Perhaps you’ve just been on retreat and want to take the next step in faith. It can be really hard returning home after a spiritual high at Castlerigg with all your friends, where prayer in the chapel was so easy!
The challenge now is to live what you’ve learnt at Castlerigg in your daily life: there is the challenge of being a disciple in every age. The best way to do this is to pray - talking to God and listening to Him respond to us. There are many ways that we can pray. This page will help you find some practical ways to pray.
Bible: Word of Life
Keep a Bible by your bed and try reading a bit each day. Remember it’s not how much you read but the person you discover through it. The Bible is God’s written way of talking to us. You can dip into it or follow the Mass readings for the day. Click here for the Daily Mass readings, which you can read online or look up in your Bible. The whole world will be reading those readings each day, so you will be reading them with every Catholic church out there! Click here to download podcasts that explain each Sunday’s Mass readings. You might like to check out the Book of Psalms in the Bible – a collection of songs or prayers that cover many subjects and reflect every human experience: depression, celebration, defeat, victory, hope and despair. Some give thanks to God, some express sadness, some praise God. You may know a very famous one: “The Lord is my Shepherd”. They were written approximately 3000 years ago and have been used ever since throughout history to praise and worship God. Jesus himself would have known them well. For some modern day versions of the psalms, sung, try ‘the Sons of Korah‘ or look at Psalm 3, Sons of Korah (Video).
Ways we can pray
God always wants to hear from us, no matter what time of day it is or where we are. We can pray anywhere, whether it be on the bus to school or in our bedroom. St Teresa of Avila, who was very knowledgeable of the scriptures, tells us to pray as we can, not how we think we should. There are many ways that we can pray, and it’s important to find out what kind of praying works for you. Remember, we can talk to God as we would a friend, about all of our worries, fears, hopes and joys.
Want to pray but can’t find the right words? God knows our needs before we even ask them, but praying into certain situations can make such a difference. Here are some printable prayers which you can print off and keep in your room or even in your pocket.
If you’re stuck in a rut and need some new ways to pray, you could try Lectio Divina, which simply means ‘divine reading’ of the Gospel. This ancient method of praying is a great way to absorb the word of God which gives us life and light. Print off this guide to find out how to practise Lectio Divina.
Our Lady & The Rosary
Mary is Jesus’ mother but she’s also our mother too, and she wants nothing more than to help us and lead us to her son. We can ask her to pray for us by praying the Hail Mary. We can also pray the Rosary. Perhaps you made a set of rosary beads whilst at Castlerigg, or bought a set of them from the shop. These aren’t just fashion items, but a way of journeying into the heart of our faith with Mary our Mother. It’s our way of walking through the life of Jesus with Mary. Here are several different links to help you get started with the Rosary. Have a smartphone? Download the Rosary app and pray on the go with Android and iPhone. A step-by-step guide with all the prayers included. A video to go with the guide.
This is a very simple prayer that is said using Rosary Beads. It was shown to Saint Faustina in vision where God asked her to spread the message of God’s mercy throughout the world in the image of divine mercy and the chaplet of divine mercy. It’s a very loving prayer to do as you pray not only for mercy for yourself but also for our brothers and sisters around the world, sharing in God’s desire to lavish mercy upon us all. Click the links to find out more about them. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, click this link to download a free app that tells you everything about it.
Praying with the Saints
The saints in heaven are our friends, and they all rejoice when we take one step closer to God! Treat the saints like your friends and ask them to pray for you – there’s a patron saint for almost every situation and who we are. Find out who your patron saint is here.
Music can be a great way of helping us to pray and to get in the mood to pray. Here are some recommendations: Matt Maher, Shawn McDonald, Tim Hughes, Josh Groban, Meredith Andrews, Phil Wickham, Ludovico Einaudi, Chris Tomlin, The Priests, Adam Young (OWLCITY), Casting Crowns, Lifehouse, Jewel.
Facing a hard struggle in your life and feel like you need someone to pray for you? Bringing our prayers together before the Lord can be so powerful. Send us your prayer requests and the team will pray for your intentions each Monday.