Every faithful Catholic goes through a season where prayer is difficult. Whether you’re unable to feel God’s presence, get easily distracted, or find yourself avoiding prayer altogether, Dr. Sri points out four reasons why we may struggle in prayer, and what we can do to persevere and build an ever-stronger relationship with God.
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“Faithfulness is more important than feelings. It’s more important in a marriage, and it’s more important in our relationship with God.”
“Never walk away from the chapel feeling discouraged. If you feel you’ve accomplished nothing, give God that nothing.” -St. Teresa of Calcutta
“It is not necessary that prayer should be attentive throughout; because the force of the original intention with which one sets about praying renders the whole prayer meritorious, as is the case with other meritorious acts.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
4 Reasons We Struggle with Prayer
- Sin – if we haven’t repented of our sins, it will be difficult to pray.
- The devil – the enemy knows how important prayer is for the faithful and he will do everything he can to get you to not pray.
- “Discouragement is NEVER from God.” St. Ignatius of Loyola
- Humility – God may be trying to humble us.
- He may withdraw the feeling of his presence to help us realize our full reliance on God, but he will never withdraw his actual presence.
- Romans 8:26 – “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”
- Desire – God wants to draw out our desire for him.
- Being away from someone can make us understand the ways that we need that person.
Tips for Prayer
- Focus on the very beginning of prayer to set the tone.
- Say God’s name with reverence when you make the Sign of the Cross.
- Set an intention for your prayer time.
- Offer the prayer time up to God.
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