Characteristics of Efficacious Prayer


Recollection, Humility, Confidence, Perseverance, and Resignation.

The Catechism of Pope St. Pius X.
Published by Instauratio Press:

14. Q. What is the first and best disposition to render our prayers efficacious?
A. The first and best disposition to render our prayers efficacious is to be in the state of grace; or if we are not in that state,
to desire to put ourselves in it.
15. Q. What other dispositions are required in order to pray well?
A. To pray well we specially require recollection, humility, confidence, perseverance and resignation.
16. Q. What is meant by praying with recollection?
A. It means remembering that we are speaking to God; and hence we should pray with all respect and devotion, as far as possible avoiding distractions, that is, every thought foreign to our prayers.
17. Q. Do distractions lessen the merit of prayer?
A. Yes, when we ourselves bring them about, or when we do not promptly drive them away; but if we do all we can to be recollected in God, then our distractions do not lessen the merit of our prayer, and may even increase it.
18. Q. What is required to pray with recollection?
A. Before prayer we should banish all occasions of distraction, and during prayer we should reflect that we are in the presence of God who sees and hears us.
19. Q. What is meant by praying with humility?
A. It means sincerely acknowledging our own unworthiness, powerlessness and misery, and as well as this observing a respectful posture.
20. Q. What is meant by praying with confidence?
A. It means that we should have a firm hope of being heard, if it is to God's glory and our own true welfare.
21. Q. What is meant by praying with perseverance?
A. It means that we should not grow tired of praying, if God does not at once hear us, but that we should ever continue to pray with increased fervour.
22. Q. What is meant by praying with resignation?
A. It means that we should conform our will to the will of God, and even when our prayers are not heard, because He knows better than we do what is necessary for our salvation.
23. Q. Does God always hear prayers when well said?
A. Yes, God always hears prayers when well said; but in the way He knows to be most conducive to our eternal salvation dnd not always in the way we wish.
24. Q. What effects does prayer produce in us?
A. Prayer makes us recognize our dependence on God, the Supreme Lord, in all things: it makes us think on heavenly things; it makes us advance in virtue; it obtains for us God's mercy; it strengthens us against temptation; it comforts us in tribulation; it aids us in our need; and it obtains for us the grace of final perseverance.
25 Q. When should we especially pray?
A. We should especially pray when in danger, in temptation and at the our of death; moreover, we should pray often, and it is advisable we should do so morning and night, and when beginning the more important actions of the day.
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