Praying in the Ipswich Catholic Community
When we pray we communicate with God. When the Israelites were at their wit’s end with Pharaoh’s demands, they cried out to God. God heard, God remembered, God saw and God knew. If the best we can do is pray that we might learn how to pray, that works too. God delights in our reaching out to Him. Prayer quiets us down long enough to hear the Holy Spirit, the still small voice of God inside us.
Jesus teaches us that it is necessary to pray always without becoming weary (Lk 18:18). St Paul returns to the same teaching. He writes to the Thessalonians: “Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thes 5:17-18). When we pray, we are always in union with God, and in turn, with one another.
There are many opportunities for prayer both in private or in our Community. Consider these ideas to get started:
- Take five or more minutes a day to simply talk to God, either mentally or in journal form.
- Learn more about different spiritualties (listed below) and venture out to learn more about different prayer forms.
- Join a prayer or study group in our Community to enter into communion with others.
A Personal Prayer Life
To pray regularly on our own (outside of the Mass or other communal prayer) is called “personal prayer.” St. Therese says that “For me prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and love embracing both trial and joy.” The richness of our faith shows us that a life of personal prayer is exciting and varied; there isn’t one “right” or “wrong” way of talking to God in prayer. Perhaps a personal prayer life looks like daily service to an elderly parent; perhaps it means taking five minutes to sit silently and talk to God.
Different Forms of Prayer
Each person embraces ‘forms’ of prayer in their daily life. You may be familiar with different forms of prayer such as reading and meditating on the Bible, praying with religious items such as the rosary, or meeting together weekly to discuss how God is moving in our lives. These are all forms of prayer, and naturally we will have our favourites. The beauty of the Church lies in the fact that we have a great wealth of choices in how we are to encounter God.
Giving in Other Ways
The Bible is the Word of God, inspired by God and written by human authors for a time and audience. The scriptures unfold the life of Jesus, but in prophecy in the Old Testament and through fulfilment in the New Testament. While we hear the scriptures proclaimed at Mass on Sundays, we are invited by the Church to read, reflect, pray, and discuss the word of God in every aspect of life.