REFLECTION: Pray, pray and pray some more PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 March 2015 11:09

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

I’m not exaggerating. Our need to pray is like our need to breathe. It should be non-stop, since it is indispensable in our union with God our Creator, who keeps us alive and healthy in our spiritual life. Again, let’s bring back a basic truth—without God we are nothing!

The only difference is that breathing is a bodily necessity and is instinctive and automatic until we die, while praying is a spiritual necessity that requires conscious effort and continues even after death though in a different form.

In fact, praying requires faith, hope and charity which first of all are gifts from God that need to be corresponded to by us with a lot of patience and the dynamic interplay of all the other virtues.

We should not be surprised by this requirement of prayer, much less complain about it, since praying is our most basic way of dealing with God who has given us all and who has the right to expect all for us also, we being his image and likeness.

If understood and done properly, praying actually gives us joy always. It enables us to see and understand things better. More importantly, it helps us to have a glimpse of God’s will, where everything starts and is governed and led to its proper end.

Praying processes and finds the answers to all our needs. In good times and bad times, when we are healthy or sick, when we enjoy successes or suffer defeats or are tempted, praying comes as our natural way of coping with everything that our spiritual life needs just like breathing does with our bodily needs.

To those who are afraid that praying just gets in the way of our human activities and concerns, the contrary is true. If anything at all, praying tremendously helps us in putting our activities and concerns in another level so they acquire a spiritual, moral and supernatural value, which is proper to us, since we are God’s image and likeness, and children of his.

It fits in all the situations of our life, because it is first of all a matter of attitude, of an awareness that we are in the presence of God who asks us to follow him and to love him.

Obviously, for our prayer to be substantial, consistent and abiding, we need to spend some moments of special and serious conversation with him, like some period of mental prayer, meditating on God’s word, having recourse to the sacraments, etc. These are like the refueling process that helps us to continue going on with our spiritual life.

The important thing to remember is that whatever we may be doing, we somehow should engage our mind and heart with God. We should never dare to do things alone, by our lonesome, relying only on our natural powers and some kind of luck. That is the way to get carried away and swallowed up by the mundane things.

It is when we are constantly engaged with God that we get the light and the strength to deal with our earthly affairs, knowing how to relate them always to our ultimate goal, and not getting entangled with merely temporal goals. When we pray, our sense of purpose and direction gets sharpened.

While it needs them, prayer also actually nourishes our faith, hope and charity. Prayer puts us into a virtuous cycle that brings us closer to our ideal ultimate state of communion with God and with others.

No, prayer does not alienate us from others nor from our earthly affairs. Quite the contrary is true. It puts us in a proper relation to them, and helps us to avoid the unhealthy entanglements with our worldly business.

This truth should be spread out quite widely these days, since many now are the factors and elements that tend to deny the indispensability of prayer in our life. In short, what some people are saying is that we do not need God in our life. We are our own god, our own lawgiver. We just rely on whatever we have in terms of intelligence, talents and luck.

It should be clear to us that prayer is indispensable to us. Unless we make ourselves souls of prayer, we have reason to doubt whether we are truly living our life properly. We should be wary of some worldly ideologies, like atheism, agnosticism, hedonism, etc., that tend to mock the importance of prayer in our life.

We have to overcome some myths, like prayer is only for old women and little children, etc.