Without the gift of prayer and the trust that makes it possible, how could we approach a Being as great as God. The wonders and immensity of the universe that God created, hint of His unimaginable supremacy. Yet, without haughty magnanimity, He chose to redeem human creatures from sin and mortality, and to make an eternal covenant of love with us. He communicates His intentions and guidelines to us through God-incarnate within Scripture, Church and the Spirit in our lives.
I cannot offer God the honour and love that God deserves, and the overwhelming difficulties and anxieties of this world sometimes deflect me from trying in my discouragement and sadness. Therefore, I entreat that God who has mercifully bridged between His human creatures and Himself, will help me to grow in optimistic faith. I wish to cooperate with God’s love to create in me all that God wishes to find in my understanding and actions. As I seek to fulfil God’s desires in and through my life , I thank God for this extraordinary gift of love, prayer, and life that God, our astounding and wonderful God, offers us.
Jesus demonstrated His appreciation of comptmplative pray whe He defended May’s right to sit with Him apparently doing nothing but keeping Him company.
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]
Prayer is grace
Our God, we receive Your grace to pray as unmerited gift. We know or interpret You through human concepts; however, by humbly yielding our selves and our logic to faith, we allow You freedom of utterance in us. Even so, we may only experience Your presence and word in silence as we invite You to speak and move within us as we actively and prayerfully live the gospel.
If in our disappointment at Your silence, we experience wavering faith, with courage we pray, “Speak Yourself and live Your life in me, my God. Make thanksgiving, and glorify Yourself continually in me, in all my supposed strengths, as in my sinfulness and inability. Find Yourself to me. Find me to Your truth. Unknowing, uncomprehending though I am, please let me be drawn into the infinite possibilities of Your life and love. Not my will, but Your will be done!”