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How to Pray with the Gospels?

Our best source of prayer will always be the New Testament. The Gospel of the Day in particular is best prayed in a  contemplative way. Here are some suggestions for this:

1. Pick a short passage from one of the Gospels and read it once.

2. Settle into a comfortable posture,conducive to peacefully listening to God.

3. Take a few minutes to relax and quiet yourself down. Relax your limbs and face muscles. Give all your cares and concerns to the Lord and let Him hold them for you, while you spend this time in prayer with Him.

4. Be aware that God fills and soaks you with his presence; that unconditionally loves you, is always conscious of you, always with you.

5. Slowly read the Gospel passage. Believe that the words are meant for you—here and now.

6.Find one of more resting places in the passage. Linger on them. Savor them.Repeat them. Reflect on them in silence. Stay with the same passage during the whole prayer period and repeat it as often as you like.

7. These five key words summarize the whole contemplative experience with Jesus in the Gospels:

Be there with Him and for Him. Yes, be there. Have you ever talked with someone who was with you bodily, but not present to you with attention and heart?

Want Him. Hunger for Him. Prepare for His coming and His word, as you would want and eagerly prepare for  a visit with the dearest person in your life. Invite Him to reveal and communicate Himself to you, to speak to you and teach you how to listen deeply to Him.

Listen to Him. Listen with faith deeply and reverently, listen with trust; listen with hunger to be fed by His word; listen with gratitude and in peace, without searching for hidden meanings. Forget about implications, applications, conclusions, resolutions, etc. Be simple, like a child nestled in his/her father’s lap, peacefully listening to his story.

Let Him. Let him what? Just let Him be with you. Let Him be Himself, how or who he wants himself to be with you. Let Him love you. Let Him speak to you. Let him hold you and console you and forgive you and strengthen you. Let Him take you through dryness and darkness, if He prefers—but let Him. What Jesus wants, Jesus deserves. Entrust yourself  to Him.

Respond to Him—in any way you want to or feel moved to respond. Be genuinely yourself and respond honestly, freely, spontaneously. Speak what is in your heart; say what you feel, even when  you feel like complaining. Remember that when you don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit prays in you and for you. Just speaking or whispering the name of Jesus rhythmically with your breathing, or repeating words of praise and thanks are profoundly prayerful responses.

Contemplative prayer is more feeling, listening to and being aware of God and of Jesus and their Spirit, rather than saying or doing anything we do for Him. It is consciously being with Him and letting Him be for us the loving God that He is, letting Him fill us with his Spirit and letting Jesus become more and more alive and real to us.

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27 comments on “How to Pray with the Gospels?

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