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Prayer Review

This is your chance to reflect on how you are going in your prayer life, to reflect on possible prayer choices and then to make a decision about what prayer you will take on for the next quarter of a year.

Pray the following or make up your own prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank-you for the gift of prayer and how you have worked in my life so far. I ask you to guide me as I review my life so that I will make the right decisions about deepening my prayer life. Give me the gift of prayer and perseverance. Open my mind and heart to experience your love and truth. Amen.

How often and of what types of prayer do you currently pray? It is a good idea to write these down in your journal. Is this prayer routine meeting your needs? If you have previously made a decision to work on a new prayer routine and have not consolidated it (it is not well established), then it might be worth to keep on working on it or come up with a better routine that is achievable and would meet your needs.

The Catholic Church has a rich variety of prayers on offer. The greatest prayer is the Mass, but there are many other prayers. On this webpage are organised various suggestions for prayer organised according to beginner, intermediate and advanced. Here are some steps to consider as part of your decision making process

Pray the following prayer or make up your own:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank-you for guiding me to deepen my prayer life. Give me the graces I need to stay committed to what I have decided. Give me the gift of prayer and perseverance. Open my heart and mind to experience your love and truth in prayer. Give me the gift of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

This prayer guide is for beginners. We will explain some important points about learning to pray and suggest some basic methods for you to choose from. We will also suggest when you are ready for deeper prayer. Each of the suggestions are straight forward prayers that a beginner can take on. The idea is to pray daily. 

PRAY DAILY

Here is our recommended first prayer method:

1. Start with the sign of the cross

2. Preparatory prayer: “Dear Lord, please give me the gift of prayer and perseverance. Open my mind and heart to receive your love and truth.”

3. Read a passage of the Bible. Start with Mark's gospel. Focus on one passage for each prayer time. Gradually make your way through Mark's gospel.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet takes less than 10 minutes and uses rosary beads. It implores divine mercy for the world and us. It can be said or sung.

The rosary is one of the best Catholic prayers to pray. It is the recommended prayer of many saints such as Padre Pio. It is a very good thing to pray a rosary daily. 

The easiest way to pray evening prayer is to go to http://universalis.com/vespers.htm and just pray through what is written there. You can buy the offical android app Universalis which has the whole Breviary with the correct translation. 

Mass is the ultimate prayer. There is no prayer that comes even close to praying the Mass. It is the "source and summit of the Christian life." (LG 11) If you are not going to Sunday Mass, then this is an essential step in growing closer to God. It is one of the precepts of the Church (the official suggested minimum requirements for being Catholic). This should be one of the first prayer choices you make.

This prayer guide is aimed at those who have already started praying and praying most days. It aims to introduce you into the deeper prayer traditions of the Church and help you establish them in your life. 

DEEPER PRAYER

Read through the deeper prayer section. This will help you become aware of what the Holy Spirit can do in prayer. It is applicable for all prayer methods. You can then apply this to your current prayer method.

Deep prayer is not just about learning about God or talking to God. It is about encountering God, deep in your soul. This is the real aim of prayer. It is the difference if giving yourself, rather than just giving things. It is about receiving God, not just things from God. The following is a guide to deep prayer. By the way, another name for deep prayer is contemplation.

GUIDE TO THE DAILY EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

Here are the original steps of the daily examen from Ignatius`s spiritual exercises of 1584

METHOD FOR MAKING THE GENERAL EXAMEN

It contains in it five Points.

First Point. The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received.

Second Point. The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION GUIDELINES

Spiritual direction is an opportunity to share, deepen and clarify one`s spiritual life. It is primarily focused on the question, What is God doing in my life? But also deals with the questions of:

What is God's call upon my life

Am I praying well?

What area of my life should I be working on at the moment?

How can I grow spiritually at this time?

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.

For more information on this prayer see

In the spirit of St. Eugene, under the patronage of Mary Immaculate, I consecrate myself to the Holy Trinity to come closer to God my creator, savior and friend, to whose service I dedicate myself with all my heart. With God's help I wish to follow the teaching of the Catholic Church, to live in purity, and to leave nothing undared in service with the poor to build the kingdom of God. Together with other MAYO members I seek to build up the blessings of the group through friendship and unity making these blessings available to all. All you Oblate martyrs, pray for me.

MAYO IGNATIAN RETREAT

This is the fulfilment of the MAYO spiritual formation program. It is hoped that retreatants would have already developed a personal prayer time as well as a structured time such as evening prayer. It would also be hoped that they would have some experience of spiritual direction. If these have not happened, someone can still begin the retreat if they wish to.