Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

Written by Kristin Bird on Thursday, 01 September 2016. Posted in New Evangelization, For Parish Leaders, Prayer

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

At it's core, the New Evangelization has everything to do with this question: Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

If we want to be intentional disciples who live the New Evanglization in our parishes, schools, workplaces, and homes, we must begin by deepening our own relationships with God.

A central tenet of Pope Benedict XVI's teaching on the New Evangelization focused on the centrality of prayer in this mission. Benedict XVI understands prayer as holding a two-fold significance in evangelization:

  1. Those sharing the faith must first be re-evangelized ourselves, growing in habits of prayer and contemplation amidst life’s busyness; and

  2. Among those with whom we share the faith, prayer constitutes a deeply personal and essential means by which one encounters God.

Benedict XVI writes:

“Praying actualizes and deepens our communion with God. Our prayer can and should arise above all from our heart, from our needs, our hopes, our joys, our sufferings, from our shame over sin, from our gratitude from the good. It can and should be a wholly personal prayer." [1]

The role of prayer in the New Evangelization is central for the Pope Emeritus, and it must be for as well.

One simple way to tap into the effecacious and transforming power of prayer in our own evangelization efforts is to add a simple prayer for heart of evangelization to our own morning offerings.

One parish director of New Evangelization memorized this “Morning Prayer” by Estella Wright Szegedin to foster an evangelizing heart:

Lord, in the quiet of this morning hour,
let me feel Thy love and power.

Let me so full of Thy Spirit be,
that others can see the Christ in me.

Let me reflect Thy presence sweet,
to everyone I chance to meet.

Let me a friend to people be,
that they, too, will search for Thee.

Let me add to this Thy day,
love and peace in every way.

Morning Prayer

School of Prayer: Foundations for the New Evangelization

In this podcast series, Fr. Scott Traynor describes how Jesus Christ desires a deep personal relationship of the heart with each of us and how this is the true foundation for the New Evangelization.  You can listen to the first podcast in the series below:

Here, he discusses the adventure of the life of faith and the gifts the Father wishes to shower upon us in union with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. He breaks open the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is the great teacher of prayer. Fr. Traynor encourages us to grow in union with Trinity through opening our hearts in prayer.

You can access the rest of this inspiring and insightful podcast series:

  On the Web

 

Other Resources for Prayer in the New Evangelization

Creating a Personal Prayer Plan

Take the time to create a plan for your own personal prayer life.  It doesn’t have to be rigidly followed, but can serve as a grounding reminder -- a thriving, regular, consistent time of worship of and communion with God in prayer.

The Role of Prayer in Evangelization by Jean Heimann

In evangelization, intercessory prayer is essential for both the person who is being ministered to, as well as the minister. Intercessory prayer softens harden hearts and prepares the soil for the seed to be planted. Prayer for the evangelizer enables that person to follow the promptings of the Spirit and to be strengthened for the task ahead.

New Evangelization Prayer Resources from the Diocese of Green Bay

Including a "Share Prayer"  to encourage Catholics to pray on the spot with someone in need and A Prayer for Those Who Answer the Phone.

Prayer to Mary, Star of the New Evangelization

The popes of the modern age have called upon Mary as a “Star” in the Church’s work of evangelization. Paul VI expressed his desire in 1975 for Mary to be the:

“Star of the Evangelization ever renewed which the Church, docile to her Lord’s command, must promote and accomplish, especially in these times which are difficult but full of hope!” [2]

Pope Francis wrote this Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel.

The popes of the modern age, in a new way, also have called upon Mary as a “Star” in the Church’s work of evangelization.  Paul VI expressed his desire in 1975 for Mary to be the “Star of the Evangelization ever renewed which the Church, docile to her Lord’s command, must promote and accomplish, especially in these times which are difficult but full of hope!” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 82).   - See more at: http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2014/01/05/looking-to-the-star-of-the-new-evangelization/#sthash.30yYNhGV.dpuf

Prayers to Our Lady of Guadalupe

t is quite fitting for Our Lady of Guadalupe to be a patroness of the New Evangelization, for her apparition to Juan Diego was a guiding star for the millions of natives who converted to the Catholic faith.  In addition to Our Lady of Guadalupe, on October 18, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invoked Our Lady of Aparecida (A Brazilian devotion) as a Star of the New Evangelization.  Keeping with the custom of his predecessors, Pope Francis also has invoked Our Lady under this same title. - See more at: http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2014/01/05/looking-to-the-star-of-the-new-evangelization/#sthash.30yYNhGV.dpuf

St. John Paul II declared Mary, under the title Our Lady of Guadalupe as a patroness for the New Evangelization in the Americas.

Wth the passage of time, pastors and faithful alike have grown increasingly conscious of the role of the Virgin Mary in the evangelization of America. In the prayer composed for the Special Assembly for America of the Synod of Bishops, Holy Mary of Guadalupe is invoked as Patroness of all America and Star of the first and new evangelization . . . It is my heartfelt hope that she, whose intercession was responsible for strengthening the faith of the first disciples (cf. Jn 2:11), will by her maternal intercession guide the Church in America, obtaining the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as she once did for the early Church (cf. Acts 1:14), so that the new evangelization may yield a splendid flowering of Christian life. [3]

Seek the Intercession of Our Lady of Aparecida

In addition to Our Lady of Guadalupe, on October 18, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invoked Our Lady of Aparecida (A Brazilian devotion) as a Star of the New Evangelization. Keeping with the custom of his predecessors, Pope Francis also has invoked Our Lady under this same title.

In addition to Our Lady of Guadalupe, on October 18, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI invoked Our Lady of Aparecida (A Brazilian devotion) as a Star of the New Evangelization.  Keeping with the custom of his predecessors, Pope Francis also has invoked Our Lady under this same title. - See more at: http://www.ignitumtoday.com/2014/01/05/looking-to-the-star-of-the-new-evangelization/#sthash.xNS1hbSc.dpuf

1.  Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration
By Pope Benedict XVI (page 130).

2. Evangelii Nuntiandi: On Evangelization in the Modern World  Pope Paul VI (page 82).

3. Ecclesia in America.  Pope John Paul II.

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Comments (1)

  • Cecelia

    Cecelia

    28 February 2016 at 03:49 |
    Beautiful morning prayer that I will add to my prayers. Thank you and God bless!

    reply

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