Are You 'Praying Right'?

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary, and you’ll find spiritual gems, like this one:

Thursday. Although I was very tired today, I nevertheless resolved to make a Holy Hour. I could not pray, nor could I remain kneeling, but I remained in prayer for a whole hour and united myself in spirit with those souls who are already worshiping God in the perfect way. [Then Jesus said to me,] Your prayer is extremely pleasing to Me (691).

Prayer is not always easy. After a long day, I rarely feel like I give the Lord enough time alone. I get easily distracted. Sometimes I fall asleep. When I do manage to remain before Him for a sufficient amount of time, I often question if I am “praying right.” 

Well, it turns out that we’re not alone in these struggles. 

In this Diary passage, St. Faustina was so tired during her holy hour that she couldn’t formulate any words to say. She didn’t even remain kneeling. All she could do was unite her spirit with the Communion of Saints — with those who are praying perfectly. 

And what did Jesus say? “Your prayer is extremely pleasing to Me.”

In our brokenness, we tend to think that we need to perform in just the right way in order to win the approval of others. It doesn't help that our culture validates this belief. When we live this way, we’ll inevitably feel the same way about our relationship with Christ, especially when it comes to prayer. 

To avoid getting discouraged in prayer, we need to remember what Jesus implies above — that prayer is deeper than words. We ought to keep in mind the words of St. Paul who says, “The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Rom 8:26). 

If sometimes we’re tired when we come to the Lord, we don't have to worry about Him getting angry at us. There’s no need to get discouraged. Jesus knows we’re weak. All He asks is that we try our best and if we ask them, the Holy Spirit and the Communion of Saints will make up for the rest. 


Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash


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