How do you pray?
Before I called him a friend, Jay was selected as the lead editor to oversee the launch of a political print magazine, where we worked together for a short but memorable time. He’d worked in the music and magazine industries for many years, but working professionally in politics was foreign. (By contrast, I knew a little about politics and a lot about our audience, but nothing about magazines.) When asked about it, or introducing himself, he would humbly call himself “a fan of politics” and constantly sought to absorb all he could, from reading more and from asking questions to those around him. His example of servant leadership has affected my career and confidence ever since. He taught me that it was ok to have an interest in something, and you did not have to pretend to know everything about it.
It may sound simple, but I needed Jay’s example at the time, as I was in my first year out of college, in a city that didn’t feel right to call home, meeting people who always seemed to know more than me, in a job I thought I had no business having, praying for clarity about my vocation. But with Jay’s encouragement and example, I went about reading everything I could get my hands on about the magazine industry. I did not become an expert, but instead became (and remain) a fan of magazines. I was always seeking to understand more, and at peace with the knowledge that I’d never know it all. Once that made sense, other things became clearer to me, too.
Beginning seriously about a year and a half ago, I decided that I would like to become a student, or a fan of prayer. I like praying, and I like learning and absorbing everything I can about it. And I do not pretend to know a fraction about it. I’m fascinated by all the different ways people pray, and the little and big things we do in the process. The more people I ask about this, the more I learn and the more my patterns and perceptions are challenged.
We here at CatholicHow want to hear from you, in the comment section below, on Twitter, or on Facebook: How do you pray? There’s no right or wrong way to answer this question, and you might look at it from any number of different angles, a few of which are listed below. We are not asking you to answer them all, but if one of these speaks to you, we’re excited to hear your reply.
Where do you pray?
Do you sit, stand, kneel, or lay down? Something else entirely?
Do you recite traditional prayers?
Do you read and reflect? If so, what do you read?
What time(s) of day do you pray?
Is there something that really works for you, like sitting in a certain chair, working through novenas, keeping a prayer journal, or listening to a prayerful podcast?
Do you pray aloud?
Do you listen in silence?
Do you pray before meals, or at other times with your spouse, children, or community?
Do you pray separately or in different ways or at different times to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit?
What kinds of tools help you, if any, such as a rosary, the Magnificat, or something else?
What works for you? What hasn’t worked for you?
Do you close your eyes? If so, do you visualize or imagine anything? If not, do you look at something particular?
Do you ask anyone specific to intercede for you, such as a patron saint or guardian angel?
If you go to Adoration, how do you like to spend time with the Lord there?
In sharing these glimpses into each others’ prayer lives, we might come to know new ways of fruitful prayer. I’m excited to hear what you have to teach the readers and writers of this blog. We may collect some of the comments and Tweets and include them in a future post. Thank you in advance for sharing your insights with the CatholicHow community.
However we communicate with God, I pray we’ll draw nearer to Him as we continue on our journeys. May we always seek to understand more, and be at peace with our unknowing.