Prayer o prayer

How would you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 being a prayer warrior? I can tell you I fluctuate incessantly. Ask yourself the following questions:

-       How often do I pray?
-       How aware am I when I pray?
-       Do I just rattle off petitions?
-       Do I truly believe that God hears my prayers and wants to answer them?
-       Do I believe prayer can work miracles?

Do we even know how to pray? How often do we think we have to be on our knees, fold our hands and recite numerous prayers by heart for God to pay attention to us and maybe reward us for our effort of learning all these set prayers by answering our petitions; preferably in the way we would like them answered.

Jesus teaches us how to pray in Luke 11 when He introduces us the Lord’s Prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer is always a great prayer to go by, but the more personal our relationship with the Lord grows the freer we converse with Him. And just as in every conversation, we also learn to listen to Him, because yes, He also wants to get a word in now and then.

What does God say? There’s this book that He divinely inspired to be written and it has some amazing stuff in it. I amaze myself when I realize that I’ve had my own Bible since 6th grade and I can still not say that I have read the entire thing consciously. Why does it seem to be so hard to grab that Bible and leaf through it for 10 minutes a day? The remarkable thing is that the Lord knows my desire to become more Bible savvy by finding Him in His word. I have recently stumbled across books that awe me through their content, intertwined with Bible passages, as well as astonishing stories of conversion of people around me and their friends and family. I notice how the Lord wants to give me so many graces every day, every single day, but because I dwell on the negative, or am preoccupied with my personal gain or interests I miss out on so many of them. It was pouring rain a few days ago and we were cleaning up around camp dragging trash and debris around in the rain getting dirty, being a little cold and having wet feet. Not a typical ‘yay I am so glad I get to do this again’ moment. But during evening prayer that day I realized the many blessings of that day which far outweighed the burdens I was wallowing in. Haylee had awesome energy during the work project and her joyful presence was a true blessing, I also got to go to pizza hut with mom and Joey that night, we cleaned most of the porch off that day making it look cleaner, I got to talk to Erik about summer camp confusion that night, I got to enjoy my family’s presence, I got to spend time with Jesus face-to-face in front of the Blessed Sacrament that morning, I slept well that previous night. So many things to praise and thank the Lord for that I just took for granted and ordinary. How much more is out there when I try to be in tune with my God constantly! How dangerous! How exciting and thrilling! When I hear glory stories around me I used to think: ‘why doesn’t that ever happen to me, or once in a blue moon?’ It’s because I am not praying; not with my heart that is, not with faith. God works miracles through prayer; again and again and again. Scripture says, “ask and you will receive” (Matt. 7:7) and “all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt. 21:22). Do we believe? DO YOU BELIEVE? If you can’t answer that question with a confident ‘yes’, it’s time for a heart-check. Where am I at? Where is God in my priority list? Am I praying?

I thank the Lord for allowing me to witness the radical conversions around me because they give me strength. They testify to the overwhelming power and bigness of God. They give me hope and proof to me once again the tremendous power of prayer that I so often underestimate.

So I pray that the Lord grant me the grace to pray more sincerely, to pray more intently, to pray more fervently with humble confidence and expectant faith. And I thank Him in advance for His yes, for hearing my prayers and working His wonders in my life and the lives of others. Casting Crowns’ song ‘what if His people prayed‘ gives us a good idea of the power of prayer. Time to hit up the chapel!

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