Prayer is what gets me through pretty much everything in life. I feel for people who don't know they can turn to God in every circumstance in their life. Life is hard! It would be so much more difficult if I didn't have prayer to get me through. I like to begin my day with prayer, but I also pray throughout the day. I walk through my days with God by my side. I turn to The Father at any given moment, whether it's to give thanks for a blessing I have just noticed or remembered, or to seek help and guidance. I turn to Him in moments of fear and anxiety. I turn to Him in moments of feeling overwhelmed, or just in times of feeling unsure about what to do about a particular circumstance. I offer up many S.O.S payers throughout my days!
My Grandmother and parents were examples to me about prayer being a vital part of life. I remember my grandmother lying in a hospital bed with her Rosary and her prayer book in hand. She prayed for everyone she knew by name, every day. She was suffering but she prayed for others. My parents prayed always. We had our usual meal time prayers of course, but I also watched them each have quiet prayer time and we called on The Blessed Mother and the Saints in times of great need. For my friends who are reading this that are not Catholic, I know you may be thinking, "why? Why would you pray to anyone other than God Himself?" To clarify, we as Catholics do not pray to Mary or the Saints to fix things, or heal us. Only God can do that. Yet, we do believe the Saints rally for us and pray for us. It's no different than calling on a prayer chain of friends here on earth. And we have many of these friends in Heaven!
I read many years ago that it's important to begin prayer with Thanksgiving to God. Then repent and ask forgiveness for sins. After this, present your requests to God. I absolutely love this way of praying and do it every day. And in the prayers of Thanksgiving I thank Him for blessings past, present and future; blessings missed, forgotten or unseen, blessings I may never know about. A priest taught me the importance of praising God for the blessings that have yet to come. From this I began thinking of the blessings in the past that I have forgotten about. Those things that I begged God's Mercy, help and answers for, yet have since forgotten I ever asked. Then I began thinking about the fact that there are blessing we don't even know about and may never know about. Our lives take twists and turns and things happen, or don't happen because of God's Providence and protection. Think about other people praying for us. How amazing that their prayers may have helped us in ways we won't even know about until we reach Heaven. What a blessing prayer is!
In addition to keeping a prayer journal, where I write out prayers, keep lists of prayers etc, here are some favorite prayers I like to offer up:
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
Novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots