THE BLOG

Why I Pray

06/27/2014 03:41 pm ET | Updated Aug 27, 2014

"Pray. Period! Don't expect anything. Or better, expect nothing. Prayer cleanses us of expectations and allows holy will, providence, and life itself an entry. What could be more worth the effort -- or the non-effort?" - Thomas Moore

I find this quote by far the most powerful saving Grace of the infallible devotion of all traditional prayers. Have you given thought about what your saving prayers are? I am reminded of this even more these days. My wise 90-year-old aunt just recently passed away, and many years before she died, she left me with powerful and sacred words of wisdom to live by. She told me that anytime in her life when she was afraid of anything, she simply recited the Lord's Prayer 10 times over and found that she was set free from fear. She was a joyful, loving, spirited widow whose peace and grace shown through every adversity. Oddly, I once read somewhere that repeating a prayer is nothing more than parroting words. However, I have come to understand and feel a certainty of the cleansing of my soul through repeated prayer, just as my beloved aunt did.

Today, there are many profound spiritual leaders who provide daily words of wisdom and famous authors who refresh our minds with saving grace as those who were brought through greater perils than our own. And this is all for the greater good, and yet we sometimes forget that some of us have traditional prayers etched in our hearts from childhood that we've set aside as adults. And yet, when we stop, take a breath and listen; it's sacred, amazing grace that sets us straight. Our Father, who art in heaven! Lord, hear my prayer! Not to mention the power of the Rosary. These gifts hold a true order in the world today just as they did two thousand years ago.

Are your prayers the most powerful words of transformation that continue to free you? Even after many years of study on spirituality, when I feel dispirited, I am grateful to find solace through prayer that miraculously brings me through.

The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23 are among my devotionals and have brought me closer to God's holy will.

What are some of yours? We love to hear them and etch them in our hearts.

An excerpt from Imprinted Wisdom:

Prayers

Every morning and evening, I prayed the Lord's Prayer and the Psalm 23, which were truly food for my soul. I made certain to say every word with clarity and feeling so that they spoke directly to my heart. These blessed prayers have miraculous power to transform us when we are in pain. Praying them even with a sorrowful heart helped me to better hear God.


The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name,

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

On earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever.

Amen.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures;

he leads me beside still waters;

he restores my soul.

He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,

I fear no evil;

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff‒they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life,

and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord

my whole life long.

I also found great comfort in reading The Beatitudes, which speak to me in many ways and have always seemed to address what I feel.

The Beatitudes

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Catherine Nagle grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's works graced locations from churches to public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures and inspirational books, including A Course in Miracles and the works of Marianne Williamson among many others. The mother of two children and a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the author of Imprinted Wisdom.