Advent Journey - Day 6 - Prayer Life
10 days of Advent A series of ten articles in preparation for Christmas. We set out to meet the Lord and be prepared. Day 6. Prayer Life There have been several occasions in my life when I have been asked this question. I have always felt that prayer is talking to God. Not at times in any formal way just simply talking to Him - and of course perhaps more important - listening to Him.
However from a research of asking people why they prayed the following four reasons emerged -
1. To come to know God and build a relationship with Him 2. To ask for strength, healing, or to make requests or petitions 3. To come to understand God’s will for us 4. Because we are commanded to do so
In addition to these, I wish to offer my own thoughts on why we need to pray.
When Christ was on the earth He set an example by praying. He prayed for guidance, He prayed for his disciples and followers, He prayed in gratitude and praise, He prayed when he instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, and particularly when He was on the Cross.
So, if we are calling ourselves Christian, and becoming like Christ, then we should pray, as He did. (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, John 17:11, John 17:20-21, Luke 10:21, Mark 14:22, Matthew 26:39, Luke 22:44, Matthew 27:46).
Prayer is indeed our opportunity to come to know God and build a relationship with Him. However, it is critical to understand that in order to build that relationship we must understand that prayer requires two-way communication. Building a relationship with God is similar to building relationships with people around us, conversations need to go both ways; we talk, and then we listen.
It is the same with God. Prayer allows us the opportunity to tell God how we are feeling, ask for guidance, assistance and answers to questions, but it also is our opportunity to learn from Him what His will is for us.
Another reason for prayer is for repentance. Christ atoned for our sins so we can be worthy and pure to enter God’s presence. Only He can grant us forgiveness for the sins we have committed. Prayer is a means for confessing our sins. The Lord has promised us that “I, the Lord, forgive sins, and am merciful unto those who confess their sins with humble hearts.”
Likewise for those who honestly trust Him and surrender to Him He will respond with great graces.
We can also pray and ask God to help us find purpose in our lives. He has a plan for us and desires to lead and guide us. In my life I have learned to my great relief that He provides what we need and not necessarily what we want. Believe me if early in my life He answered my novenas in the way I wanted I would not now be penning this reflection. Praise God.
The bible dictionary notes that the purpose of prayer is “to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means of obtaining the highest of all blessings.”
When praying, I think it is important to first rely on the spirit to know what to pray for, and then to believe that He will answer our prayers, through faith (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Prayer to help me pray
Lord, I’m here today with open hands and an open heart, ready to depend on you to help me through the day and all it will bring my way. Help me be like Nehemiah, help me come to you in prayer for guidance, strength, provision and protection. As I face tough choices and hard situations, grant that my prayers be answered not perhaps in what I want but in your kindness what is good for me.
Lord this morning look especially at the poor.
Help them and help us to provide aid and comfort to them
But more important Lord give them the grace to know and love you
For in You Lord we are rich beyond our wildest dreams.
TODAY is 21 December
optional commemoration of Saint Peter Canisius, Priest, Doctor
He was born in Nijmegen (now in Holland) in 1521. He studied at Cologne and joined the Society of Jesus: he was ordained priest in 1546. He was sent to Germany, where for many years he worked hard to defend and strengthen the Catholic faith both by writing and by preaching. He wrote many books, of which The Catechism is particularly noteworthy. He died at Fribourg in Switzerland on 21 November 1597.
God enters our lives each day! Do we recognise Him? He provides little miracles along the way. Do we recognise them? Do we recognise Him in the good times, and His help when things are not so good? Let us open our hearts, our minds and recognise Him as He comes to us every day.
WORD OF OUR LORD
Luke 1:39-45 - Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?
Mary set out and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
We remember at this joyful time those who are displaced, suffering from the effects of natural disasters, those in pain, those suffering from loneliness or depression. May the Lord help them, bless them and give them the strength to overcome. We pray to God for them.
Always Remember - JESUS LOVES YOU
Blessed are you who have believed,
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in our hour of conflict. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.
Only in God is my soul at rest. In Him comes my salvation.
We finish as we begun
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Catholic Doctrine, Gospels, Catechism - onlyingod.com
Catechism taken from Catholic Catechism - catechismonline.com
The Complete New Testament - thewordofourlord.com
The Holy Rosary with Scripture - theholywordrosary.com