When prayer gets desert-dry PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:52

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE have to be prepared for this eventuality that, sad to say, given our current frenzied conditions, many people claim to experience. There can be many explanations for this.

One is that we are not actually taking care of our spirit of recollection all throughout the day. That’s why we find it hard and awkward to pause and do some kind of reflection and meditation, or even short, spontaneous chitchat with God.

We allow ourselves to be carried away by purely worldly impulses that would at least marginalize if not omit God altogether in our daily affairs. And so we cannot relate ourselves to him and thus find no urge to pray. We find him a stranger in our life.

Another is that we are just lacking in faith and, in fact, are carrying serious doubts and unresolved issues with respect to our faith. This can be worsened by the fact that aside from doing nothing about it, we expose ourselves to ideologies, cultures and lifestyles that are hostile to religion and spiritual and supernatural realities.

And nowadays, such ideologies and lifestyles are rampant, ever reinforced by the media and other elements in the world. Not only are we referring to some sustained campaign for relativism, agnosticism and atheism. We can now talk about outright hostility against God.

Or it could simply be lack of effort and spirit of mortification. Prayer will always require some sacrifice. Christ himself had to wake up early in the morning and go to some isolated place to pray to his father.

Even those who already know about the importance of prayer and are doing something about it do not make the necessary effort to discipline themselves and fight against the usual enemies like laziness, attachment to comfort, egoism, etc.

And the last but not the least of the reasons could be that God simply wants us to suffer this drying in our prayer just to test us and to draw from us the impulse to grow precisely in our spirit of prayer, showing us where we are weak at and where we should therefore work on.

In any event, when our prayer gets desert-dry for whatever reason, we should try to stay calm and to avoid over-reacting by worrying too much about it. What we can do is to precisely make use of that predicament as the very material for our prayer.

In those cases where we find no reason to pray, we should just allow the heart to take over, making many acts of faith, hope and charity, usually done in repeated ejaculatory fashion until the heart begins to burn.

Let’s remember that the heart has a language that goes beyond reason and words, and when it takes the lead in our prayer, it will surely bring us to considerations we never thought or expected before.

We should not be afraid when our prayer gets desert-dry.

We should just persist in spending some time with God, allowing the heart to take over. In the end, it will be God who will take the lead, and we would just go along.