Monday, August 8, 2011

The Power of Prayer

My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
- Isaiah 56:7
Prayer is powerful. It can save lives, both physically and spiritually. St Augustine's mother, Monica, prayed for years that her son would be converted. And he was. People on the brink of death have recovered following intense prayer by their family and friends. But there is an even more powerful aspect of prayer. It allows us to talk to God.

Think about that for a moment. The God who created the entire universe has given us a way to speak directly to Him. And it gets better still. Through prayer, that same, powerful Creator speaks back to us. Yes, our God doesn't shut Himself off from us. He is not too important for us. We are His children. He is our Father. And what loving father would cut off all communication with his beloved children?

God wants us to talk to Him. He wants to hear our problems and struggles. He also wants to hear about our joys and successes. He doesn't require that we pray eloquently, and he doesn't want to hear recitations of written prayers. God wants us to simply tell Him what is in our hearts. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

When we learn to give everything to God, we will experience a powerful release. When you have a problem, doesn't it help to talk to someone about it? When you have good news, aren't you bursting to share it with someone? Make that someone God. He is always there, always ready to listen. You don't have to wait until He gets home. You don't have to wait until you get home. Whenever you need to talk, just start talking.

When you share a problem with a friend, do you expect to get some advice? Do you listen to that advice? Do the same with God. He wants to help you with your problems. Learn to listen to His advice and guidance, in prayer.

Maybe the best thing about prayer though, is that it is available to anyone. You don't have to belong to a certain church. You don't have to belong to a church at all. You don't have to be baptized or ordained, or receive any special sacrament. Anyone can pray, anywhere, any time. God is always listening.

1 comment:

  1. By now you know that my family is a colorful bunch. From the time I can remember my mother always prayed. She prayed the rosary while doing chores or cooking. She read prayer books to us and she told us stories about saints and of course Jesus. She used to tell us the story of Monica and St. Augustine and remind us that God always listens, no matter how long it seems to get a response. I tend to forget that. Thanks for the reminder.