Friday, May 28, 2010

God does not change reality, He teaches us to look at reality differently

Do not pray for easy lives, pray to be stronger. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers, pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle but you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God. (Venerable Solanus Casey)

There are three forms of prayer (Contemplative; Meditative, and Verbal). The prayer that most people are familiar with is verbal (i.e. prayers of petition)

Prayers of Petitions - What are they?

In them, we ask God for things we need—primarily spiritual needs, but physical ones as well. Our prayers of petition should always include a statement of our willingness to accept God's will, whether He directly answers our prayer or not. The Our Father is a good example of a prayer of petition, and the line "Thy will be done" shows that, in the end, we acknowledge that God's plans for us are more important than what we desire.

There are people that almost never pray and, when they do it, it is with the hope God will solve problems they do not know how to handle themselves. And they justify it with the words from Jesus in scripture «Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it shall be done for you» (Mk 11:24). They are right, and it is quite human, understandable and legitimate that, in front of a problem too difficult for us, we trust in God, in a much higher force.

But we must also add that prayers like that are “useless” («for your Father knows what you need before you ask him»: Mt 6:8), as long as they do not have a practical and direct utility, as —for instance— switch on a light. Therefore, what we do receive from God in prayers of petition is GRACE upon GRACE.

Should we, therefore, not pray...? Of course, we should!

Now that we know that by prayer we obtain the grace, our prayer has become more worthy and valuable. Furthermore, there are three benefits we do receive from the petition prayer:

1) Interior peace (to find our friend Jesus and to trust God is relaxing);

2) To mull over a problem, and knowing how to raise it, is to solve half of it

3) Praying helps us to discern between what is good and what, maybe out of some personal whim, are the actual intentions of our prayers.

Then, later on, we shall understand with the eyes of the faith what Jesus says: «Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son» (Jn 14:13).

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