United in prayer and sacrifice PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 14:05

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WHEREVER we are, we should strive that we be united in our prayer and sacrifice. This way, we can be more assured of drawing God’s mercy and graces to us. Together we gather more strength to attract God’s attention to us

Remember what Christ himself said: “I tell you truly that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.” (Mt 18,20)

That is why the apostles themselves prayed together before making an important decision. This can be gleaned when they had to choose a replacement for Judas who betrayed Christ. “All with one accord devoted themselves to prayer,” says the Acts of the Apostles, “together with the women and Mary he mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (1,14)

Another instance where they prayed together and received a tremendous favour is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 4. “After they had prayed,” it says, “their meeting place was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.” (31)

Another example was when they prayed together until they became “one heart and soul.” As a result, no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they owned. And they persevered in giving testimony about the resurrection of Christ. And for good measure, it is said that “abundant grace was upon them.” (cfr Acts 4,32-33)

There are a good number of other instances recorded in the Bible about how praying as a group has drawn many divine benefits.

We cannot exaggerate the tremendous effects of a united prayer, especially if accompanied with sacrifice. Prayer in itself, even if done individually, is already powerful. It unites us with Christ and makes us sharer with his powers.

Christ himself said: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.” (Mt 12,30) If these words are applicable to one person praying, we can just imagine the tremendous effect prayer can have when done together!

We need to do everything to popularize praying as a group, starting with the family, then the parishes, schools, offices, communities, villages, towns, provinces and worldwide. Let’s hope that this practice of group prayer becomes widespread.

It is, I believe, what is needed nowadays, considering that in many places around the world, the scourge of secularization and neo-paganism is mounting. God is being ostracized systematically from the lives of people in different levels.

For example, I read recently about a foreign political leader talking about gender equality, all with nice words and catchy expressions, but without making any reference to God. It is as if this issue of gender equality can be achieved solely through man’s efforts.

It is as if we can have a utopia here, where there will be perfect justice, perfect equality, and that there will be no problem at all. This is not being realistic. Our perfection is precisely when we manage to handle our human imperfections by uniting ourselves to Christ’s redemptive passion and death.

This reference to Christ’s passion and death is still considered taboo in many places, when in fact it is what resolves all our problems, especially those which we cannot solve anymore no matter what we do!