Throughout the history of the Church – indeed, from long before then – the Saints have consistently spoken of the need for prayer and the power of prayer. A number of the Saints founded religious orders and congregations, each with their own particular charism and usually with their own particular forms of prayer which they propagate and promote. Not only are the particular prayers different on many occasions, but often the type of prayer is different; some favour contemplative prayers, others favour intercessory or reparative prayer, while still others favour vocal prayer.
In the same way that the Saints, our brothers and sisters in Heaven, favoured particular types and forms of prayers – so will we. Each will be drawn towards a ‘kind’ of prayer or a form of prayer or even particular prayers. The Holy Spirit moves each of us in His own way.
What is perhaps more important is simply that we do actually pray. Knowledge of prayer in it’s myriad form is admirable – but far better to pray one Hail Mary well.
In this busy world, perhaps the pressing practical issue is making time for prayer – after all, there is so much to do and only 24 hours in a day, and before we know it, our lives are crammed with all sorts and it can be a juggling act to fit everything in. And at those times, prayer should be top of the list of essentials for every single day. Prayer is fuel for the soul. We do not forget to feed the body simply because we are busy – we make time. Nor should we neglect the fuel of the soul. Prayer is, of course, that and much, much more; it is the bridge between Heaven and earth, our personal contact to the Almighty God, Who made us to know Him and to love Him; prayer is a direct response to that duty and that invitation extended by the Lord.
I read recently that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, prays the entire Rosary every single day. Astonishing, considering how very busy his daily life must be. Astonishing, perhaps – but also exactly what you would hope for and expect.
And if the Holy Father can make time for prayer every day, perhaps it is not so difficult for us after all.