3 Ways to Grow in Faith
3 Ways to Grow in Faith: Prayer, Sacraments, and Study
Do you ever think, “I want to grow in my faith, but I don’t know how!” That is okay. 3 Ways to Grow in Faith is here to help you! Three ways we can grow in faith are by prayer, the Sacraments, and study. We can dive deeper into one or all three of these to grow in our faith.
Prayer is the lifting of our minds and hearts to God. It is communication with God. The Sacraments were instituted by Christ for our benefit. When we receive a Sacrament, we receive more of God’s grace into our souls. When we study the Bible we learn more about God and Christ’s great love for us. When we read biographies of saints and writings by saints we learn more about how we can live our faith each day.
Prayer is the lifting of our minds and hearts to God. In the Gospels, Jesus tells us to pray. He tells us to have faith when we pray. He even told us how to pray when He gave us the words of the Our Father.
How can you grow in your prayer life? Make time for prayer, learn more about prayer, and practice.
Make time for prayer.
Making time for prayer does not have to be difficult. Before you get out of bed each day you can offer your day to God in your own words or in a Morning Offering. Ask Him to help you in all you do today; offer all you will do and say that day as an offering to Him. When you do this, your whole day becomes a prayer to God.
Think of other times during your day when you can pray. Here are some ideas: Pray before each meal. Pray when you are washing dishes, doing laundry, driving, or taking a walk. Set an alarm to go off during the day and spend a few minutes praying. Pray together as a family before your kids go to bed.
You will find more ideas here: How to Make Time to Pray: 3 Simple Ideas How to Make Time to Pray
Learn more about prayer.
There are many wonderful books about prayer that you can read to learn more about what prayer is and different types of prayer. The Bible is a great resource about prayer, too. Jesus has a lot to say about prayer in the Gospels.
If you are looking for specific recommendations, you can find them here: Good Catholic Books to Read: Improve Your Prayer Life
Here are five different types of prayer that you can use:
Praise: Praise God for Who He is.
Thanksgiving: Be thankful to God.
Intercession: Pray for the needs of others.
Petition: Pray for your own needs.
Adoration: Adore God; give Him glory.
Each type of prayer focuses on something different. As you pray each day, alternate between these different types of prayer to help you to grow in your prayer life.
We learn by doing. Pray every day. Listen to God as He stirs your heart and follow what He tells you. He will help you to grow in faith and in your prayer life.
Do’t worry about having the perfect time or the perfect anything. Just pray. God communicates with us and He wants us to communicate with Him, so just pray.
The seven Sacraments were instituted by Christ for the purpose of drawing us closer to Him and giving us more grace for our souls. The seven Sacraments are Baptism, Confession, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Anointing of the Sick.
How can you grow in your faith with the Sacraments? Receive Holy Eucharist and Confession and more often. Receive Confirmation if you have not already done so. Learn more about all of the Sacraments-what they mean and how they are important in our lives of faith.
Receive the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist more often.
As Catholics, the Third Commandment-Keep holy the Lord’s day-instructs us to go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday vigil) and on Holydays of obligation (like Christmas). This is very important because we receive Jesus Christ our Savior’s body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Holy Eucharist when we go to Mass. We receive Him into ourselves. We can ask Him to allow His grace to transform us so we can be more like Him.
We can receive Jesus more than once a week. Most churches offer Mass every day of the week. Find out your parish’s weekday Mass schedule. If the weekday Mass time does not work for your schedule, call nearby parishes and see what time they have daily Mass. See if you can attend one more Mass each week in addition to Sunday.
Here is a resource if you want to learn more about the Mass: Good Catholic Books to Read About the Mass
Receive the Sacrament of Confession (aka Reconciliation or Penance) more often.
In the Sacrament of Confession, God forgives us of our sins. Going to Confession once a month or every other month not only gives us more graces to help us to avoid sin, but helps us to notice sin more in our lives so we can work to root it out. Confession is a way we can encounter Jesus’ healing and grace.
You can read more about the Sacrament here: In the Sacrament of Confession, God Shows His Love for Us
When we have a good friend we want to spend more time with him or her. When it comes to our faith, study means getting to know God better. It also means getting to know ourselves better and getting to know how we can be closer to God in our lives.
How can you know God and yourself better? Read the Bible, the lives of the saints, and books about our faith. You don’t need to set aside hours each day to read. You can read one Bible chapter a day set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and read for that length of time. How often you read is more important than how long you read.
Read the Bible.
Two simple ways to read the Bible are: read one chapter each day or read the Mass readings of the day. You can also set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and read.
When we read the Bible, we learn more about God, who He is, and what He wants for us. We learn about the history of God’s people and the promises God made to us. We learn about Jesus Christ, our Savior, His great love for us, and His instructions on how we can best live out our faith.
If you are looking for more resources on how to set up a Bible reading plan, you can find more ideas here: Create A Simple Catholic Bible Reading Plan and A Bible Reading Plan for Beginners- 3 Different Ways You Can Read the Bible in Just 15 Minutes a Day
Read about the lives of the saints.
There are many biographies about the lives of many saints. When we read them, we can see that many of them were not perfect. Yet, they each made a decision: to love and serve God in some way. Some did this in a big way and others did this in a little way, but they all wanted to follow God and His will for them in their lives. They loved God above all else. We can learn from the saints how to love God even more.
Some saints wrote their autobiographies. We can learn from thier own words what their lives were like. Many also wrote books about how to be closer to God. These books are amazing resources for us to learn more about growing in faith.
You can find some saint book ideas here: Good Catholic Books to Read: Reading about the Saints
Read books about our faith.
There are many books we can read about our faith. We can read books that give information about the Catholic faith and books that help us to live better lives. We can read books that inspire us. We can read books written by saints and we can read books from people who are living now who are working to grow in faith. We are blessed to have so many resources at our fingertips!
For some books about our Catholic faith, see Good Catholic Books to Read: Grow in Knowledge of Your Faith
For some spiritual reading recommendations, see Catholic Spiritual Reading Recommendations
Make a plan.
Now that you know three different ways you can grow in faith, it is time to make a plan. Which of the three calls to you? Pick one and then decide when you will do it (what time of day or how many times a week) and what you will do.
For example, When will you pray and what will you pray? When will you go to Mass one extra time in the next week or go to Confession? What Bible chapter will yo uread or what spiritual book will you read?
Desiring to grow in faith is great. Doing the work to actually grow in faith is even better! Remember that you don’t need hours a day to grow in your faith. Making time to do one of these three things for 5-15 minutes a day is a great start! You can do it. Ask God to help you. He will.