At-Home Lesson#1

How to Pray: The Gift of God's Presence

Topic 1: Noise and Silence [1]

Read the YOUCAT Foreword [2] from Pope Benedict XVI (p.7~p.11)


Have you ever been in the country far from the noise of the city, away from cell phones, CDs, DVDs, TVs, and all the other clatter? If you ever have been in a place where there is deep silence—no hums, chirps, or human racket—you may have experienced that silence like a presence. Of course, we don’t have to run off to a desert every time we want to pray or experience the presence of God. But, as in every other relationship, we need to be attentive and listening, ready to hear and to respond. That can be hard to do if we’re always immersed in a world of noise. Jesus frequently went off into a deserted place or to a high mountain to commune with his Father. The heart of the Christian life is to follow Jesus’ example—a life lived in the presence of God. All who seek God in prayer find him. If you want to follow Christ, you must never be afraid to escape the noise and seek God in the silence of prayer.


Read the content under YOUCAT# 469, 470, 474, 475, 476, 477, and 478 (numbers in yellow circle) from YOUCAT p.258~p.263. [2]

What Does YOUCAT Say?
  1. How would you define prayer (YOUCAT#469)?
  2. What prompts us to pray? Why are we moved to do so (YOUCAT#470)?
  3. How did Jesus pray, and how can we learn to pray from him (YOUCAT#475 ~ YOUCAT#478)?
Answer the above questions [Click Here]

What Does the Bible Say?
  1. Read Luke 11:1-4 and Matthew 6:7-15. How does Jesus teach us to pray?
  2. Read Psalm 4. How do we know God hears our prayer? How can we learn to hear him and trust him?
  3. Read Acts 17:24-28. Why is it reasonable and virtuous to ask God for what we need?
Answer the above questions [Click Here]

YOU Chat
  1. What has silence to do with prayer?
  2. St. Augustine says, “Do what you can, and pray for what you cannot, and so God will grant you the ability to do it.” What do you think he meant?
  3. What does it mean to say that “prayer is a gift one obtains through prayer”?

    Answer the above questions [Click Here]
YOU Reflect

How often do you pray? Every day? Jesus said to his followers that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). What do you think the Lord means? By his example and teaching, Jesus left no doubt of the absolute importance of prayer. Yet, without his help and the help of the Holy Spirit, often we don’t even know how to begin. This is why the first disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1).
  1. Do you ever feel like you want to pray, but you don’t know what to say? Why or why not?
  2. Are you comfortable or uncomfortable praying in your own words rather than a “set prayer”? Why?
  3. How can a “set prayer” be helpful to our praying?
  4. How often do you pray without asking for something? Do you ever simply thank God or acknowledge his goodness?
Answer the above reflection questions [Click Here]

YOU Challenge

Every morning ask God to teach you to pray this day, to increase your desire to pray, and to give you the gift of prayer.
Sit down in a quiet place for ten minutes each day with the New Testament or Brother Lawrence’s Practice of the Presence of God or YOUCAT, and place yourself in God’s presence, then listen to what he says from the book or in your heart.
After praying, write a one-sentence resolution based on what you heard: “Today I will_____.”
Write the above one-sentence resolution [Click Here]
When you can, throughout your day, remember God. Momentarily lift your heart to him in love.