1) Confess sins frequently and receive the Eucharist

Unrepentant mortal sin cuts a man off from God’s grace (CCC 1861) and venial sin can impede a man’s ability to turn to God (CCC 1863). To draw closer to God, a man must first “seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Mt 6:33). Like the Prodigal Son repents and is reconciled with his father (Lk 15:11-32), so too must a man receive God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance (CCC 1468) so he can be reunited with God (CCC 2741). Receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist draws a man into closer union with Christ (CCC 1391) and renews his life of Grace (CCC 1392), helping him grow in his prayer life.

2) Pray for faith to grow in prayer

When a man doubts, he lacks faith and his prayers become empty (CCC 2732) and prayer becomes simply talking to himself (CCC 2726). A man’s heart must be truly converted in Christ so he can pray with trust and boldness (CCC 2739, 2778) and fruitfulness because Christ abides in him (Jn 15:5, Jas 4:8). A strong and growing faith is necessary for prayers to be answered (Mk 11:24). Every Catholic man can grow in faith and it is wise to frequently ask God to help with unbelief (Mk 9:23-25, Jas 1:6).

3) Seek God’s Will

Man often asks for things which oppose God’s will for him in the world (CCC 2737; Rom 8:26, Jas 4:3).  God in His Divine Dominion and Providence (CCC 302-314) knows what every man truly needs at every moment to fulfill His Will (Mt 6:25-33). As Jesus prays during the Agony in the Garden for the Almighty Father’s will to be done (Lk 22:42), for a man to be effective in prayer, he must give up his own selfish will (Jn 12:24-26) and pray for and accept God’s will in all things (CCC 2738, 2740; Jn 5:14).

4) Enter into a real conversation with God

Men can struggle in prayer when they become distracted (CCC 2729) or engage in prayer as simply ritual words and postures (CCC 2726).  True Christian prayer is “speaking with God” (CCC 2769) through which a man who has a deep desire to actually speak with God (CCC 2700) can “hear God speaking” (CCC 1777) when he practices vocal prayer (CCC 2701-2704). Each Person of the Trinity is a Divine Person with who a man can have a real conversation; as with any conversation, a man needs to not only speak but listen (1 Sam 3:10), and it is in listening that a man comes to actually hear God’s voice and know His Will.

5) Always give God thanks especially when suffering

Many men are severely tested by suffering, believing that God is absent (CCC 272) and is not listening to their prayers. Jesus, through His own infinite suffering reveals that suffering is both a requirement for disciples (Mt 16:24-25) but also redemptive (CCC 618). Christ’s supreme suffering in the pouring of His blood on the Cross is an act of thanksgiving found in the Eucharist (meaning, “thanksgiving”; CCC 1360). In suffering, in union with Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross, a man who prays with thanks to God (Phil 4:6, 1 Thes 5:18) can be assured that God is listening (2 Cor 12:9) and will answer his prayers (1 Pet 5:6-7).

6) Build a daily discipline of prayer

Aside from a lack of faith (CCC 2732), a man fails to pray because he thinks he is too busy (CCC 2726), views prayer as “a last resort” (CCC 2732), or because he is undisciplined, lazy or discouraged (CCC 2733). In contrast, Jesus demonstrates the importance of frequent daily prayer (Mt 14:23; Mk 1:35; Lk 5:16; 6:12, Jn 6:15) and the Saints teach that a man should “pray constantly” with a fervent love (CCC 2742, 2745). Prayer is a vital necessity (CCC 2744) and “it is always possible to pray” (CCC 2743). Every Catholic man is called to build a daily discipline of prayer.

7) Persevere in the battle of prayer

To overcome obstacles to prayer, a man must build the Virtue of Fortitude so he can humbly trust in God and persevere in prayer (CCC 2728). A man cannot know what is truly best for him or his loved ones (Eph 3:20) or how God, in His infinite wisdom and timing, will perfectly answer a man’s prayer. A man must patiently endure suffering, persevere in constant prayer (Rom 12:12) with the confident faith in God’s perfect will is being done. It is in the perseverance in a man’s trial that he grows in holiness (Jas 1:3-4).