PRAY WITHOUT CEASING

How can one pray without ceasing? Let us try to count the ways. To pray without ceasing means to have our minds constantly on God and to develop habits that constantly remind us of Him, even in the midst of the work which He has given us to do.

Here are some prayerful habits to foster. The numbers in brackets are footnotes. The words can be said either mentally, perhaps combined with deep breathing, or aloud.

  1. Whenever you become aware of a good[1] thing that is happening say "Father, I give you thanks for --- but most of all for sending your only son, that we might not perish, but might have eternal life."
  2. And when something bad[2] happens, say "Father, the gift of your only son outweighs ---, in fact, any bad thing that CAN happen and shows that you will bring good out of the greatest evil."
  3. Whenever you become aware of your own suffering, offer it for someone who needs strength and grace.
  4. Ask god questions and listen for the answer.
  5. Seek God's opinion in all decisions which you must make.
  6. Discuss all problems with God before seeking any other method of solving them.

  7. Memorize short prayers and repeat them throughout the day.
  8. Practice breathing in the Lord.
  9. Repeat single verses of favorite hymns.
  10. Make up short verses of your own which are easy to repeat.
  11. Join in the Church's continual prayer by reading The Liturgy of the Hours.
  12. Pray for those who annoy you.
  13. Pray for those who you feel are ignoring or slighting you.
  14. When you think that someone is doing something particularly stupid or shortsighted intercede for them.
  15. Whenever you think of any person, intercede for them.
  16. Intercede for both the victims and perpetrators of crimes and misdeeds when you hear about them.
  17. Whenever you become aware that something is lacking, pray for it.

Short Prayers

Here are some short prayers, beginning with a variant of the Jesus prayer. Most of them have a scriptural basis.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,
Have mercy on all us sinners.

How happy are they whose strength you are!
They go from strength to strength.

You have given so much to me; give me one thing more, a thankful heart.

Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise
This, our hymn of thanks and praise.

Take my guilt, and make it true
To Your commandments, old and new.[3]

Blessed be your holy and glorious name,
Praiseworthy and exalted above all forever!

I hate vain thoughts,
but your law I love.

To do your will is my delight,
and your law is within my heart.

Take my will and make it Thine.
Only then shall it be mine.

Had not your law been my delight,
I should have perished in my affliction. (Depression)

Lord, give me neither riches nor poverty,
But only my daily bread.

May I be holy, as you are holy.

Your mercy endures forever!

May your name, not mine, be praised.

Everything with You (Jesus), in the Spirit, to please the Father.

I WILL be glad and rejoice in your gift!

Shall I turn to you in sorrows and not in joys?

Unless you guide the thought,
the thinker ponders in vain.

One thing I ask of you, Lord, one thing I seek;
To look on your loveliness,
now and forever!

Make my ways your ways, and my thoughts your thoughts.

I do believe. Help my unbelief!

With you there is mercy and fullness of redemption.

You are my Lord. Apart from you I have no good thing.

You are my portion and my cup!

Father, glorify your name!

Mother, teach me to be as obsessed with Jesus as you are.

How sweet are your words to my taste!

May I always taste and see how good you are!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in your house forever!

How happy are they who dwell in your house.
Continually they praise you!

You must increase, I must decrease.

I must go apart, with you, from the crowd.

For you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts!


Footnotes

A good thing is something good of which you become aware. It may be a better than usual mood, something in your surroundings, or an event.

Something bad may be one's own sin. The prayer then becomes an act of contrition.

The old commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself.", while the new commandment is "Love one another as I have loved you.". This prayer asks that our feelings of remorse center on things that truly matter instead of, as is all too often the case, on trivia.


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