November 19, 2009

Never Stop Praying!!


By: Father Fred Fred Alexander, OCD


"Lord, teach us how to pray"
(Luke 11:1)


Words uttered by a disciple of Jesus so long ago still speaks to the heart of each Christian, each Catholic believer today.

At the end of the day sometimes we make a space and a place in our lives to pray & the Prayer doesn't come forth. As we begin to pray, it seems another force takes over. It could be the events of that day or the previous day or something from our past begins to hound us. It could be our anxieties about tomorrow, next week or what lies ahead.

I'm sure most of us can remember a time when our prayer life and relationship with God was going along pretty well then "life happens"; we may become more self centered, perhaps we're trying to keep up with the Jones, we become a little lazy, we become too busy with our career or ministry, we become enamored with some woman, man or we may ruminate over an injustice done to us for a few months or a few years. We become so preoccupied with these new interests in our lives that we've place God and our relationship with Him on the back burner. An image that comes to my mind is a cartoon caption where a person is running away so fast that all you see is a puff of smoke behind him/her. Image God in the area of the puff of smoke and we're running away from Him. In our prayer life when we allow ourselves to be distracted, we depart from the presence of God.

When we become distracted then our hearts are no longer nurturing our relationship with God as we did in the past. We have allowed other cares and concerns to take priority over God in our lives. Then we start to pray and it's just not the same. Our prayers may seem so empty, dry or filled with distractions; Distractions that may seem like a pack of wild dogs running through our minds that we can't control.

St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) tells us prayer is "an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us" (Teresa's Life, chapter 8, #5). This idea of prayer as a relationship between friends who know they love each other and need to be alone with each other, so they can share intimately their deepest feelings and thoughts is a Teresian characteristic that leads us closer to God.

Let us not give up on prayer,
Because...
God Never Gives Up On Us!!

We cannot grow in our relationship with God any more that a flower planted in the fertile earth can grow without water. So many things in life tempt us to stop praying. We must NEVER-NEVER, STOP PRAYING! Our prayer will not always be sweet and satisfying. A Christian or Catholic who doesn't pray is like a boat without a motor or a paddle. You're out there on the sea of life being tossed by the waves of temptations and distractions; you may never make it back to shore without prayer. If we truly repent of our errant ways and preserve in prayer, God will return the former friendship and bless us even more than He did in the past.



A Note From Christina Whale:
   In My Opinion: I think God will never give us anything HE can't handle... I know that my husband & I have gone through our Fair Share of Trials in our lifetime and it's only through HIM that we are where we are today! The Good Lord knows us better then we know ourselves and so HE will only return the former friendships & family members that will inspire us to live For the Lord! So if, you feel the Lord has not returned a certain friendship to you, in my Personal Opinion, that's HIS sign to you, for you to continue praying for that person... Never stop praying!! Throughout Every Day, Keep Thinking about those People & with each thought, pray... God Bless!

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