Prayer: “A Key Opening GOD’S HEART”

“… do not grow tired nor fear to be importunate, for prayer is the key that opens every door.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

The holy man of prayer and suffering, St. Padre Pio, said: “Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is a key opening God’s Heart.” Similarly, St. Augustine said: “Prayer is the key to Heaven.” St. Alphonsus reminds us that we must pray.

The purpose of this ‘article’ is to fill you with an ongoing desire for prayer, which will continue to grow and inflame your heart with love the more you pray. We must always remember that prayer is not only an immense gift, “a treasure” (St. Alphonsus), something “… we have not deserved” (St. John Vianney), but also that prayer is: our duty, for our own good, for God’s glory, for the salvation of souls, for peace, and for every other good thing that comes from God ALONE.

There are countless stories in the Bible and the lives of the saints about the power of prayer: miracles, the conversion of countless sinners, resurrections, miraculous cures, the release of thousands of souls from Purgatory… Christians in particular have the great responsibility of asking their Heavenly Father to supply for their own needs and the needs of their brothers and sisters, Christian or not. As the Mystical Body of Christ, we simply MUST pray as did our divine Model, Jesus Christ.

(This ‘article’ is too short to possibly explain (in any detail) how to pray well; for this I recommend none other than the great classic, ‘The Ways of Mental Prayer’ by Vital Lehodey. This book contains the wisdom of many saints and masters of prayer, such as St. Teresa of Avila and St. Bernard. Their wisdom, which was acquired through much prayer, will greatly assist yours’. Listen to the words of St. Teresa: “The devil knows that he has lost the soul that perseveringly practices mental prayer.”)

*Please ask God for the grace to love prayer and to love Him! Otherwise, all this reading will not do you much good.*

The PURPOSE OF PRAYER:

“The fruit and the purpose of prayer is to be one with and like God in all things.” –  Bl. Julian of Norwich

Prayer is NECESSARY (for growing in virtue, doing God’s will etc.):

“The body is nourished by material food, and the interior man by prayer.” – St. Augustine

“The air which we breathe, the bread which we eat, the heart which throbs in our bosoms, are not more necessary for man that he may live as a human being, than is prayer for the Christian that he may live as a Christian.” – St. John Eudes

“We need to be able to pray. We need prayer just like we need air. Without prayer, we can do nothing.” – Bl. Mother Teresa

“Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.” – St. Padre Pio

“It is simply impossible to lead, without prayer, a virtuous life.” – St. John Chrysostom

“Let him never cease from prayer who has once begun it, be his life ever so wicked; for prayer is the way to amend it, and without prayer such amendment will be much more difficult.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“How often I failed in my duty to God, because I was not leaning on the strong pillar of prayer.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“Without prayer I could not work for even half an hour. I get my strength from God through prayer.” – Bl. Mother Teresa

“The more you are tempted, the more you must persevere in prayer.” – Bl. Angela of Foligno

“It is impossible for a person who prays regularly to remain in serious sin; because the two are incompatible, one or the other will have to be given up.” – St. Teresa of Avila

Prayer is DELIGHTFUL:

“Prayer is a foretaste of Heaven, an overflow of Paradise. It never leaves us without sweetness…Troubles melt away before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun.” – St. John Vianney

“Prayer is a wine which makes glad the heart of man.”St. Bernard

“Pray to God; God is your friend and your dear friend. God is alive.” – St. Padre Pio

“My children, your heart is poor and narrow; but prayer enlarges it, and renders it capable of loving God.” – St. John Vianney

“Troubles melt away before a fervent prayer like snow before the sun.” St. John Vianney

“Francis used to say, “If you, O servant of God, are upset, for any reason whatever, you should immediately rise up to prayer, and you should remain in the presence of the Most High Father for as long as it takes for Him to restore to you the joy of your salvation.” -Thomas of Celano

“Because the eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and his ears unto their prayers.” 1 Peter 3:12 (How happy we would be to communicate with our favourite actor or musician, or writer. Well, in prayer we communicate with God, the Blessed Virgin, the saints!)

Prayer PLEASES GOD:

“By prayer man gives God the greatest glory possible.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard

“Our prayer is an incense which he receives with extreme pleasure.” – St. John Vianney

“Pray to the Lord because even God needs our prayers.” – St. Padre Pio (God uses our prayers and sufferings to save souls and to shower graces on the world.)

“God waits for us to ask Him, and even inspires us to ask for His help.” – St. Pascal Baylon

“He would not urge us to ask unless He was willing to give.” – St. Augustine

“… when we ask graces of God, He not only hears us, but in a certain sense thanks us.” – St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi

“… God, as the infinite goodness, in wishing to pour out Himself upon others, has, so to speak, an infinite longing to distribute his gifts; but He wishes to be besought: hence it follows, that when He sees Himself entreated by a soul, He receives so much pleasure, that in a certain sense He thanks that soul for it.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori

Prayer is a great GIFT:

“We have not deserved to pray; but God, in his goodness, has permitted us to speak to him.” – St. John Vianney (Please ask God for the grace to realise the profound truth of these words)

Prayer is “… man’s greatest virtue.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard

“He who prays most receives most.” – St. Alphonsus

“Our Lord gives to souls of prayer a deep understanding of Himself. He never deceives them.” – St. Peter Julian Eymard

OTHERS NEED OUR PRAYERS:

“Pray, pray to the Lord with me, because the whole world needs prayer.” – St. Padre Pio

Prayer is POWERFUL:

“The power of prayer is really tremendous.” St. Therese

“God being willing to give us all we want, we ought always to pray with entire confidence.” – St. Pascal Baylon

“Prayer is stronger than all the demons.” – St. Bernard

“When prayer is poured forth, sins are covered.” – St. Ambrose

HOW TO PRAY POWERFULLY:

“We ought always to pray and not to faint.” – (Luke 18:1)

“I have discovered how to pray in an extremely efficacious manner. The Heart of Jesus is also my heart since I am a member of His body and with this Heart I will pray to God, my Father, and my prayer will always be heard.” – St. Katherine Mary Drexel (this method of prayer has been practised by many great saints, and even encouraged by Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

“The sacred gift of prayer is in the right hand of our Saviour, and according to the measure that you empty yourself of yourself, that is of love of your senses and of your own will, and make progress in rooting yourself in holy humility, to that extent the Lord will speak to your heart.” – St. Padre Pio

The ROSARY IS THE MOST POWERFUL PRAYER (apart from the Mass):

“Of all prayers the Rosary is the most beautiful and the richest in graces; of all it is the one which is most pleasing to Mary, the Virgin Most Holy. Therefore, love the Rosary and recite it every day with devotion: this is the testament which I leave unto you so that you may remember me by it.” – St. Pius X (Who St. Padre Pio called the holiest Pope since St. Peter!)

“The Rosary is the weapon.” – St. Padre Pio

“Hail Mary is the most beautiful of prayers after the Our Father & the most beautiful compliment you can give to Mary.” – St. Louis de Montfort

“When the Holy Rosary is said well, it gives Jesus and Mary more glory and is more meritorious than any other prayer.” – St. Louis de Montfort

“There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” – Sister Lucia (one of the seers of Fatima, and an obedient child of the Church, d. 2005)

“Say the Rosary every day.” – Our Lady of Fatima (who asked us to pray the Rosary each of the six times she appeared at Fatima)

We MUST PRAY WITH CONFIDENCE:

“Let us pray and continue to pray, because intense and fervent prayer pierces the heavens and is backed up by a Divine guarantee.” – St. Padre Pio

“What have we to fear? It is love that calls us; love that gives all; love that provides all, will accomplish all; love that can wish only what is good for us. Impossible, then, to respond to love otherwise than by confidence. And since it is boundless love that invites us, let us respond also by a boundless confidence.” – Rev. Andre Prevot

Some words of encouragement:

“Do not distress yourself about your prayers. It is not always necessary to employ words, even inwardly, it is enough to raise your heart and let it rest on our Lord, to look lovingly up toward this divine Lover of our souls for between lovers the eyes speak more eloquently than the tongue.” – St. Francis de Sales

“Pray with your whole being even though you think it has no savour for you. For such prayer is very profitable even though you feel nothing, though you see nothing, even though it seems impossible to you. It is in dryness and barrenness, in sickness and feebleness that your prayer is most pleasing to me, even though you think that it has little savour for you.” – Jesus to Bl. Julian of Norwich

“It is better to say one Pater Noster (‘Our Father’) fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction.” – St. Edmund

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