Be My Guest: All About Prayer with Fr. Mark-Mary

Fr. Mark-Mary, CFR joins Fr. Josh to talk all about prayer. They answer questions about hearing God’s voice in prayer, developing a close relationship with God, silent vs. vocal prayer, and praying for the conversion of loved ones. Fr. Mark-Mary also shares about his new book, Habits for Holiness.

Snippet from the Show

“Connection is more important than perfection.”


For our loved ones far from Christ, prayer united with sacrifice can be more powerful than our own words of persuasion.



Hearing God’s Voice 

Hi Father Josh,

I have always struggled with prayer. I have tried Lectio Divina and the Daily Examen, Adoration, etc. I do feel closer to God sometimes after praying but I can’t help but feel that my praying is really just me thinking about life and coming away with a new perspective that I came up with on my own. How can I make sure that I am hearing God’s voice during prayer and not just hearing my own voice or working out my problems on my own?


Divine Intimacy 

Hi Fr Josh, 

I love your show! I only discovered it recently but it has helped me tremendously. My question is that I struggle a lot with intimacy – particularly intimacy with God and Jesus , but also intimacy in friendships and familial relationships. So I was wondering if you had any advice in regards to this? To provide some context – whilst I have a great Catholic family, we are not very close and I’ve always felt quite distant from them on an emotional level. I have also had a few abandonment issues in relation to friends and family. Because of this, I feel like I really struggle in terms of my prayer life and forming a close relationship with God. I’ve heard friends express how intimate their own relationship with the Lord is but I have never really experienced this. I know not everything should be based on feelings and emotions and I try my best to pray and talk to God everyday and receive the sacraments as often as I can. Yet I sometimes feel so empty and desolate inside. Does this make me a bad Catholic? I am also at the stage of my life where I am trying to discern my vocation and whilst I would like to get married and have a family one day I have never been in a serious relationship or had a guy pursue me even though I am in a lot of Catholic circles so I feel like this just adds to my whole experience of abandonment and desolation that is also pouring into my spiritual life. Thank you. Praying for you and those listening.

– Anonymous 

Silent Prayer vs. Praying Out Loud

Hi Fr. Josh. Thank you for all of the work that you do! I get a lot out of your podcasts – so continued prayers for you! My question is about prayer. I have been a confirmed Catholic for a few years now and am a little confused about silent versus “out-loud” prayer. I know that God hears all of our prayers, but when should we pray out loud versus silently? Does God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit hear all prayers, whether silent or out-loud? What about saints – do we need to pray out loud for them to hear us? Thank you again, and God Bless! 


Praying for the Conversion of a Loved One 

Hey Father Josh!

First of all, I want to say thank you so much for everything you do with this podcast. It is so refreshing and exciting to hear from a priest who is as relatable, fun, and inspiring as you are.

I’ve been a Catholic all my life and my faith has always been important to me, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I have really tried to strengthen my faith and ask questions about Catholic teachings and learn why we believe what we do. Your podcast has been a great resource for me, not only for my own learning and spiritual growth, but it has also helped me educate my non-Catholic boyfriend on my beliefs. That leads me into my question… I was wondering if you have any advice for how to pray for the conversion of a loved one. My boyfriend loves God, follows Jesus, and is strong in his own faith, but this faith does not believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, etc, and I have great concerns regarding the salvation of his soul. I know he has free will and God won’t “make” him do or believe anything specific, but I just struggle with knowing what or if there is anything I can do to help with this conversion of heart. Any advice (and many prayers) would be so appreciated. God Bless you!



Meet Fr. Josh Johnson

While Fr. Josh was raised Catholic, he didn’t like the Church growing up. Then, one day in adoration, he fell in love with Jesus and received the call to become a priest.

Now, Fr. Josh is the Vocations Director of the Diocese of Baton Rouge in Louisiana. He is a presenter in four of Ascension’s programs: Altaration, YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body, The 99, and Connected: Catholic Social Teaching for This Generation, as well as the author of Broken and Blessed: An Invitation to My Generation, Pocket Guide to Adoration, and co-author of Pocket Guide to Reconciliation.

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