Q : 
Can you teach me how to pray to God ?
【 Question from 】 Hong Kong 香港

Fr. Francis : 

This is the kind of question that is best answered if someone can sit down with you and have a conversation. What I do encourage you is to read Book IV of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is on prayer. It is very inspiring and thorough.

But since you asked “how”, I will describe here briefly how I pray.

Prayer to me is choosing to enter into communion with God. It is a desire that I try to exercise many times during the day. It is a conscious choice to remind myself: God is my Father. He is here, and now I am before Him. He loves me and has a plan for me. So here I am Lord, listening and saying yes to You. You may choose to say something, or nothing at all. Either way, I am happy to hold on to You.

These various times may involve praying a decade of the Rosary here, sitting down in thanksgiving there, or running to Him with a burden, or seeking peace when my heart feels harassed.

But each morning I would strive to put down a substantial time to be with the Lord. I want to begin my day with Him.

I would go into the chapel, sit still, and acknowledge His presence, tell Him that I am present. I invite the Holy SPirit to enlighten. I praise Him for who He is, and how He has always been faithful.

Then I would read some scriptures slowly, waiting for an inspiration. Then I would hold on to it and meditate on what the Lord might want to say to me. This could lead to more reading, more meditation, more listening, or a deep conversation with the Lord, or much prayer or petition or intercession. Or hopefully, I would find light and peace, a deep sense that God is holding me close.

I would also spend some time going over my schedule of the day. Asking God to bless each item, each person I will meet. I would bring before the Lord my shortcomings, areas of frequent sinfulness, and petition the Lord to protect me and to remind me to trust in Him and love Him more than my sins.

I would end my hour of prayer with thanksgiving.

Too often I could not follow this routine. I might resist getting out of bed, resist sitting down and staying put in the chapel, get upset because of distractions or because I was not feeling productive. I might fall asleep, detour into dabbling on the internet, or dwell on my own thoughts. I am trying. I try anew, the moment I realized myself, to start anew choosing to be in His presence, knowing that it is okay, because this time I choose to give Him, and He is here, and I desire to be here. He will speak, in His mysterious ways.

After all, prayer is not about being productive, not about feeling something. It is about believing that He is here, and that I am here, and this time is my gift to the Lord, to be with Him as He pleases.