Question about prayer.


#1

Hi , I have two questions about prayer. My first is , is it a sin to prayer many prayers multiple times a day for the same intention if you truly mean what you are praying . And also what happens when you pray constantly for something and the exact opposite happens. Should you keep praying for the same thing or take that as God saying no to you. Ill discuss my situation. Today I was feeling very lonely and I was praying for friends, Well my ex who is still my friend , her little brother adored me when his sister and I were dating, (he is 14) ( I am 21) (He has no father figure) He is still my friend to and a good one at that, well maybe he is just a talking companion. Well my ex brought another guy over today purely as friends I am not jealous and honestly I don't care. I got on my Facebook tonight and he was no longer on my friends list, nor can I find him on others friends list. Not even his on family . So one of two things is true. He deleted his account which is OK. or he blocked me , which I am a little hurt by but I forgive him and hold no grudges. Anyway the point is , I prayed for mine and his friendship all day long and then this happens. I don't know what God is trying to tell me, I am going to wait on them to contact me from now on, and continue to pray for it to work out. Am I doing the right thing here. Please help. Sorry this is so long. Thanks,
Taylor


#2

To pray could never be sinful. In fact, to pray is a supernatural act that is made possible through the gift of divine grace. You make Jesus smile when you pray.

Now we are all very simple creatures, poor sinners...we think that our words mean something, that our Beloved will act faster if we pray more and keep asking...this may not be entirely wrong (remember the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18?) ... but the truth is, God knows exactly what we need even before we think about mentioning it to Him.

The issue, unfortunately, is one of trust. This directly relates to your second question: "the exact opposite happens". Don't you know that the Lord has spoken:

my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways

It is not up to us to judge what happens. It must be more than enough for us to know that God is actually listening to us, and He is listening very carefully. Let His will be done, even when it seems to you that all is going wrong. Trust in His divine providence.

Remember that Jesus told the Father:

Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt.

God is omnipotent, and He can do all things. But just like Jesus asked for something and yet obediently complied with God's will though things went the opposite way and He drank the fullness of the chalice of suffering, we ought to trust in God, take up our cross, and follow Jesus, "be it in the abandonment of Calvary, be it in the paradise of Nazareth" (as St. Teresa of the Andes once wrote).

Loneliness is something inherent to us. Even Jesus felt lonely, very lonely even, at times. We are ultimately separated from God and we long to be reunited with Him. Which is why, out of the purest love, Jesus came to us and remained among us, and He gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. I bless the day in which you shall receive Him for the first time! Truly, you shall never forget that First Communion.

Often the company of people (or the lack of such) may seem like the primary reason for feeling lonely...but remember that creatures are mere specks of dust floating through time, while God is an infinite goodness eternally in love with you.

The mystic St. Teresa of Avila, suddenly aware of this, exclaimed once: "God alone suffices!"

Maybe this poem by St. John of the Cross will cast a different light on such feelings...I find it wonderful.


#3

Read Luke 11:1-8, where Jesus talks about prayer.

You need to remember that God is also Abba, and when we pray we are talking to him. He is our "Daddy," if things are troubling you at various points throughout the day, even if it is the same thing, He is someone you can go to and talk about your problems--it is a good spiritual practice. It shows we are relying on God for assistance, going to Him for strength, rather than just thinking we are alone or we can handle everything ourselves.

We also must guard that our prayers are not "God give me....", but insteady be saying "God you have a plan for my life. I do not know what it is, but I know that it is for my benefit, that you will not give me a snake when I ask for fish (Lk 11:11). Like Jesus in the garden I put my trust completely in you to get me through these struggles."

Also try not to predict what happened with your friends Facebook account. He may have blocked you to protect you from what he thought would be hurtful, since he is dating your ex, or it may be some other reason (like he gave up Facebook altogether). Just know it is all a part of God's plan. Now that I am older and married I can start to see how His plan has unfolded to give me the life I have today. I see how things that happened 20 yrs ago that seemed so bad and unfair have led to the blessings and joys I have today. It makes me wonder how many things happened that I know nothing of that God did to give me this life. Thank God I am able to praise him for them today as a faithful Catholic.

It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders already and good spiritual life going. I noticed that you are going to be starting RCIA soon--congratulations. Maybe God is just clearing your life right now as He did for me during a difficult time in my life when things ended with my fiance at the time which lead to an amazing period of closeness and deepening of my faith that I still treasure today. Offer this time up to God, pray often of your troubles and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide you in fulfilling God's plan for your life.


#4

Thanks , To All who Responded , I feel better about the situation now but I want to ask, Has anyone every lost a good friend and then received a special grace or blessing. I don't think God would take friends away and leave me lonely forever. Maybe for a time but not forever.


#5

My best friend from middle school through college (she was brought up Catholic but is now non-denominational), we had one discussion about Catholicism vs Protestanism and that was the last time I had a real conversation with her, which was over 4 years ago. For the very long road we were both on, our faiths had taken us different paths.

I wouldn't say I received a special grace when we parted, but God must have decided it was better this way or else I wouldn't have gone down this path without a fight. I still miss her terribly and hope that one day we can be good friends again.

Not having friends is difficult. My job had taken me to a place that is not at all Catholic and I prayed for years to have Catholic friends or a best friend here. 2.5 years later, I still don't have any Catholic friends, and yet I found a best friend in Jesus Christ. It was the perfect time to come closer to Him, though in the beginning I was very lonely.

God is always by your side, even if your physically alone. If God allows one to be alone for some time, it is for a good reason and for your own good. Pray to understand this, OP, and I am sure you will find a good friend in God as well :]


closed #6

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