Friday, July 22, 2022

Prayer! Communications & Perseverance To Be One With God In All Our Needs!

Someone once asked me how does one know if they have a good prayer life? 
I said, “When it is answered, whether you know it or not.”

I have come to the conclusion that prayer is a life-long process that evolves over time.  None of us awakens one day and says okay I finally figured out this prayer thing.  It is more a time of questioning and trying to ascertain how we should pray to God.

For me, prayer entered into my life with my mother teaching me a bedtime prayer which begins with: “Now I lay me down to sleep…”  My grandmother on my father’s side took me to church whenever she got a chance and, though I didn’t understand the Latin, I learned that people prayed other prayers besides the bedtime prayer I did.

Catholic elementary school taught me rote prayers and I incorrectly believed that the sure repetition of them was how to pray.  It wasn’t until I entered the minor seminary to study for the priesthood that I realized repetition was counterproductive and that God understood me the first time and even before I prayed.  What was needed was perseverance.

As a young single man, I learned from a work colleague that prayer is powerful and has the ability to heal.  His wife was a paraplegic who was unable to walk.  Today she walks and is a therapist.  The doctors do not know how she was able to overcome a prognosis of life-long paralysis in that area.

It wasn’t until later in life that I stretched my prayer parameters to include more than just my immediate family.  We are all God’s creation (poor, homeless, incarcerated, sick and dying, etc.) and as such everyone needs prayer to help them in times of pain and sorrow.

Today as a clergyman, I pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the mornings and evenings and am constantly praying throughout the day to help me be more obedient to God’s will so my prayer life will be more fruitful.

In our Genesis passage today, it focuses on perseverance for the sake of justice.  Though not in the form of a prayer, God’s openness to Abraham’s bartering helps us understand He wants to hear our prayers.  It is how we communicate our needs to change the world to God’s will for a better life.

St. Luke’s Gospel invites us to encounter God in prayer, to experience His generous love, forgiveness and compassion.  A prayerful relationship with God means living a life that ensures we put Jesus’ teachings into practice.  We need to open our heart, soul, mind and strength to the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us from within and helps us perceive how God is active in our lives.

By doing this, we can make a difference in life because God hears our pleas and wants to answer our needs.  If we are not already praying regularly, let us start this week.  Let us thank God for all He has given us, ask for His help in our life and promise to be more attentive to His ways rather than ours.

Who knows?  We might witness some of our prayers being answered.   

Reading 1: Genesis 18: 20-32
Reading 2: Colossians 2: 12-14
Gospel: Luke 11: 1-13

No comments:

Post a Comment