Prayerfulness: Deepening Our Relationship With God
Some, if not almost all, of us have prayed to God and received an answer in return. Whether or not it is long or short, both the prayer and the act of doing it make all the difference.
Ever since I was a child, I have already been a staunch believer in prayers (thanks to our “Inay” for teaching us how to pray), in its power to accomplish something and realize dreams. Many things in my life and up to now, God has been listening and answering some of my prayers. However, my prayer mood is sometimes erratic due to interior challenges and disruptions, but prayerfulness absolutely became a part of my life.
Sure, not every prayer intentions are being answered. But it doesn’t matter at all. Sometimes, we wait for the answer hoping it may come later or we simply let it pass. God may have something much better in store for us than what we’ve asked for. Believe me, I’m like a young kid when I pray even at this age of time, particularly when it comes to personal needs. It’s very private as if I’m just having a conversation with a very close and trusted friend, confiding and detailing the things I need and wish for, and it may not necessarily be for myself but for others who require help too.
Growing up, I realized my prayer has evolved to include prayers for thanksgiving, forgiveness, and most of all for praising and glorifying God. The prayer of praise and adoration is a powerful tool to start and end our days to get focused on the things we do.
For some, praying may be a part of their daily life, but for others it may not. It is understandable for some people to find praying time consuming and demanding (specifically the “canned” formal prayers) particularly for those who aren’t accustomed to it. As a matter of fact, there are people who can’t bear a 5-minute prayer. For them, it’s too long! Prayerfulness is a gift from God. If you’re facing difficulty in praying, ask for God’s help. There are really times when sluggishness and impatience interrupt us, thus we rather choose things that we’re comfortable at (e.g. watching our fave series and movies on tv or netflix, net surfing, social media, sleeping, malling, etc.) than praying. Unfortunately, we take prayer for granted – we kept on delaying it, that it can wait later until we forgot to pray, missing the opportunity of benefiting the gift of grace. The Catechism of the Catholic church states that prayer is a “vital necessity” to be more closer to God. We are asked to “pray without ceasing” to avoid the battle of prayer.
To obtain the wonderful and tremendous benefits of prayer, there is need to continue the devotion to prayer. As mentioned earlier, prayer plays a vital role in our spiritual and daily lives as it provides us the opportunity to reflect upon our lives, our failures and the sins we have committed. Prayer is one of the basic aspects of our worship, to get to know God, to show our love for Him, to have a frequent conversation with Him and to be able to learn how to serve Him. If we feel tired of carrying heavy loads especially during this pandemic, in times of pain and loss, we can always lift them up to God through our prayers so everything would be easier to bear physically and psychologically, thus eliminating stress and improving our mental health. When we develop the habit of talking to God daily, we will understand more God’s heart and ultimately we’ll be able to deepen our relationship with Him, and this I believe is the greatest benefit of prayer.
As we all know, Lent is the time when most of us practice fasting and praying. It is during this season of the Church wherein Christians are enjoined to reflect on their lives, on the things they’ve done and failed to do. That’s what God wants from us, on how we can show mercy and compassion to those in need through our prayers and sacrifices. God wants us to start praying more often so we can create an intimate and friendly environment with Him. Jesus himself, when He was about to face His trials on earth, prayed to God the Father at the Garden of Gethsemane to ease the pain of His sufferings. Sure, it is no easy task to imitate the prayer life of Jesus. We can’t pray the way Jesus did. But perhaps we can try to imitate Him in our own way with our limited capabilities. What is important is that we believe in the greatness of prayer.
Pope Francis in one of his Ash Wednesday’s homilies once indicated that “fasting and almsgiving” are “two wings of prayer” since they are symbols of “humility and charity”. The Holy Father enunciated that the first task in life is prayer. A sincere prayer that comes from deep inside us, that is from the heart, is a prayer that works miracles, according to him. He further said that if we open our doors to God through prayers, God can do something for us but if it is closed, then God can do nothing. As Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened for you.”
This Lenten season is the appropriate time to start and have a devotion to prayer. It’s not too late yet to change our spiritual paths, so please open our hearts to God, Let us seek help from the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph who were very prayerful and completely devoted to Our Lord Jesus Christ, to teach us how to pray. We can also seek the help of the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, hearts and minds to enlighten us, so that we can have a fruitful conversation with God. Yes, it is better to be prayerful than not at all! Make prayerfulness as a way of life! It moves mountains, it works great miracles! As St. Mark wrote: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Amen.