The Prayer Process

Matthew Kelly

The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic
Hebron, KY: Beacon Publishing, 2012, p. 61-62.


In The Prayer Process we take time a minute, two minutes or maybe ten minutes to spend time with Jesus every day. Pick a specific time when you will pray; for example, first thing in the morning or at night when the kids go to sleep. Find a quiet place where you can exclusively focus on God and begin.

The seven steps of The Prayer Process are as follows:

  1. Gratitude: Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue for whatever you are most grateful for today.
  2. Awareness: Revisit the times of the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the-best-version-of-yourself. Talk to God about these situations and what you learned from them.
  3. Significant Moments: Identify something you experienced today and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event (or person).
  4. Peace: Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person, or Him) and to fill you with a deep and abiding peace.
  5. Freedom: Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the-best-version-of-yourself.
  6. Others: Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.
  7. Finish by praying the Our Father.

Each of the first six steps in the process should stimulate a conversation with God. It is easy to fall into the trap of merely thinking about these things. When you find yourself doing that, return to actually speaking with God about whatever it is you are thinking. The goal is to develop the ability to have intimate conversations with God during this time set aside for prayer. The more deeply rooted we become in this daily habit of prayer, the more those conversations with God will spill over into the moments of our daily lives.

If you are just beginning, you may want to start with just one minute of conversation with God each day, adding a minute each week until you reach ten. If that is the case, don't try to race through all seven aspects of the prayer process. Just use the first step, Gratitude. Spend your minute speaking to God about everyone and everything you are grateful for, and then close with an Our Father. As you expand your time of prayer over the coming weeks, adding minutes, I suggest you add one step at a time of the process to your daily prayer. The key is to get the conversation started.

But whether you start with one minute a day or ten minutes a day, I hope this chapter has left you thinking, "I can do that!" Nothing will change your life more meaningfully than developing a vibrant and sustainable prayer life."