Like many people today, I am active on social media. Seeing pictures and hearing stories about family and friends I don’t live near or visit often is fun. I also belong to groups where people ask questions or solicit advice about faith, children, books to read, and many other topics. One topic I see frequently is the concern about the right way to pray. The concerns are often about the procedure, how much can I ask for at one time or can I pray while I am walking.
Maybe you are new to the faith or have returned after a time away and want to be sure you are praying correctly. Let me assure you, the most important thing to remember is to pray with faith and trust, with a heart turned toward God. Then, if you have the attitude or posture that you have come before God, our Father and Creator, with love and the belief that He is there, ready to listen, your prayer will be efficacious; that is, it will produce fruit.
In my life, there are many times when I have been in the middle of a prayer, been distracted, and gone back to praying, a different prayer than the one I began. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I often will pray the rosary. One Thursday, I began to pray the Luminous Mysteries, starting with the Baptism of Jesus. And then I went blank. And could not recall the mysteries or the order. I finally remembered most of them but only had the first and last in the correct order. I don’t think the Blessed Mother or anyone else in heaven was offended.
Prayer is raising our hearts and mind to God. Is there a wrong way to do this? Being demanding, bargaining, and ultimatums are not the best way to approach Him. Instead, approach it as a conversation, an exchange of affection and thoughts. I like the acronym ACTS to guide prayer - Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Begin with an act of love and awareness that God is God, then ask for forgiveness for anything you have done wrong, then thank God for the blessings in your life, big and small, and finally, ask for what you need, for others and yourself.
God desires to hear from you; pray with love, trust, and faith, and your prayer will bear fruit.