Prayer: Making Time for God
Finding time to talk to our friends is sometimes hard to come by. We all get busy. We are loaded with school, or perhaps we are working late shifts at work. Sometimes we only manage to send a Facebook message every now and again because it’s convenient, and we grow accustomed to a very distanced relationship and maybe we grow a little too comfortable in that distance. We know that they know we still love them, but they also know that we are busy. When we can’t find time to talk to our friends about what is going on in our lives, the relationships do weaken, though. We become disassociated, tired, and sometimes even negligent because of our dependence on our exercises of everyday busy lifestyles.
I’m sure we have all experienced times where we were very busy and were struggling to find time to spend time with our friends. The other person can feel pretty lonely and sometimes hurt, especially if they are our best friends and want nothing more than our love and some quality time.
So what if the other person was God? Would you rely on your excuses? Would you not feel sad to know that He misses you and wants you to talk to Him? Would you not want to spend time with your Savior who died on the cross for you?
Prayer is our way of communicating with Him intimately and opening our hearts to Him. He wants us to communicate with Him. It is in our prayers that we offer up our sorrows and our joys. We ask for guidance and the grace to do His will.
Christ prayed often to his Father, and told others to pray as well. He would go away from everyone and spend time in solitude to pray to God. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed to God before he was betrayed and arrested. It’s such an emotional scene to imagine, our Lord and savior on the ground as he prayed to His Father. Should we not also spend time in solitude praying to Him just as our savior did?
Mass is an important prayerful time for us. We come together as the Bride of Christ, we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and we lift our prayers to Him as a unified body in Him.
Eucharistic Adoration, too, is time we can spend in silence with our Lord and savior. We come before the Blessed Sacrament and spend time with him, focusing on him. St. Peter Julian Eymard devoted his entire life to the Eucharist. Even before he was born, his mother would go to Adoration with him and offer him to God. He stated “Adore and visit Jesus, abandoned and forsaken by men in His Sacrament of Love. Man has time for everything except for visits to His Lord and God, WHO IS WAITING AND LONGING FOR US in the Blessed Sacrament.” Imagine that! The Lord waiting for us patiently where we sit and be with him and listen to him!
Jesus tells us how to pray in the Gospel of Matthew by giving us the Lords Prayer (6:5-15). In the same gospel, Jesus says “ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
The Church teaches that:
Through his Word, God speaks to man. By words, mental or vocal, our prayer takes flesh. Yet it is most important that the heart should be present to him to whom we are speaking in prayer: “Whether or not our prayer is heard depends not on the number of words, but on the fervor of our souls.”
Vocal prayer is an essential element of the Christian life. To his disciples, drawn by their Master’s silent prayer, Jesus teaches a vocal prayer, the Our Father. He not only prayed aloud the liturgical prayers of the synagogue but, as the Gospels show, he raised his voice to express his personal prayer, from exultant blessing of the Father to the agony of Gethsemani.
Christ made sure to spend time with God. He spoke his prayers out loud. We too should sit in a quiet place and pray daily.
Daily prayer is important in our lives. Morning prayer, evening prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, Novenas, and Grace before meals are all ways we speak to God. The Catechism addresses the issue of time in terms of our prayer lives: “The choice of the time and duration of the prayer arises from a determined will, revealing the secrets of the heart. One does not undertake contemplative prayer only when one has the time: one makes time for the Lord, with the firm determination not to give up, no matter what trials and dryness one may encounter. One cannot always meditate, but one can always enter into inner prayer, independently of the conditions of health, work, or emotional state. The heart is the place of this quest and encounter, in poverty and in faith. ”
Often when things are hardest in our lives, we pray more, but we should also pray when things are at their best and thank God for each and every moment and every blessing. It is only with prayer and an openness to the Lord that we can ask for and receive Gods grace. Pray daily. Thank God for every day. Pray for the vocations of your friends and family. Pray for your priests and our bishops ( you can join the Adopt-a-Bishop Campaign with Team Orthodoxy here https://orthodoxcatholicism.com/2012/01/11/adopt-a-bishop/ ). Set aside time every day. Make time for God. This may mean waking up a few minutes earlier to pray and also going to bed a while later to pray. The sacrifice is minimal when what we gain is an abounding love from God if we come to Him and open our hearts to Him.
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