As mentioned in Part 1, we pray in many ways. All of them connect us to God in a manner unique to the type of prayer and convey graces to our embattled souls. The three main methods of prayer are:
- Liturgical — the Church's powerful prayers of communal worship
- Formal — composed prayers, such as the Rosary and Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Mental — conversational prayer wherein you nurture a personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ.
All are necessary for a fruitful life, but in this article, we're going to focus on the latter.
How Do I Know Jesus is Listening?
If you ever denied that Jesus is truly who He says He is in the Bible, speaking to Him probably seemed like foolishness. Now that you know better, you might wonder if He's really close to you and willing to pay attention. Wonder no longer. Jesus Himself promises His proximity when in John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.'" As a baptized believer, He actually takes up residence with you. When people in your household talk to you, you can't help but hear them, right? Unlike ordinary family, though, He never tunes you out because once He lives in you, He only has ears for you. Every thought that crosses your mind He hears, and He loves it most when you direct your internal dialogue to Him.
If I Hear a Response, Can I Be Sure It Isn't the Devil?
At some point in all our lives, we've heard Satan's voice and mistook it for truth. Since it's actually the devil's job to challenge you, he would try to get between you and the Lord in your prayers, if he could. Our job is to immerse ourselves daily in the presence of God who is our safe refuge against the lies of the devil. When we direct our thoughts to Jesus and the Divine Trinity, we can rest assured that Satan can't lead us astray in our prayers. Jesus vividly illustrates this truth in the Gospel of St. Luke when He says, "What father among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?" (Luke 11:11-12).
Rather, when we pray and talk to Jesus, He disallows Satan's misdirection to enter the conversation. Our mental prayers are private and privileged as confirmed by Jesus Himself.
I'm Too Busy to Pray!
If you think your life is too distracted to pray much, all you need to do is imagine that you can see Jesus with you wherever you are. In this way, you consciously include Him in your day, no matter how it unfolds. If your best friend came to spend time with you for a week, you would be constantly aware of their presence all day long. You would talk to the friend or not as situations allowed. That's all you need to do to remain in prayer all day long. Invite Jesus into your ever-flowing internal dialogue.
The eighteenth chapter of St. Luke begins with this verse: "Then he told them a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart." Jesus never exhorts us to do what He knows we can't. Therefore, it certainly is possible to pray always. As a saint-in-progress once said, "If I'm awake, I'm praying." Words to live by.
To really kickstart your comprehensive prayer life, we highly recommend you acquire a Pieta Prayer Book. These ancient prayers of the Church, most of which were dictated from Heaven to saints, will set your heart on fire. As the books are inexpensive, you may want to purchase extra copies to give away once you experience the flood of graces they channel to your soul.
Bethesda Healing Ministry understands and helps women and men devastated by abortion. Based in Columbus, OH, we invite the wounded and despairing to come receive healing and hope.