Every Catholic man must strive and succeed in building a rich prayer life to imitate Jesus Christ so he can grow in holiness and receive the true and lasting happiness Jesus promises. A man can struggle to build and sustain a vibrant prayer life due to a lack of knowledge or will and can become overwhelmed by the vastness of the great treasury of Catholic prayer.

Jesus emphasizes the necessity of prayer

Jesus Christ, Savior of Man, lived a life of continual prayer in communion with His Almighty Father and frequently demonstrated the necessity of prayer so that men could learn and follow His example. Jesus had a regular discipline of prayer (Lk 5:16) that included daily morning and evening prayer (Mt 14:23, Mk 1:35, Lk 6:12, Jn 6:15) and He revealed the importance building a prayer life (Mt 5:44-45, 6:5-15, 7:7-11, 18:19-20, 21:21-22, Mk 11:23-26, Lk 10:2, 18:1-14, 21:36, 22:40, Jn 4:23-24, 14:12-14, 15:7) and that a man should pray with persistence, watchfulness, humility, and to accept the Almighty Father’s will in all things.

Jesus also drew near His Father in prayer to receive guidance and strength during times of great decision or action, especially as He endured the Passion: at His Baptism (Mt 3:16), the Temptation (Mt 4:1-11), the selection of the Apostles (Lk 6:12), before, during, and after healing (Mk 7:24-25, Mk 7:31-17, Lk 5:16), at St. Peter’s confession (Lk 9:18), before the Feeding of the 5000 (Jn 6:11), before walking on water (Mt 14:23), at the raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:41-42), at the Transfiguration (Lk 9:29), during His ‘Hour of Prayer’ (Jn 17), for Peter’s faith (Lk 22:32) and before and during His Passion (Mt 27:46, Mk 14:35-36, Lk 23:34, 46). 

Men can struggle in prayer

Building a life of prayer is a struggle a man must overcome for the quality of his prayer life is directly related to his success in the spiritual battle (CCC 2725) and is essential to grow in holiness and happiness. A man may have fallen into doubt (CCC 2732) or acedia/sloth (CCC 2733), he may not know how to pray effectively (CCC 2726), he may become discouraged due to distraction (CCC 2729), he may be tempted to substitute erroneous atheistic meditation or non-Christian prayer for true Catholic prayer (CCC 2726), or he may experience dryness in prayer (CCC 2731).

A Catholic man can also become overwhelmed as he tries to navigate the thousands of different prayers and devotions that make up the rich treasury of Catholic prayer. There are thousands of written Catholic prayers and hundreds of types of devotions including: prayers for different times of day, different days of the week, different months, different seasons (Advent, Lent), prayers before and after receiving the Sacraments, novenas, litanies, offices, the Liturgy of the Hours, monthly intentions of the pope, special times of prayer for those suffering in Purgatory, indulged prayers, prayers of praise, adoration, thanksgiving, and petition, prayers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, specific Saints or Angels, etc.