Even Jesus has to pray
Taken from today’s Gospel (Luke 6:12-16):
Jesus went into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.
Prayer. It’s an interesting thought isn’t it? How often do we actually pray? How do we pray? Where do we pray?
There are a lot of materials out there giving us different methods of prayer and putting forward suggestions on how we should pray. Jesus himself gave us the ‘Our Father’ as a means of prayer to God. We have the Rosary, Novenas, specific prayers to the Saints, prayers at Mass, prayers for reconciliation/confession, prayers before the Eucharist. There is so much to take in! But can we simplify prayer? Can we make it a little easier to include prayer in our busy lives without belittling its importance?
Perhaps our starting point should be that God must ALWAYS come first. If we are putting God first then we are making each and every single decision with Him in mind. It means we aren’t doing anything without thinking of Him first. It means that when we wake up in the morning we are thinking of Him and perhaps saying ‘thank you’ to Him for giving us the grace to wake up and for giving us another day to glorify Him and to love Him; for giving us a further opportunity to love the people He has blessed us with.
Putting God first is prayer in itself. It is fundamental prayer. It is prayer without which no other prayer can be valid.
From this we can then build up our prayer life and nurture it with devotions such as the Rosary and Novenas, and Eucharistic prayers before the Blesses Sacrament. We can perhaps make reading the Bible a more regular habit or maybe pick up the Catechism of the Catholic Church every now and then and leaf through its pages.
Prayer is a wonderful thing and it can bring us great joy and peace, and of course comfort. Our prayers are always answered. It may not appear obvious at first; in fact, it may never become obvious because we maybe don’t receive what we have asked for in prayer. Stop and think why that may be. It might be because God doesn’t want us to have it. It may be that God is saying we haven’t earned that something yet. It may be that what you are asking for is not part of the Divine Plan for your life. Just trust in Him and know that He has heard your prayer. Trust in His plan for you, not your plan for you. Trust in His plan because His plan is the right plan. He created you remember. If it wasn’t for Him you wouldn’t have life. Always remember that and always remember that He is the boss!
Perhaps we can start a more fruitful prayer life from this very moment by focusing on God and making Him the centre of our lives. We can then build our prayer life from there, making each individual prayer another rung on the ladder to the Heavenly Kingdom that awaits us.