Sisters of Mary of the Presentation - Maryvale Provincial Center 11550 River Road, Valley City, ND 58072-9620 - Phone 701-845-2864
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How to Pray


Prayer is a way to nourish a special relationship with God. In order to do this I must be open to God's presence in my life and really listen to God. In prayer I bring all that is happening to me to my Friend. I say it like it is! This means I need to become very attentive to all that I see, hear, and feel. It is in this way that my prayer has meaning for me and includes the needs of others.

Sometimes my prayer will have many words. But other times I will sit quietly in the presence of this God who desires me just to be there.

Being in the presence of God moves me to adoration, seek forgiveness, pray for others, and give thanksgiving and praise.

Jesus models prayer for me through scripture passages that spread of his prayer experiences, teaches us the Our Father and through many of his parables and stories.


  1. Meditation is a form of prayer that is primarily interior. It engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. One reads a scripture passage or other inspiring lines and then pauses to "take in" the meaning of these lines for oneself and how they can deepen one's relationship with God.
  2. "Meditative Prayer with the New Testament starts where prayerful reading ends. Its primary activity is reflection, and it flows into a specific personal response to God's word. Its effectiveness and depth presuppose a measure of catechesis on the New Testament as well as on the challenge of life in our modern world."


St. Teresa of Avila says, "Contemplative prayer, in my opinion, is nothing more than a close sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him whom we know loves us." When the people found Jesus on the mountain "absorbed in prayer to the Father," he was contemplating. When Mary "pondered all these things in her heart," she was contemplating.

In contemplation, the person beguines to enjoy God, to be fascinated with God, and to be lost and absorbed in God. One's senses, intellect, will, memory, imagination and fantasy are used very little or even not at all. Contemplative prayer is to gaze in faith on the face of Jesus, an attentiveness to the Word of God and expression of great love and union with God.

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