Prayer always has priority PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 11:42

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

If there’s any activity that should precede all the others, it is prayer. In fact, prayer should not only precede, but also abide and accompany all our other activities of our day, 24/7, including our sleep.

That’s because prayer is like the breathing and the heartbeat of our spiritual organism, of our soul. Just as we continue to breathe and just as our heart continues to beat even while we are unconscious in our sleep, so should our prayer be.

To be sure, this is possible and doable, because praying does not even need a bodily organ for it to be done. It is a spiritual operation that can transcend the use of our bodily faculties. It’s a matter of attitude, of belief, which we can always have even if it is not expressly articulated.

As such, it can be done in any situation—while we are working, playing, resting, etc. But it would be good that we spend some time doing nothing other than praying, directly engaging God in a loving conversation, because that would help us to be prayerful in all our other activities and situations in life.

Thus, we have to be ready to do some vocal prayers and mental prayer. These are exercises that can build and fuel our life of prayer. With them, we engage God in a more direct way, and in a more loving way, giving him due worship and adoration.

Besides, those moments of vocal prayer and mental prayer would be good moments to thank God for everything we have received, and also to ask for pardon for the mistakes and sins we have committed, as well as to ask for favors that we need.

With prayer, we can get to be receptive to God’s will and ways. We become familiar with his words and his teachings that are a sure guide in our life. With it, we are not simply living our life on our own. We are living it with God, which is how our life should be, since we are his creatures, and creatures made in his image and likeness, meant to enter and take part in the very life of God himself.

With prayer, we get to share in a most intimate way what God has—his wisdom, his power, his goodness, mercy and compassion, his knowledge of things, etc. And especially when the sting of our weakness and the strong temptations come, prayer is what enables to deal with them properly.

Since our vocal and mental prayers would help us greatly in building up our whole life of prayer, we should see to it that that we find the proper time and place for it, and develop, of course, the proper attitude, dispositions and skills of doing them.

I believe it is a most worthwhile effort, just as we need to keep eating, resting, exercising, working, studying etc. to lead a healthy, normal life. Our spiritual life would soar to high heavens, discovering many nuances of the spiritual and supernatural life, when vocal and mental prayer becomes an integral part of our daily life.

We would know how to see God in others and in everything else. We would be drawn to love and to serve others, with no fear of the effort and sacrifice involved. We get to see things properly, more completely, objectively and fairly. Our faith will be strengthened, our hope deepened and our charity emboldened.

We would know how to deal with difficulties and challenges, with our weaknesses, temptations as well as our sins when we fall. Prayer opens us to the working of grace that knows how to bring us back to God no matter how far we may have strayed.

In fact, it’s what makes us always close to him. Christ, in his moment of ultimate suffering on cross, still managed to address his Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” It’s a very filial prayer, full of confidence in his Father in the moment of his utmost suffering.

Our conviction of the necessity for prayer should be such that in our darkest moments, we would turn to it readily, complaining a little perhaps, but showing great trust in the most mysterious ways of his wisdom and mercy.

Yes, it is worthwhile to fight to be able to do our vocal and mental prayers. They are special moments when we become very close to our Father God, and develop that fundamental intimacy that all of us need.

Again, if we succeed in this, it is most likely that everything else in our life, be it good or bad, can be an occasion and form of prayer.