How can you listen to God?
It requires silence. It requires time in prayer. The more you try to do this, the better you will be at it. At the beginning of your day, you pray. You ask God, “Help me to hear your words and see your face today.” Then, live your day, trying to do good and avoid evil. Try to do the best amount of good possible realizing you are doing these things for God. At the end of the day, pray again, asking what good things happened to you, what good things did you hear? What were the challenges that you heard today? Ask God which were from Him and help you to know which was from him. Before you go to sleep, ask him to give you the ears to hear his words and the eyes to see his face tomorrow. Repeat. Also, of course, pray over sacred scriptures asking God to speak to you what it is He wants to say to you in these scripture readings. If you are able to get to a church regularly, go to daily Mass and confession at least once a month.
What’s the best way to pray?
There are a few meanings to this question. 1) Is there a posture I should be in when I pray? Answer: Be comfortable enough that you are not focusing on your body. If it hurts to kneel, then don’t kneel. If you move too much when you sit, then don’t sit. Find a comfortable position so that you can focus on your prayer and not your position. However, do not be so comfortable that you will fall asleep. You need to stay awake when you pray. 2) When should I pray? Answer: Be consistent. Do it the same place and same time every day. I would recommend you get a place in your room that is set up just for prayer. A chair that you only sit in when it is time to pray and you sit in that chair every time you pray, or kneel by your bed every time it is time to pray. When you show up to the same place each time to pray, your interior and exterior body will know it is time to pray and will quiet down faster. Also, be consistent, choose the same time each day to pray. I highly recommend one quiet period in the morning of no less than five minutes and one quiet period at night of no less than five minutes. Dedicate yourself to this prayer time. Make it a habit. Do not get away from it. If you spend the night somewhere else, use the same time even though you cannot use the same space. 3) What are the best prayers to pray? Answer: The Mass is the best prayer, but maybe you cannot get to mass each day. (If you can, then I recommend going more than just on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligations, it will change your life for the better.) However, it is not so important what you pray when you show up to pray, but that you pray. So, in school you are taught all types of prayer. Those prayers and prayer styles were not taught you for head knowledge or to simply pass some religion test. They were taught to you to be used outside of class and outside of school. Try a variety of prayers and prayer styles. One of the prayers/prayer styles you were (or will be) taught will fit with your personality and your mood for the day.
Is there a certain amount you are supposed to pray each day?
The answer is, start if you are not doing so. If you are doing so, then no less than five minutes in the morning and no less than five minutes at night. (This is what I recommend for junior high students; if they start with this then by the time they are out of college they will be making a Holy Hour each day; 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night even if it is in their room and not in front of a tabernacle in a church.) If you are reading this as an adult, start with no less than 30 seconds in the morning and no less than 30 seconds at night. For an adult, it is super important you are successful at the beginning. If you are not successful in the beginning you will say you cannot do this and will quit. Then, just like weight lifting (exercising the spiritual muscles) add time to the morning and evening SLOWLY. The goal is to stay successful. Do not go from 30 seconds to 2 minutes at once. Go slowly. And steadily increase. Younger people can handle more at the beginning than older people; BECAUSE, it’s the difference between developing a habit and starting a new habit.
Do I really have to pray for myself everyday?
The simple answer is, “YES.” But, let’s take a moment to explain. Each one of us should ask the Lord what it is He wants of us today and take a couple of moments (I can’t give you an exact length of time) to review the upcoming day and as we go through each event, hand it to the Lord. Some days this will take longer than others. Also, there may be a lot of people and situations on your mind that you want to give to the Lord, and so you end up speaking to the Lord a lot longer about those people and situations than you do about yourself and your own day. That is good, holy, and normal. But, it is still important to spend some time with God and you. Otherwise, God becomes someone for “those other people and situations and God is certainly too busy for me.” Or worse, “while God is busy handling those other people and situations I’ll take care of myself.” Both of those thought processes are spiritually deadly and must be avoided. To avoid them talk to God about you and your day each day.
Does God always answer our prayers? Does He not sometimes for a reason?
Sometimes we hear this as a joke, but it really is true: God has three answers. He will always give one of them: “Yes”, “No”, “wait and see what I will do.” When God says “no” or when God says, “wait.” Our prayer has been answered, but maybe not the way we thought it should. We place our trust in him that He sees the whole picture and not just the tiny part we see; He does know what is best for me; but not only for me, for everyone and everything affected by this prayer request. Think of King David. He stayed in his room for days fasting and praying and doing acts of penance trying to talk God into allowing his child to live and not die. One day, very afraid of David’s reaction, the servant went to David’s room to tell David his son had died. David immediately got up, changed out of his penitential clothing, asked for something to eat, and dried his tears. The servant was shocked, but David said, “I asked the Lord, and the Lord answered now I must go on with my life…and he did. Trust in the Lord. He is here to lead you and me.
Does God answer all my prayers at some point in my life?
Yes, but do not think that means you will see the answers or that all the answers you will see will make sense to you. God can use you (don’t understand “God using you” as a bad thing; “God using you” is how you receive your greatest life possible) to do something He needs you to do to carry out that is hundreds or thousands of years in the making. You’re praying to do God’s will and you are… but His will in this particular situation is not going to be fully revealed for another century, long after you are with him in the next life.
Can you pray anywhere at any time?
Yes, and please do! Go ahead and make the sign of the cross and pray over your meal at the restaurants. Start your practice or game with a silent prayer to yourself if the team isn’t going to pray. When you pray, don’t get bored in your prayer; use that time to pray and talk to God about your dreams, hopes, disappointments, problems, and how you see the events in the world. He wants to hear from you. Always remember to ask him to help you follow his will. Ask him to speak to you so you know it is coming from him. He will. He knows you well enough to know how to do this.
Was the Our Father actually sent to us by God?
Everyone who believes in God and seriously studies Sacred Scripture and the historical times of when the scriptures were written agree that those (or similar words) are Jesus’ words given to the disciples in their language. Of course it had to be translated into English and all other languages of the world. Since Jesus is the Son of God, Son of Man, then, the answer to this question, is “Yes.”
What is the most important prayer if there is one?
The Celebration of the Mass is a prayer. Everything else in the Catholic’s life flows from it and leads us to it.