REFLECTION: The power of prayer PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 August 2014 11:25

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

If only we know the great and true power of prayer! Our problem is that we often relegate this duty of ours practically to oblivion, banishing it to exile and branding it entirely as useless, as just fantasy, too abstract to have any impact on what we consider as the real world.

And by real world, we usually mean the world where we simply have to be practical, more concerned about immediate results than about morality, mindful only of worldly values and criteria rather than spiritual and supernatural considerations.

But we cannot deny that deep in our heart there is a yearning for some stable contact with the very source of life, of goodness, of a joy without end, of peace that would go on and on, etc.

It’s this yearning that, from the subjective point of view, lays the foundation for our need of prayer. We want to know the ultimate causes of things, but many times we abort this desire just to give way to reasons of practicality. We have to be aware of this bad tendency and do something to correct it.

There’s, of course, an objective basis for our need of prayer, but this would require faith which actually is given to us in abundance but which we also have to correspond. The problem lies precisely in our non-correspondence or at least in our inadequate correspondence to this God-given faith and many other graces.

The objective truth is that we are creatures of a Creator, of whom we have an inkling that he must be all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise, etc. That inkling is validated and reinforced with the motu proprio revelation the Creator makes of himself and of us and of everything else in life and in the world.

According to that revelation, made in full in Christ and perpetually kept and taught by the Church, we have been made in the image and likeness of God our Creator, endowed with a spiritual soul that enables us through our intellect and will to know and to love, to enter into relationships with everybody else, starting ideally with God himself.

We need to learn to pray, because it is in so doing that we get in touch with the very foundation of reality himself, God our Creator and heaven. It is in praying that we keep ourselves spiritually alive and put ourselves in position to know the human and divine meaning of everything that happens in our life.

We cannot deny that in all aspects of our life, we have to contend with difficult and complicated issues, problems, and challenges. Whether it is about our very intimate private, personal and spiritual life, or in our collective life of business, politics and work, we unavoidably have to face complicated situations.

With prayer, our understanding and reactions to things and events would be deep and extensive, going beyond what is merely practical and convenient, what is socially or politically correct, etc. Our understanding and reactions to things and events would be marked by true wisdom and prudence.

When we pray, we somehow would know how to distinguish between what is essential and what is not in any given issue, be it in politics or ethics or whatever. We would know how to work for what is constructive in a given a situation rather than contribute to what is destructive and disunitive.

Especially in the most dizzying world of our politics and social life, we really need to pray well. Otherwise, we simply would plunge into the freefall of acrimony, grumbling and murmuring, anguish and hatred, occasioned by the increasing differences and conflicts of our opinions and preferences.

We need to realize that prayer is the language of the heart, the very breathing our soul needs in order to survive and function well. It is actually indispensable in our life. But we have to be aware of this need by activating our faith, since it is not a need that springs automatically from our feelings and bodily conditions.

When we pray, we have to constantly remind ourselves of to whom we are praying. Such awareness would help us to be in the proper attitude and disposition. It practically would show us how to prepare ourselves for prayer and how to proceed whenever we start to pray.

When we are aware of with whom we are conversing when we pray, we actually would feel at ease and at peace, with joy and sense of goodness to boot, because we would know we are with our Father who is full of mercy and compassion.