Preparation for Prayer
Pick a time to pray, usual an hour.
Pick a place to pray.
Pick a Scripture passage or a topic for prayer. When we use the Sunday
reading, we also pray with the Church.
Keep the topic in mind particular when you go to bed and when you first
wake up. Link your own activities with the passage. For example,
during Advent, when you prepare to go to work, you can think of
preparation for the coming of Christ.
The minute before you start praying, recall what you have done up to the
moment (to be more aware of your condition, which makes the transition
to prayer smoother), and remind yourself of what you will do next,
mainly to encounter God.
Offer the hour to God, so even if we were distracted, all the actions
and intentions of that hour have been dedicated to God.
Ask for a grace. This can follow the liturgical season, such as
repentance for Lent, or joy for Easter. A grace that is always
appropriate is a better familiarity with God. Though what one asks for
maybe quite different from what God grants, it is still good to have a
Review the topics of the prayer.
The Prayer Period
Enter each part of the topic.
For Contemplation, put oneself into the
scene; be sensitive to the appearance, feelings, and actions of the
people in that scene.
For Meditation, elaborate and weight each aspect
of a teaching, an idea, and its application.
The heart of the prayer is a dialog with God. Contemplation or
Meditation or other ways are just means to stir one's heart and mind in
order to enter into a dialog with God. Of course in a dialog one can
talk, listen, or be quiet together.
After the Prayer Period
Record the movements of the prayer period. Write down what comes to
Review how well the prayer has gone. If the period was dry, try to see
whether it was prepared right and whether any improvement should be
made. If one cannot see anything wrong, then just be patient with God.
If the dryness continues for a number of days, consult a spiritual