How Should We Pray?

I remember when I wondered for the first time whether it was best to pray with eyes shut or open. I was only a child then, but I have often revisited the same thought. My memories on the matter were revived after stumbling onto this post: Eyes Wide Shut Prayer?

Like the rest of my family, I have always been an “apophatic prayer”–someone who closes their eyes, bows their head, and folds their hands when praying. At an early age, I realized that not all people pray the way my family and I do. Since then, I have always wondered which way of praying was actually right. However, over the years, I was brought to the realization that it isn’t really important whether people chose to pray with their eyes shut or wide open.

How one prays is a personal thing.  Prayer is our way of talking to God, and it should not be in any way stiff and stringent. Instead, we should pray in a way that we feel would best draw us near to Him. I feel comfortable and more connected to God praying with my eyes closed, but in no way will I insist that you must follow my way of praying. I believe that it is important that each of us pray as we see fit.

Certainly, God does not concern Himself with the manner with which we pray–kneeling, standing, lying down, eyes open, or eyes shut–but looks at what is inside our thoughts and hearts.

Tips to Help Your Family Pray Together in the New Year

Finding the time to pray with your family is not always easy. The bigger your family is the more you will have to try to make a convenient time for everybody to pray together. The idea of creating a time like this for prayer is similar to finding the time to have the whole family sit down for dinner the same time each night. If you can set a time and make a habit, it will become easier for your family to do this on a regular basis.

If you have struggled to find ways to pray as a family before, a post I read recently called, “25 Ways to Pray as a Family in the New Year” could help you a lot. The article offers a lot of useful tips to help your family come together for prayer time.

Inspirational Moments That are Fueled by God

I read a post on a blog called Ignitum Today that I thought was really cool. The post was called, “Kickboxing and Moments of Grace“. The author talked about her experience at Mass this past Sunday. The responsorial psalm was Psalm 54, and the response was about the Lord lighting their life. She reflected on what this meant to her personally, and I found her words to be inspirational. She also went on to talk about how she has taken up kickboxing, and saying a quick prayer before class has helped her a lot.

I know personally I can relate to being tired and not wanting to exercise. I’m going to try a quick prayer the next time I have no motivation to exercise and I know I will feel revitalized and ready to go!