholics, prayer is something personal and done in private. Except for the basic prayers which Catholics have been taught to pray in unison with others in schools and churches, extemporaneous prayers recited in public were quite rare, at least in my view. Personally, I found it difficult to express myself in public through prayer.

It is only now that I have come to realize the power and strength of praying in numbers. In my own experience, the most difficult time to pray is while undergoing personal trials. Humans are naturally weaker physically and in spirit if a problem is directly affecting them. Although prayer during extreme trials is a natural recourse for many Catholics, not all can be as strong at all times. This is where praying in numbers can help. It is definitely better though that the person concerned joins the group in prayer.

Praying for another especially those in particular need is one of the most selfless act any person can do. It is easy enough to pray when we ask God to favor us a personal benefit. When we pray for something to be granted to someone we hardly even know or even to anyone besides ourselves, that manifests the depth and selflessness of our faith.

A group of people praying together for a common intention makes it possible to join the individual strengths of each person’s belief in one God. Faith is said to be the food of the soul. Among Catholics, we don’t even need to see to believe and have faith.

Prayer is a song of praise and gratitude. It is the two-way communication between us and God. It is also a weapon against despair, hopelessness, and fear. There can be no greater source of comfort than when other people join us in prayer. The power of prayer is not merely measured by “results” but also in how it carries us through good times and bad.

 

Stations of the Cross

 

stations-of-the-cross

The stations of the Cross is a series of pictures or depictions related to the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  Also known as Via Dolorosa, Via Crucis, Way of Sorrows, or Way of the Cross, the faithful commemorates the final hours of Christ by physically moving through a set of stations while reflecting the significance of each.  It is one way of understanding the suffering and death of Christ.

 

Traditional Stations of the Cross

1st Station – Jesus is condemned to death.

2nd Station – Jesus carries His cross.

3rd Station – Jesus falls the first time.

4th station – Jesus meets His grieving mother.

5th Station – Simon helps Jesus carry the cross.

6th Station – Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

7th Station – Jesus falls the second time.

8th Station – Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem.

9th Station – Jesus falls the third time.

10th Station – Jesus is stripped of His clothes.

11th Station – Jesus is nailed to the cross.

12th Station – Jesus dies on the cross.

13th Station – Jesus is taken down from the cross.

14th Station – Jesus in laid in the tomb.

These stations are typically placed on the sidewalls of the church.  It is traditionally observed during the Fridays of Lent specifically on Good Friday of Holy Week.  The practice as a chapel devotion was began by St. Francis of Assisi.  However, the more extensive practice was encouraged by pious pilgrims to Jerusalem.

Christ’s journey to Calvary is sought to be relived through this pilgrimage, albeit in minimal form when confined in a particular church or place.  There were some variations in number of the stations during the early practice but fourteen came out as the designated number by church authorities.  Many are in the belief that the ascension of Christ should have been designated as the fifteenth station to complete the story.  Never the less, fourteen remains to be the official number as of this writing.

The Holy Rosary

The holy rosary is a string of prayer beads used as a guide when doing a sequence of prayers devoted to the recollection of the life of Jesus.  The term comes from the Latin word rosarium which translates to “crown of roses” or “garland of roses”. It is a Marian devotion taught by Saint Louis de Montfort.  October is the month of the Holy Rosary.

 

Sign of the Cross

Apostle’s Creed

Our Father – first large bead

3 Hail Mary’s – three small beads

Glory to the Father – next large bead

 

For each of the mysteries:

Announcement of the Mystery

Our Father – next large bead

10 Hail Mary’s – 10 small beads

Glory to the Father – next large bead

Fatima Prayer – recited at the end of each mystery

 

Hail Holy Queen – recited after finishing the fifth mystery

Concluding Prayer

Sign of the Cross

 

Complete text of the basic prayers found here.

Fatima Prayer: O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of your mercy.

Concluding Prayer: O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death, and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant we beseech you, that meditating on these mysteries of the most holy rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Joyful Mysteries (Mondays and Saturdays)

The Annunciation of the Angel

The Visit of Mary to Elizabeth

The Birth of  Jesus in Bethlehem

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple

The Finding of the Lost Child Jesus

Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)

The Agony of Jesus in the Garden

The Scourging of Jesus at the Pillar

The Crowning of Jesus with Thorns

The Journey of Jesus to Mt. Calvary

The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays and Sundays)

The Resurrection of the Lord

The Ascension of the Lord

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Assumption of Mary

The Crowning of Mary as Queen

Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays)

The Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River

The Miracle of Jesus in the Wedding of Cana

The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

The Transfiguration of Jesus

The Institution of the Eucharist

Basic Catholic Prayers

A Catholic is taught several basic prayers which would form part of his or her growth in faith.  These prayers will be repeated many times over in different occasions and time periods over the entire course of a Catholic’s life.  These prayers will form part of the daily communication with God.

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer)

Our Father in Heaven, holy be your name.  Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.  Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, prays for us sinners, now and the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory to the Trinity

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever will be for ever. Amen.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day, he rose again.  He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Hail our life, our sweetness and our hope! To you do we cry, poor, banished children of Eve.  To you, do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.  O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.