Dear friends as a couple of honest folks have challenged the worth of prayer in this forum, I figured I’d post a thread praying for dedication and trust in our prayers.
Again and again, in the holy bible, God asks us to pray…a few instances!
“If you have hope this will make you cheerful. Do not give up if trials come; and keep on praying.” [Romans 12:12]
**“We are quite confident that if we ask Him for anything, and it is in accordance with His will, He will hear us; and knowing that whatever we ask, He hears us, we know that we have already been granted what we asked of Him.” [John 5:14-15]
** “If any one of you is in trouble, he should pray; if anyone is feeling happy, he should sing a psalm.” [James 5:13]
“Pray constantly; and for all things give thanks to God.” [Thessalonians 4:18]
“Grant, Lord, the prayer of Your servants…so that all the earth’s inhabitants may acknowledge that You are the Lord, the everlasting God.” [Ecclesiasticus 36:16-17]
Prayer as an act of charity
Jesus, those who devote much effort to prayer may be labelled ‘lazy’ and ‘impractical’. That is how Your friend Martha regarded her sister Mary. Yet, both sisters loved You dearly. Martha was a virtuous, practical woman who understood that charity requires us to serve others. Her valued guest required food and hospitality. This could not be achieved if everyone sat idle. Martha prepared your meal, but Mary remained idly with you. To Martha she appeared to be failing You.
You kindly defended Mary because of the love she offered to You, love that You often were denied by others. While Mary was offering love and attention to a fellow human, she was also giving her love to God, for You are fully human, but also fully divine. Within one act, Mary of Bethany fulfilled Your two commandments of love.
Those who ask for prayer are seeking genuine charity of remembrance, time and effort. Their need is sometimes desperate, and while in crisis, they may be unable to sustain faith or to pray. They find reassurance in our promise to pray for their intentions! They receive our promise as an act of love.
The understanding that prayer is genuine charity, does not absolve anyone of responsibility to give practical aid to others. As Saint James wrote, love does not say, “eat well and keep warm” and then walk away. Even in our poverty, we may give something. Please help us to be generous, in the act of love that is prayer for others, and in our practical charity.
Dear Jesus, friend of both Mary and Martha, and beneficiary of the acts of kindness and love of each, please grant us to emulate both Your dear friends in our lives. August 2001
** “Praise God, for He has delivered the soul of the needy from the hands of evil.”** [Jeremiah.20:13] “Be my saviour again, renew my joy, keep my spirit steady and willing; and I shall teach transgressors Your ways, and to You sinners will return.” [Psalm 51:12-13]