Tips for Praying

Tips for Praying

Hi, my name’s Father Mike Schmitz and
this is Ascension Presents. So people will ask me often, they’ll say things like, “Father, I really want to pray, but I just … do you have any tips on how to do it?” and I say, one: that’s fantastic. You should pray. Number two: absolutely, I do. In fact, I’ve got four tips on how to pray. First thing, I want to say this though, is that you probably know this, like, if you want to pray, if you’re a
Christian, if you’re any kind of believer, you realize that prayer is not an option. Prayer is absolutely necessary, that you can’t be, we can’t be the people that we’re called to be, unless we have like a profound prayer life. We can’t be the saints that we’re made to be unless we have a profound prayer life. And what having a profound prayer life means is putting in the time. Virtually nothing other than that.
It means putting in the time. You already know that. Probably what you’re struggling with is where do I find the time? That’s why the number one question,
all one word, the number one question is: When?
When are you gonna pray? Now here’s the thing: I made a video a little while ago came—what was on the thing, on this page, um, that was When’s Your Bedtime, right? And I had people contact me and say, “Well Father, that’s nice and everything, but like, I’m just a night person. I’m a night person.” Like OK, that’s fantastic. Tell me more about that. And one of the things that I saw, kind of like it seemed like, reading between the lines was this: it’s easy to be a night person because all it means is
you just don’t decide. Super easy to be a night person. You just don’t decide. You don’t decide when you’re going to get up and you
don’t decide when you’re going to go to bed. So therefore, night person because it’s just easy to kind of drift until you have to collapse and go to sleep. You have to make a decision. Not just the decision about when you get up but also the decision about when you go to bed because if you’re going to change this one thing in your schedule, in your day, in your calendar, you’ve got to change other things. Same thing is true when it comes to when are you’re gonna pray. People say this: “No, I decided. I put in my calendar.
It said, ‘Pray at this time,’ and I just, you know, I slept through it, my alarm or I forgot about it or other things came up, and I just wasn’t able to get there. That’s because it was just another “when” on your calendar, just another “when” on your schedule, and if prayer is just another “when” on our schedule, then all of a sudden, prayer takes on all of the importance of cleaning your toilet; it is not important. It’s just another thing. Here’s what you need to do: When you pick your “when” for prayer, it has to become and I’m saying has to, it has to become the thing you build your day around. So if you’re going to get up early for prayer, that means you build the way you go to sleep or when you go to sleep around when you’re going to get up to pray. It begins … it means that you build when you go to work off of when you go to prayer. You’re “when” has to be the thing, for prayer, has to be the thing that defines your day, that defines your day: when. Number 2: Where? Where are you gonna pray? I have people who will say this all the time, they’ll say, “Father, I’ve been trying to pray these days. I have a great “when”, like, I’ve chosen my “when”, but I keep falling asleep in prayer, like what am I supposed to do?
What am I supposed to do?” And I’ll ask them the question like, “Well, tell me more about this kind of thing. I don’t know everything.” And they’ll say, “Well, OK, so what happens is I’ll brush my teeth, you know, I’ll wash my face, I’ll get in bed and start praying, and all of a sudden, I’m just out like a light.” And [I’ll] say, “Look, OK, so I’m not like a spiritual master here, but I kinda think I’ve narrowed it down. I think I figured out your problem. You’re “where” might have something to do with you falling asleep in prayer because horizontal lectio divina often ends up being horizontal ‘sleepy-o the rest of the night’ -dina because laying down in prayer makes you fall asleep. So your “where” makes a difference or people will say like, “I just can’t focus. I’m so distracted in my prayer.” Like, “OK, tell me more. Where do you pray?” “Well, you know, I try to pray at the kitchen table at breakfast when my kids are all getting ready for school, and I’m trying to get all things organized.” Like, “OK, I think again, your “where” needs some work. So “when” but also “where.” Where are you going to be able to pray, where you’re free from distractions, but also not so free from distractions that you fall asleep. Now some people will say, “Well, I need to pray in a church.” Listen, I love prayer in a church. I think praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament is the best, it’s the tops, as they would say back in the day. But, if you can’t get to the chapel or the church every single day, then find another “where.” When. Where. Third question: What? Or like how? What are you gonna do when you pray? Now what happens, a lot of people get all excited about prayer and they say, “You know, someone told me I need to pray the Rosary, so I’m gonna pray the Rosary.” “Someone said I should pray Liturgy of the Hours, so I’m going to pray Liturgy of the Hours.” “Someone said I need to read Scripture so I’ll read Scripture.” “Someone says I need to read the lives of the saints, so I’m going to read the lives of the saints.” You pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and have all these prayer cards and you pray the prayer cards. “I also need to intercede for a ton of people and so I need to do all of these things and I’ve only got … given myself 15 minutes to pray.” Listen, OK. If you only have 20 minutes to pray or 15 minutes to pray, that out of all of those things, you get to choose one. One “what.” One thing that you do during your prayer, and just say, “OK, this is it.” Now, here’s what I invite you to do when you choose that one “what,” is give yourself a season. What I mean by that is, commit to a season. “OK, so I, I think I’m really called to pray the Rosary more.” OK, great, wonderful, awesome.
That’s a great prayer, but give yourself a season. Not just like today, but
“OK, for the next four weeks, I’m gonna pray the Rosary.” The reason for that is because this: Because after four days or so, you’ll be like, “You know what? I think I’m gonna move on to something else.” Like, “No, no. Don’t jump from thing to thing. Just commit to four weeks or whatever that season is because you’re giving yourself commitment but
you’re also giving yourself freedom.” After four weeks, you can look back and say, “OK, was that helpful for me? Was it beneficial for me? Was it good for me?” Yes?
You want to keep going? If “no”, you want to stop? Change to something else? You’re free to do that so your “what”: pick a season. Pick a thing, one thing, and then pick a season,
to commit to that. Your fourth question is maybe the most important and it’s, Why?
Why? Why are you’re gonna pray? Because so many people, we pray because, “I want an answer from God so God, give me an answer.” And that, what we do is, if we want an
answer from God, that’s why we’re praying, and he doesn’t give us an immediate and obvious answer, then we say, “Well my prayer just stinks, my prayer is a failure.”
False! Prayer’s not meant to just, just give us answers. It’s not meant to just give us consolation and peace. It’s meant to create a relationship, to build a relationship with the true and living God. And if I can’t find 20 minutes every day to build a relationship with the God who’s pursuing me, then something is wrong.
My priorities are out of whack. When are you going to pray? Where are you going to pray? What are you going to do when you pray? And why are you praying? You know, when you just show up, the whole battle
is just showing up and being, being there the whole time, to show up and be there for those 20 minutes or those 30 minutes or that hour. Whatever it is, to be there and to develop that relationship with God makes
all of the difference in the world. I guarantee you this. And if you even just give God 20 minutes a day for the next, I’ll say, one year, say for the next five years, imagine your life in 20 years, if you’ve given God 20 minutes every single day. In 20 years, what will your life look like? Remarkable! I mean, in the next 40 days, what will your life look like? You’re called to be a pray-er, so we have to answer these questions, you got to make a decision: when, where, what, and why. From all of us here at Ascension Presents,
my name’s Father Mike. God bless. Oh *snap* *clap* Bonus round! Bonus round.
Bonus round! So one of my good buddies, his name is Father Ben. Father Ben always says this, he says, “The hardest day to pray is the day after the day you forget to pray.” I’ll say that again because I said it really fast. “The hardest time to pray is the day after
the day that you forget to pray,” because you know, like “I’m rolling, I’m doing this thing and like, oh man, I miss the fifth day of my prayer and so like, it’s all done, I’m disqualified.” No, you’re not! You’re not disqualified. Just get back on, get back on that horse and, and ride, cowboy. Or, get back on the kneeler and pray, Christian. *click* *pow*

100 Replies to “Tips for Praying”

  1. Great. Love to pray and spend time with our Lord. Some people get away from God when going through tough times, I however get closer to Him…Gets me through the bad stuff..thank God..

  2. I'm a carmelite lay person and I struggle with the time for prayer but now since learning from you Fr.mike I don't have to struggle with the time now. Thank you and God bless

  3. But wait a minute father Mike, the Lord said:

    Matthew 6:9-13
    “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray

    9 In this manner, therefore, pray:

    Our Father in heaven,
    Hallowed be Your name.
    10 Your kingdom come.
    Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven.
    11 Give us this day our daily bread.
    12 And forgive us our debts,
    As we forgive our debtors.
    13 And do not lead us into temptation,
    But deliver us from the evil one.
    [a]For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

    I usually pray this prayer, I plead the blood of Jesus, and I give him thanks and praise. Idk if I’m doing it right but I feel great giving the Lord all the honor and glory. The only thing is I have to find the time and actually sit and wait on him. He’s the reason we’re all standing right now:)

  4. see this quick converts from another to CAtholic does not mean thery ar th bst Catholics with spys among thm and evrything lse and EWTN harps thy hAve to convert to Catholic. Troublemaker.

  5. So I started praying again both night and morning. I only know the prayers my mom thought me which was our father and hail mary. I tend to use our father and I pray for forgiveness along with clarity and to guide me to God along with protection for my family. Is this enough or do I need to do other prayers?

  6. Don't waste your time….Somehow, people think they are the center of the universe and God is watching them personally and hearing their prayers specifically. How ridiculous is this logic ? Sadly,there is no logic at all when it comes to religion. How many billions of people are there alive on Earth ? How can this omnipotent and fictitious God in the clouds actually be hearing your prayers when you are talking to yourself…and expecting "him" to answer them ? If praying makes you feel better after,that is fine. However,it has no magical properties whatsoever !

  7. my Son has Cancer last tree years he has bean operated two times Kimmo since then nothing work my Son he doesn't what to died nor we my God . I ask why

  8. Yes, praying the Rosary can focus your mind and Im able to sleep so much better. Im also one of the people that is always praying to God about something. Btw…being a night person is not a choice, there are medical issues that cause someone to sleep easily during the day and be up all night. Im one of those night people, but I do lay down at specific times and play my Rosary app and pray with it. Sometimes I fall asleep, sometimes I read a book, because sleep will not come. Sometimes I just reflect and enjoy the peaceful silence and trust me, most nights at 4am I am crying and praying out to God for sleep.

  9. I am glad because I have really started to build my weeks and days around the moments when I go to attend the Holy Mass. I like the fact I am reorienting my life towards our Lord.

  10. Fr. Mike. Your videos are very helpful but slowly so we can understand more and discern the learnings we can get from your teachings. Thank you and God bless!

  11. I kneel down in front of my Bible in my room and pray there.
    I’m not worshiping the book but it Is Gods written Word and I represents Him.

  12. ROFLOL! You are so helpful and funny. I am in RCIA, new convert. Learning so much, its fun to laugh with you along the way. Keep it up, Father, God be with you.

  13. 🙏🏽Prayer has transformed my relationship with God, my spiritual life has more depth because I put him first. What father Mike said is so true, since I converted to the Catholic faith 10 years ago, prayer has been the center of my life and it truly transformed me to the core! I strongly recommend it🙏🏽

  14. Thank you! This helped me so much! And this also helped me to see that my prayers I have prayed before were answered and are still being answered ❤

  15. Father, I would like to request you to please talk more slowly. I am playing your videos at 0.75x and it is still a bit fast 😅😅😅

  16. At night, After the bible, I say my prayers but I also just talk to God. Sometimes I am just still. And just "be".

  17. Catholics say Marry Is( Morther of God ) Higher then Jesus ! Marry is not Virgen ! Jesus has Brothers ! She was Virgen with Jesus ! After that she had more Children! Yes Marry is Morther of Jesus , but not god ! Do not knee down to her or any Images ! There are man made ! Open your Heart ! Let Not the Corrupt you even More ! Look How the Catholic are hideing Adultery and What did God Said about Adultery ! Those who commits adultery won't hinder in to The Kingdom of Heavens !

  18. I agree that prayer is central to walking with God and prayer enables our service to Jesus. I like to pray for half an hour talking to God, confessing my sins and asking for his attributes to be mine. Then I pray following a Ki breathing techniques where I put my prayers into a physical form and practice a Ki breathing technique. I have also enjoyed exercising to the book of Psalms and Proverbs. Calisthenics, push-ups, etc. That is another way to to focus your thoughts on what God has said a long while ago.

  19. Fr Mike, is it OK to pray in the car on my way home from work? Sure the driving can be momentarily distracting at times, but most of the time it doesn't demand more than minimal attention. So is that legitimate prayer?

  20. My husband became Catholic 2 years ago this Easter. We started praying the rosary together every night (usually) before bed since a few weeks before his entrance into the Church. We use a booklet called praying the rosary without distraction and love it. We also belong to the rosary confraternity. I'm not trying to boast, truly. It took me 49 years to begin praying daily, not just at meals and I'm so glad we do it together. It's our thing. And our cat comes running from wherever she is in the house when she hears us praying and jumps on our bed to sit between us. When we have company over and it's about the time we normally pray, she starts meowing loudly, climbs on us and pesters us till we stop and pray the rosary. Strange but true.

  21. Prayer takes commitment and faith. The flesh never wants us to pray but we have to fight the flesh with the spirit.

  22. But we can also pray random things right? Not only fix into 1 thing for a season? Cos i din pray using fix thing.. like rosary.. etc? I base on my own life exp sharing with God. So do it mean i may not build up relationship with God?

  23. Hello Fr Schmitz, I have a question if you can, please answer me…
    A family member, that prays a lot, suddenly is having difficulty in praying, heart prayer. the person says that it is very hard

  24. One day this women randomly comes up to me while at work and asks my name and she says “god loves you”, “god bless you”. Then she begins to pray for me right there on the spot and shes holding my hand while doing this….then proceeds to say the angel told me you’ll be the best at whatever it is you do in life.. i was speechless can someone tell me what happened ??? I felt loved after like i felt rejuvenated in a sense

  25. My name is Stephen Samuels, I am the President of the Legion of Mary (LOM) ministry at St. Pius X, Catholic Church, Conyers, Georgia. I want to thank you, Father Mike, for all our "Holy Spirit inspired" Christian beliefs.
    While preparing for my (LOM) meetings I scroll through your videos to pick a topic for our "Allocutio" segment of meetings. My fellow members seem to enjoy/love your weekly allocutio spiritual topic. Thank you for your "God Given insights on our Catholic". You are saving souls for Our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ!

  26. I don't know if this a problem, but whenever I pray and as soon as I feel a connection, I go to sleep. One time I dozed off 6 or 7 times (no I wasn't lying down nor sleepy) in a row. The last time it happen I was at work and was feeling agitated, so I prayed and woke up 5 minutes later from nearly falling over on my face.

    Is this a problem? Should I be worried?

  27. I’m not Christian. I’m spiritual, not religious. But I needed some encouragement to pray today. Thank you.

  28. Adoration of the blessed sacrament is the most sacred
    Hour of your life. Deep prayer in meditation with Christ is extremely powerful. He has answered many of my deepest prayers.

  29. Wow! Thank you so much for these tips! I loved the one committing to a season, because sometimes i feel like i want to do everything but then i feel rushed. So that's a great idea! Thank you father! God bless!
    P.S. In the Prayer and Life Workshops we give, we call the time spent in prayer "Sacred Half Hour " because we reccomend 30 minutes of prayer everyday. If anyone is interested in how to start a prayer life go to to learn more about this program.

  30. Get back on that horse cowboy! Get back on that kneeler Christian😂 great video Father Mike Schmitz!

  31. When it’s time to pray and I don’t know what to pray I like to ask God what I need to pray and then like a magic I’m just filled with joy and praise. My busy schedule didn’t allow much time for prayer. So now I make sure my prayer doesn’t allow much time for my busy schedule. Some times I even just have good ol chit chat. Some times you just have to neal and the words will come to you.

  32. In the evening:
    The Litany of The Sacred Heart – 3 times.
    Act of Contrition – 1-3 times.

    During the day – Hail Mary, Lord's Prayer
    and Lord have Mercy, multiple times.

  33. Dear father aren’t we supposed to pray the rosary daily ? You make such amazing videos .. I’m lovin it

  34. Wow, that is way different than what I was taught.
    You made good points. I need to stop praying in bed.
    This is the way I was taught. It is not a hard fast rule.
    A dore
    C onfess
    T hank
    S upplicate
    I really enjoy your messages. I watch them often.

  35. I can go weeks without praying and yet I did not miss one day of the 20 decades I promised to say during Lent. I did it. Loved it. Yet here I am again. Work life balance in a tailspin, struggling to find time to even catch my breath. Am deciding to pray for time to pray. Everything is better and sweeter when I do it regularly. Life still hard but completely different perspective. God mercy pls n help. Mother Mary help pls

  36. Thank you so much father mike for everything that you do! You are such a kind, loving, and faithful person, and you videos are really helping me to be a better catholic. 😁I admit I havn’t prayed as much as I would have liked to lately, and I haven’t been the nicest person lately, but I want to change that, and become a better person, as well as become closer to God.😊 thank you so much for being such a kind person. I look up to you, and I hope to be as kind and loving as you.

  37. Dear Fr. Mike, I just want others(especially the over 60 crowd) to know that slowing down your video from normal to 0.75 makes a big difference in my understanding of what you are saying. Thank you for all the wonderful videos.

  38. I am born from a Catholic family and conveated to a Muslim later reconverted back to Christianity never to step back again in the milghty name of Jesus Christ I remain a Christian as I was born…. Thank you so muchBrother for leading me through this prayer it's so milghty

  39. What does the Bible say about praying ?

    Jesus said:
    ““And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
    ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:5-15‬ ‭NIV‬‬


    The Bible says: (day and night)
    “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
    ‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  40. I’ve had a very strong prayer life since I can remember, even as a young girl, I’ve always felt such a strong connection to God. With that being said, my question I would ask Fr Mike is, “All my life I’ve prayed contently and with all my faith. The past 20 years of my life have been consistently challenging, strengthening my prayer life. But here’s the thing, I never hear from Him or feel His presence anymore. I know we all go through seasons, and I am not expecting immediate answers. This is not something that I feel irritated bc He hasn’t answered my prayer from last night or something. I literally have been through turmoil for 20 years in relationships, money, living conditions, people treating me badly, financial, etc. I pray fervently and…..nothing. I feel nothing and get nothing back. In fact, OTHER people who don’t even pray at all are receiving the exact things I pray for…right in front of me!!!! For 20 years!!!!???” Why!!??!?! This isn’t normal in my opinion. I live my best, love God, give from my heart, pray constantly, devote my love to God, work overtime at my work with no pay as to not inconvenience the next shift, treat everyone with dignity and respect, not getting it back in return, try to improve my life and people pull the rug out from under me every single time I get up. WHY??!?!? I never get answers. I just get, “o sorry, I’ll pray for you”. And even that doesn’t help. Am I cursed?! “

  41. Hey Father Mike, I usually pray on my drive to work or school, but should I choose a different time? I feel like it's a good time for me to be with god, because I can concentrate on prayer with out having to many distractions, but you mentioned in your video that the day should be built off the time you set to pray, and I don't think it meets that, because it's more centered around when I drive. If you could give me your thoughts on this I'd appreciate it.

  42. So when praying we shouldn’t pray for family and friends? We should find a prayer from the Bible? And secondly, I usually pray when I’m in the shower is that a bad thing?

  43. My way of praying is just simply talk to him just like as he is sitting beside me. I tell him eveeything about my hurtaches ,failures, at same time im thankful of all things happened and not happened tome.

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