Thought For The Week
'Deep prayer doesn't come easy for us. Why? We struggle to make time for prayer. Prayer doesn't accomplish anything practical for us, it's a waste of time in terms of tending to the pressures and tasks of daily life and so we hesitate to go there' ~Ron Rolheiser
A recent survey that came out during the week indicated that since the start of the covid19 pandemic, people are exercising more. The biggest uptake has been with walking and this comes as no surprise. Walking gets us out of the house, gets us moving and as an exercise is most beneficial.
I wonder if there was a survey done on prayer what results would we get? If the main question was: Have you prayed more since the start of the covid19 pandemic? What would your answer be? I sense and feel that there is a big increase. It's not that we have now more time to pray but an inner sense that maybe we lost our connection to God and lost our sense of spirituality. Now seems a good time to reclaim some of that lost ground.
We have often hesitated with prayer because we feel out of our depth or lose concentration easy or get easily distracted. This must be our starting point. We are not on our own if we have hesitated with prayer and still hesitate. In our Gospels it is Jesus who is the inspiration for all of us who struggle with prayer. We find Jesus praying in nearly every kind of situation, in the happy and sad occasions, in tragedies and in setbacks. We find him praying as he went about his daily work, we find him praying with others and praying on his own, sometimes going off to a quiet spot where no one could find him.
Most often he prayed in the ordinary down to earth moments that made up his daily life. The disciples were most impressed. They knew that he drew his energy, motivation and drive from a power outside of this world. This spiritual energy enabled him to do things they could only dream of doing. The disciples really wanted to do something similar and their natural reaction was 'Lord, teach us to pray.' Jesus didn't show them one way of praying but reminded them that there are many.
The biggest mistake is to think there is only one type of prayer or only one way of praying. Pray in a way that works for you. Ask for a blessing. Give thanks for a blessing received. Remember someone who needs a prayer. Be open to God's protection and love. Ask for light, hope, courage and direction. Pray to your Guardian Angel. Pray to a Saint. Pray to Mary who many turn to during the month of May. Remember a loved one who has died. Pray for healing, forgiveness and peace in your life.
If one of these seem a good place to start with prayer, then let that be a starting point. Maybe you have a different starting point and if you have that's even better again. With prayer doing everything gets us nowhere. But doing something small and doing it well gets us somewhere. It is my firm belief that this somewhere is good, it is safe and really worth doing. We all need this somewhere during these difficult times.