Te Rama Aroha The Light of Love Cross Themes –

Īnoi Prayer

Īnoi Prayer is part of every aspect of living a Christian life. It is a critical area of personal and communal spirituality and is both a challenge and an adventure(1). In prayer we listen to God, encounter God, discern God’s will and give voice to our heart’s desires. We enter into relationship with God. There are many forms and styles through which the heart and mind may be opened to God. The practice and habit of Īnoi Prayer can be learned and embedded, and is modelled in Jesus, the lives of saints and whānau, at home and at school, and throughout all Church liturgies and Sacraments. God is always seeking to enter into dialogue with us, Īnoi Prayer is our response through entering into dialogue with God. We begin prayer by saying, Kia īnoi tātou, let us pray. Prayer unifies us, speaks within us and we recognise ourselves in it.

(1). Francis. (2019). Christus Vivit. #155

Young people will learn about the history, styles, tradition, examples and purpose of Īnoi Prayer. They will have opportunities to create and practise different ways of praying which have meaning for their lives and support their hīkoi wairua spiritual journey. 

• Luke 11:1 — He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

• Mark 14:32, 35-36 — They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” … And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible…”

• Matthew 6:5 — And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward.

• Matthew 21:22 — Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive.

• Luke 6:12 — Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.

• Luke 11:9-10 — So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

• Acts 2:42 — They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

• Romans 1:8 — First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.

• Romans 12:12 — Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

• Philippians 4:6 — Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

• Prayer is turning the heart toward God. When a person prays, they enter into a living relationship with God. (YouCat #469)

• Prayer is the great gate leading into faith. Someone who prays no longer lives on their own, for themselves, and by their own strength. They know there is a God to whom they can talk. People who pray entrust themselves more and more to God. Even now they seek union with the one whom they will encounter one day face to face. Therefore, the effort to pray daily is part of Christian life. Of course, one cannot learn to pray in the same way one learns a technique. As strange as it sounds, prayer is a gift one obtains through prayer. (Based on YouCat #469)

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy”. (St. Thérèse Of Lisieux) 

• Faith grows when we listen more and more carefully to God’s Word and enter a lively exchange with God in prayer. (Based on YouCat #21)

“If the only prayer you said in your life was ‘I thank you’, that would be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)

• Music in a worship service should make prayer more beautiful and more fervent, move more deeply the hearts of all in attendance and bring them closer to God, and prepare for God a feast of melody. (Based on YouCat #183)

• A Christian house of prayer is a sign of the ecclesial communion of people at a specific place and also a symbol of the heavenly dwellings that God has prepared for us all. In God’s house we gather together to pray in common or alone and to celebrate the Sacraments especially the Eucharist. (Based on YouCat #190)

• Jesus’ life was one single prayer. At decisive moments (his temptation in the desert, his selection of the apostles, his death on the Cross) his prayer was especially intense. Often, he withdrew into solitude to pray, especially at night. Being one with the Father in the Holy Spirit — that was the guiding principle of his earthly life. (Based on YouCat #475)

It is important to reflect on the experience and examples of Īnoi Prayer in your own context. In terms of your own school and wider community within Aotearoa
New Zealand:

• What are some past examples of prayer?

• What are some examples of the absence of prayer?

• Where do you see prayer today at your place, and elsewhere in this country?

While teaching and learning within Content Areas is based on specific Cross Theme Achievement Objectives, the following provides foci for supporting awareness of where Touchstones connect to the Cross Themes in a whole-school Catholic character context.

Young people will learn about the history, styles, tradition, examples and purpose of Īnoi Prayer. They will have opportunities to create and practise different ways of praying which have meaning for their lives.