As Catholics, we are called to a life of prayer. But what does that mean in practice? Should we be praying every day? Once a day? Three times a day? And what should our prayers consist of – an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, or should we be talking to God in our own words? I spoke to some leading Catholics to see how they dealt with these issues.

Richard Ingrams, former editor of Private Eye and The Oldie

I pray regularly but the length of these prayers depends on the time available. The content varies, but I say the Our Father and Hail Mary on occasion. I try to focus on adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication.

Prayer is about connecting oneself to another dimension apart from a human one – otherwise you are stuck in this world. I pray for people who are sick or in a bad way. I have no idea whether my prayers have been answered. It is very difficult to say something has happened because of prayer.

People who choose not to pray are missing out. I was taught to pray by my mother. We said the same prayers every night. The older you get the more likely you are to pray. You know so many people who are dead. I pray not only for dead people but to them.

It is easier to pray to saints than to God. I don’t pray to Jesus and Mary – you can’t visualise them. I’m not sure if collective prayer is more powerful. Individual prayer is different. Group prayers create a different atmosphere. The most you can get from prayers is a feeling that there are more important things than day-to-day worries.

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