Ex 17:8-13; 2Tim 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8
There was a story of a man who prayed religiously without ceasing to God. Even during the celebration of the Mass, he always said his rosary. He walked to the altar of the church with his knees on the floor. He told his neighbors that he wants God to be the one to answer all His prayers.
A typhoon came into their village and flooded the whole village. It was reported that a tidal wave would come and sweep the entire village. A policeman came informing the village people about the coming tidal wave and the typhoon but this man did not mind the policeman would not leave the place because he wanted that God would be the one to answer his prayers.
The flood became bigger and bigger, so a boat sailed on the water informing again this person to vacate the place but he wanted that God would be the one to answer his prayers. Later, when the water level was already on the roof, a helicopter came in order to rescue this man but he did not listen to the request. So he died and went into the gate of heaven.
He was angry with St. Peter because God did not answer his prayers. St. Peter said: “We did answer all your prayers. We sent you a policeman, a boat and a helicopter, but you did not listen to all of them. It’s not our fault.”
According to the reflection of Sr. Shirley Chong, FSP published in Sambuhay (Year 15 no. 17) that prayer is our important link to God. He desires nothing better than to hear from us, so God wants us to pray.
Why does God want us to pray? Strictly speaking, God has no need of our prayers. God knows what we want in our hearts before we ask for them. We pray because even trees and animals pray. For example, when we wake up in the morning try to listen the roaster’s crowing, greeting each morning with praise as if saying, ”Lord, sa-la-mat! or thank you, Lord)”. The acacia tree folds its leaves in prayer as evening comes and even the lizards go down to kiss the land to say their gratitude to God. The cows and carabaos bend their knees before they sleep at night. If they do, why can’t we?
Our Muslim brothers and sisters, they pray five times a day and our great saints became saints because they prayed. How much more for us?
Jesus Himself prays. He prays when He was baptized in Jordan River and the heavens open (Luke 3:21). He prays in the desert after His baptism and overcomes devil’s temptations by His prayers. Even if He is so busy with His ministry, he finds time to be in union with God. In today’s gospel, He tells His disciples that they may pray always without becoming weary. We pray to God in order to be closed to Him, to be in union with Him and to strengthen with our faith.
Prayer is a simplest form of conversing with God. This means you are talking with God and God making His presence felt by you. We undermine the importance of prayer in our lives and yet this is our source of spiritual power and strength.
There are so many ways on how to pray. The one that I will mention is one of them. Let me share this with you.
First, you must decide that you want to pray, that is, to be with God. You must not only do it when you feel like doing it. Prayer is a means to a higher goal which is to love God.
Second, you must decide the time and the place you want to pray. For me, personally, I am comfortable praying after I wake up in the morning and should be in my room. I read and pray with my breviary before I do the things of the day. So try to secure the time and place best suited to your schedule.
Lastly, use a structure to begin with. Some would begin their prayer with we call ACTSS or Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication and Silence.
Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD gave also another form on how to pray especially after receiving the Holy Communion or during the visit to the Blessed Sacrament. He is recommending the A-L-T-A-R Prayer
A – Adore the Lord who is in your heart. Accept Him with joy.
L – Listen to the Lord who is in your heart. What is He telling you in the silence of your heart.
T – Thank the Lord for His goodness and love, for his forgiveness and patience, even for your challenges and problems.
A – Ask the Lord for anything you need. Ask not only for yourself but for others too.
R – Rejoice in the Lord, whatever you’re going through. Be glad, be hopeful because Jesus is in your heart and because He will be with you always.
Prayer is important because by ourselves we can nothing. We need God. Nothing is impossible with God. But will God find faith in us?
See Today’s Readings: Cycle C