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How Do You Pray? Overcoming Distractions & Anxieties

Written by Kristin Bird on .

One reason many of us don't pray more often or better is because we have questions and uncertainties about prayer. We worry that we’re doing it wrong or that it’s not really working. One of the best ways to combat the neutralizing effect this doubt can have on your prayer life is to remember that prayer is a gift.

Prayer Comes From God

“[Prayer] is not what we do but what God does in us, how God loves us, addresses us, looks at us, enlightens us, forgives us, heals us, purifies us and eventually transforms us.”

Dominican Nuns Ireland Family Day Address (www.dominicannuns.ie)

God is constantly seeking us. Like the father who daily scanned the horizon for his prodigal son, God waits patiently for us. Prayer is the gift, given to us by God, to respond to His call and to seek him in return.

Every moment of prayer begins, not with us, but with God’s call to us - the desire for union with him that he has placed deep within our hearts. Our prayer is a response to that call. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says,

“Prayer is both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part. It always presupposes effort” (2725).

Prayer is Relationship

It is time spent with someone you love. To pray is to speak and then to listen; to communicate on a more personal and profound level and to grow in understanding, respect and appreciation of the other.

Kerygma Resources

Written by interGen team on .

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There are many different ways to express and proclaim the kerygma.  You can find it throughout the New Testament, the documents of the Church, and the writings of the early Church Fathers.  

What Is the Kerygma?

Ultimately, however you express it, the kerygma is about the person of Jesus Christ and someone making a choice to give their lives to Him - to become his disciple.  

Proclaiming The Kerygma is Essential to the Mission of Evangelization.  

To proclaim Jesus Christ is the Church's mission.

[Silent] witness, no matter how excellent, will ultimately prove ineffective unless its meaning is clarified and corroborated…the good news proclaimed by a witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 22)

Evangelization will also always contain - as the foundation, center, and at the same time, summit of its dynamism - a clear proclamation that, in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, who died and rose from the dead, salvation is offered to all men, as a gift of God's grace and mercy. (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 27)

On the lips of the catechist the first proclamation must ring out over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you.” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 164)

How Do We Proclaim This Message?  

There are a number of resources and tools that we can recommend to help you proclaim the kerygma most effectively to the people you have been called to evangelize. Ultimately however, the most powerful proclamation of the kerygma is the one that comes from out of your personal encounter with the life-changing power of the person of Jesus.  The most effective proclamation tool you have at your fingertips is your answer to this question:

What difference has Jesus made in your life?

Internalizing and living this core apostolic proclamation in your own life must come before any of the resources below can be used with any expectation of fruitfulness.  

When we see the movements of the kergyma in our own life stories, we can be nimble enough to share this proclamation in the manner, method, and expression most appropriate to the needs and journey of the person or people in front of us.  

Kerygma Resources for Adults  

The list below is not exhaustive!  There are a number of different tools available to help us encounter, absorb, and proclaim Jesus - but these are a few we have found to be particularly helpful.  (See also: Proclaiming the Kerygma to Children & Youth)

Proclaiming the Kerygma to Children & Youth

Written by interGen team on .

Emil Nolde Christ and the Children"Christ and the Children" Emil Nolde There are many different ways to express and proclaim the kerygma - the core apostolic proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  You can find it throughout the New Testament, the documents of the Church, and the writings of the early Church Fathers. 

What Is the Kerygma?

Ultimately, however you express it, the kerygma is about the person of Jesus Christ and someone making a choice to give their lives to Him - to become his disciple.  

Children are not exempt from the need to hear the Good News of Jesus in a compelling way.  Even at a relatively young age, children have the capacity to

  • experience the nearness of God,
  • understand the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus in a deep and personal way,
  • respond to Jesus' invitation into deeper friendship with the Him, and even
  • share the Good News with others.

Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Kerygma Resources for Children & Youth

We need to not only focus on the evangelization of adults and parents, but need to parallel our efforts by evangelization children. Unfortunately, traditional catechetical materials fall short in helping children encounter the living Christ and in proclaiming the kerygma. 

There are a number of resources and tools that we can recommend to help you proclaim the kerygma to children, youth, and teens of all ages.  Ultimately, however, the most powerful proclamation of the kerygma - whether it is for an adult, a teen, or a child - is the one that comes from out of your personal encounter with the life-changing power of the person of Jesus.  The most effective proclamation tool you have at your fingertips is your answer to this question:

What difference has Jesus made in your life?

Internalizing and living this core apostolic proclamation in your own life must come before any of the resources below can be used with any expectation of fruitfulness.  

When we see the movements of the kergyma in our own life stories, we can be nimble enough to share this proclamation in the manner, method, and expression most appropriate to the needs and journey of the person or people in front of us.  

(See also:  Kerygma Resources for Adults

How Do You Pray? A Retiree's Prayer Routine

Written by Maureen Anderson on .

My daily prayer routine has changed quite a bit since my husband and I retired.  We've found ourselves with more time in our days which means we were able to add in prayer time at different times throughout the day.  We've found that committing to this daily routine keeps us grounded and on track for the rest of our day.

Upon waking up:

  • Morning Offering

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.

  • Consecration to Mary Prayer

After completing the 33 Days to Morning Glory consecration to Mary, I say the consecration prayer upon waking up each morning.

How Do You Pray? A Stay-At-Home Mom's Prayer Routine

Written by Brittany Miller on .

For our family, prayer is always present, but very changeable. Our routine may change due to preference, a change in liturgical season, welcoming a baby and making prayer fit with the changing ages of our children. Though our prayer routine fluctuates often, we never go a day without praying at least a little bit.

Family Prayer Before Meals

We are very consistent about praying before meals. We say the traditional Catholic blessing and we add a simple, kid friendly “thank you for our food and for [each person sitting at the table].”

Family Prayer in the Evening

We do some form of prayer with the children every evening, but this is one place where we see a lot of variation. In the past we have read stories of saints, read from a children’s bible, said prayers from children’s books of collected prayers or used the five-finger prayers.

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