The act of daily prayer is considered a proactive method of insuring a happy life in the Catholic religion. There is a belief that things begin to go wrong in our lives when we cease praying to God regularly. Catholic prayer consists of five important components. A well-rounded prayer includes adoration, supplication, thanksgiving, intercession and confession. Catholics believe that daily prayer forges a strong relationship with God, and develops each individual's sense of spirituality.
"Oh, come let us adore him!" states a popular Christian holiday hymn, and in the Catholic faith, the adoration of God is a component of prayer that expresses the worshipper's deep and abiding love for God. Catholics believe that expressions of adoration assure God that prayer is heartfelt. The act of adoration is born of a Catholic's belief in God's divinity, infinite wisdom and perfection. By coming to God in adoration when beginning prayer, a Catholic declares a complete trust in the Divine. A person expressing his love for God often shows this by praying with arms outstretched, leaving the core of the body open and vulnerable. Another expression of adoration involve acts of material or physical sacrifice.
The ritual of the novena, in which the person praying asks the same favor of God over a period of nine days, is one example of supplication in the Catholic religion. In the English language, supplication is the expression of a humble request, but to a Catholic supplication, also known as petitioning, is another form of trust in which the supplicant humbles himself before God and asks that he provide favors that only he can give. To show humility, the worshipper may bow down, kneel or lie prone on the ground while making an appeal to God. Prayers of supplication are one of the most common types of divine petition in the Catholic faith.
Prayers of thanksgiving are an expression of gratitude to God for prayers that are answered and all that he has given. Many Catholics believe that this is the least common type of prayer, but, perhaps, one of the most important. Catholics believe that, even though man is imperfect, he is still loved and blessed by God, therefore expressing thanks for God's mercy and goodness is a way to show humility and love.
There are two types of intercessory prayer: those by which a person requests the saints, angels or Jesus to pray on his behalf; and those said by the worshipper on behalf of another person, situation or group. Catholics believe that divine beings intercede for us by praying along with us, and by praying for us. As a good Catholic, it is also important to pray for others. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops posts intercessory prayers for life asking God for assistance for the nation, illness, poverty and other issues of importance to the Catholic population as a whole.
Rounding out the act of prayer, confession is another expression of humility before God. Confession requires Catholics to honestly acknowledge their sins and to come before God cleansed of wrongdoing. In prayers of confession, Catholics also ask God for forgiveness and request the strength to resist temptation. To demonstrate sorrow for their sins, Catholics may perform acts of contrition or penance, and resolve to improve themselves spiritually. At the end of the confession prayer, Catholics offer thanks to God for his forgiveness.
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