RCIA Talk on Prayer

What is Prayer?

  • The raising of one’s mind and heart to God – St. John Damascene 
  • A surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”  – St. Therese of Lisieux
  • Prayer purifies us, reading instructs us. Both are good when both are possible. Otherwise, prayer is better than reading.  – St. Isidore of Seville

We were made by Love, made for Love


  • God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created him (1:27)
  • the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being (2:7)


  • Before I formed you in the womb I knew you and before you were born I consecrated you (1:5)

Action of Prayer

Prayer is a call

  • It is a call from God to us.
  • From the Trinity to relationship with the eternal communion of love
  • For a holy purpose (1st & 2nd Great Commandment, Balt Cat Q #1)

Prayer is a response.

  • Triggers are usually the transcendentals: truth, goodness, and beauty.
  • We experience something truly worth our time and effort.
  • It is awareness, it is conversation and communion

Prayer produces results

  • Holiness, serenity, joy, peace that passes understanding, infused virtues
  • Often leads to a mission or resolution or some determination to take some kind of action.

Types of prayer



  • do the red, say the black
  • church militant, church suffering, church triumphant
  • the order of the mass shows awareness, conversation, communion, and mission

The Divine office

  • is a shared mission of awareness and conversation

Pious devotions

  • Rosary, Adoration
  • Community & Individual

Mental prayer

  • Personal, subjective
  • Intellectual, Will
  • awareness, conversation, communion, and mission
  • Sister is going to focus on mental prayer and what is called divine reading.

Simple Plan of Personal Prayer

1. Act of Presence

“Jesus, I trust that you are real, that you see me and hear me, that you love me and that you are good. I trust that you want to communicate to me more than I want to talk to you.”

2. Bring to Jesus anything you have on your heart or mind

Thoughts, feelings, fears, desires? A particular circumstance or issue you are facing?

3. Scripture

Daily Gospel, a book from the Bible you are reading in sequence, a passage related to your situation,

Read the scripture slowly a couple of times, noting any verse that sticks out/sticks with you.

4. Converse

Speak with Jesus about particular verses or details, consider their meaning in your life.

Return to the scripture passage as needed.

5. Listen

Recollection – resting in God’s love with a collected mind, open to what you might hear

6. Resolution and Thanksgiving

Action steps might result; thanking God is always appropriate

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