Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5: 16 - 18
Click on the Bible to find today's scripture passage or find it in your own bible at home.
"Pray without ceasing," We cannot pray every minute of every day. We have things to do. What was Paul saying?
He was encouraging us to transform every moment of every day into a prayer. How do we do that?
By offering each hour of study or work to God as a prayer, offering inconveniences and suffering to God as a prayer, and offering everything we do each day to God, we transform the ordinary realities of everyday life into prayer.
When I was a child I was taught to start my day by offering everything that was going to happen that day to God. This prayer is called a morning offering. There are many different versions; this is the one I was taught:
O Jesus, through the most pure heart of Mary,
I offer you the prayer, works, joys, and sufferings of this day,
for all the intentions of your divine heart. Amen.
To pray is to TALK TO GOD about anything that is in your heart: the things that bring you joy and the things that bring you sorrow; the SUCCESSES you experience and the FAILURES you encounter; your strengths and talents; YOUR FAULTS and WEAKNESSES; YOUR HOPES and DREAMS. In prayer you TALK TO GOD ABOUT everything.
"Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."
Saint John Damascene
Holiness Focus ...
The virtue of Perseverance is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, delays, failure, or opposition.
Developing a dynamic prayer life requires perseverance more than anything else. Just keep showing up. Some days you will feel like praying and many days you will not, but if you keep showing up, you will develop a phenomenal friendship with God.
The same is true for prayer. It’s good to talk about it and to read books about it, but at some point the best thing to do is just try it and see what you learn from actually praying.
You get good at riding a bicycle, not by reading a book about bikes or listening to a lecture about riding techniques, but by actually riding a bicycle. Sure, the book and the lecture can be helpful, but ultimately you will hone your skills by spending time on the bike.
The hardest part of anything is getting started. Prayer is no different. If you are having trouble, use the Psalms to pray. The Psalms are a powerful collection of prayers. Use them to get started - they will teach you how to pray and before too long your own words will begin to flow.
Discussion / Reflection
Whom do you talk to every day? Why?
Has anyone ever taught you to pray? Who? When?
Do you pray? How often? How do you feel after you pray?
Do you think you would be happier if you made time to pray each day?
If you were to set aside 10 minutes to pray at the same time every day, what time of day would be best for you?
Discuss these questions with your parents or sponsor OR write your thoughts in a Confirmation journal.
There are many different forms of prayer. You can just talk to God about what is on your heart or on your mind, you can say written or memorized prayers, you can pray using words from the Bible (especially the Psalms), or you can simply sit in silence with your mind focused on God.
Sometimes prayer is easy, but many times it is difficult and takes practice, patience and perseverance. Following an organized form of prayer can help give us focus and give us the words we need to say. It is often also a great way to begin a regular prayer discipline, or to return to when we have wandered away from God and neglected our relationship with him.
Following are a couple of prayer methods to help get you started.
The A.C.T.S. Prayer Method
A = ADORATION
Saying “You’re Great!” & “I love you” to God
- Adore God, love Him and praise Him for who He is and what he does.
"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all." 1 Chronicles 29:11
C = CONFESSION
Saying “I’m Sorry” to God
- Admit your sins to God and ask for His forgiveness.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
T = THANKSGIVING
Saying “Thank you” to God
- Thank God for answered prayers, for the good things He has given you and done in your life.
"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20
S = SUPPLICATION (asking)
Saying “Please” to God
- Pray for your family and friends, for those who are sick or sad. - Pray for your own spiritual growth and any other needs that you may have.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
Discover a simple process that you can use every day to guide your conversation with God.
Matthew Kelly walks you through the Prayer Process while you actually practice it.
STEP 1 GRATITUDE
Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.
STEP 2 AWARENESS
Revisit the times in the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.
STEP 3 SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS
Identify something you experienced in the past twenty-four hours and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).
STEP 4 PEACE
Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or Him) and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace.
STEP 5 FREEDOM
Speak with God about how He is inviting you to change your life so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.
STEP 6 OTHERS
Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.
STEP 7 PRAY THE OUR FATHER
God, Our Father, thank you for loving us and calling us to a deeper relationship with you. Thank you for hearing our prayers and using them to help us become a better-version-of-ourselves. Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us and giving us examples of prayer, especially in the Our Father.
Holy Spirit, teach me to pray with confidence and perseverance. Open my ears to hear and my eyes to see the answers to my prayers. Help me to trust that you always want what is best for me especially when the answers to my prayers are different than what I expected. Amen.
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Share in the Forum
We have created a discussion forum for the Parish of St. Timothy Confirmation Group. Every week there will be a new topic of discussion related to that week's lesson. The forum is open only to those participating in the 2020 / 2021 Confirmation preparation program.
Here's where I'll be verifying your participation.
This forum is a place for serious, courteous discussion about spiritual-related topics. I don't want to see rude or unnecessarily silly comments or questions. Any unacceptable posts will be deleted, the student will lose access to the forum and we will communicate with your parents.
This week in the forum ... answer the question: Why is it important to pray? What does prayer do?
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