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praying soul

Advent is a good time to review your prayer life. The mystery of the prayer is that in some special way, it brings you closer to God. It’s the main thing between you and Him. If I was to give a definition what prayer is, I’d say it’s a conversation with God. Talking to Him is usually easy although it requires practice but listening to Him is hard. It took me many years to learn and I’m still in the process of learning.




This picture was captured by Emily during Adoration. She's this happy person who works using her talents and skills to serve God's Church. Being a gifted photographer, she serves as Associated Director of Media and Marketing at the Encounter Ministries. Emily took all the pictures for this post helping me to document my prayers.


Adoration is where you stare at the Blessed Sacrament and attempt to listen to Him. It’s the type of prayer that requires your full attention because there's usually nothing organized or prepared and it's you who leads it. Adoration reveals my emotions and I often cry. My loneliness, sadness, lack of understanding or whatever burden I'm troubled with bursts in tears so Jesus can heal my suffering soul.


I was taught how to pray as a small child but only now as an adult can I understand and appreciate its value. Now, I proudly continue this beautiful practice by teaching my kids how to pray and how important it is.


The first prayer I learned was the “Our Father” the one that Jesus taught us in the Bible. My prayer life evolved as I grew older. I like to pray with others in prayer groups because Jesus said "where two or three gather in my name I'm there among them." Scripture and especially daily readings recommended by Catholic Church are a part of my prayers too. There are many prayers written by saints that you can use or just speak to God with your own words.


Why are there so many prayer types available and why do people continue to come up with new ones? Because we are different people with unique personalities and sensitivity. We also change so depending on the current condition of our souls we may choose to talk to God differently. After all, the type of a prayer doesn't matter as long as you do it. Jesus is waiting for you to talk to Him.


Of all the different prayers that I have been through in my life - worship - will be the one I come back most.



There is something profound in raising my hands high and singing to God. I like loud music when I don’t hear my thoughts anymore and can focus on praising. This is an easy prayer when the times are good but it gets harder when life is difficult. It’s not easy to worship God when I’m in pain or things don’t go the way I planned.


I don’t even know if this classifies as a prayer but when the times are tough, I remain motionless and silent in my prayers waiting to feel Jesus wrapping His arms around me.


There’s one type of prayer good for bad times which is the intersession prayer. When others come to pray for you. When they say the words, you’re not able to verbalize. When their faith and love lift you up.



On the picture, there's my friend Barbara praying for me. You can see her joy for bringing me to the Lord on her behalf. Her care also explains why I now call her my spiritual mother. I'm so blessed God has given me so many people who have prayed for me throughout my life. I was also touched while I prayed for others as giving back is powerful too.


Does God always respond to my prayers? In theory yes but I don’t always know it or see it. Do I stop praying? No. I wouldn’t know what else to do. Sometimes I also feel that I’m too busy to stop and listen or notice God’s response.

I remember this one special time that God answered me with a very clear sign. I was in a small Italian marina, siting with my eyes closed, I was asking God if moving to Germany was a good idea. When I got up from my prayer the very first thing I saw, was a small boat with a German flag on it! This was a shocking view, not the boat itself but God's response to my prayer. Months later I was starting a new chapter in my life in Germany.


Prayer can make a soul beautiful but no one can do it for you. It's your conscious decision and time spent with God. Only if you experience it yourself you will understand...


 


Emily

a beautiful photographer who shares God's love through the pictures and her life testimony.



Barbara

a beautiful friend, always eager to get to know God more and praying for anyone who needs it.


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