At one time or another we have been confronted with a difficult situation, either ours or someone else’s. It might be a death, an accident, a loss of a job, something hard to handle. We might even say “I will remember you in my prayers,” and then in the next breath we say “I wish I could do more.” Aren’t we forgetting that one of the most forceful powers at our disposal is prayer? Yet at times prayer is almost an afterthought, when there’s nothing else we can do we pray.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church prayer is the elevation of the mind and heart to God in praise…petition…thanksgiving… or intersession…. So when we pray we are asking for God’s grace and especially in a difficult circumstance we are doing the first and most important thing that anyone can do.
Think about it. Throughout history we have heard the stories about the power of prayer. Peoples lives have been drastically changed because of prayer. Armies have been defected through prayer. Miracles have taken place because people pray. Think about what happens at Mass. Of course, Jesus himself taught his disciple to pray and we are still saying the “Our Father.”
But prayer must not be the only thing that we do. We must be active in our role as servants of God. Pray first then act. God has given each of us an ability to act. It may be physically helping someone in need. It may be the ability to listen attentively. It may be our turn to write a check or make a donation. However we respond it should first be rooted in prayer.
No my friends prayer is not a last resort, it is the first thing, the most powerful thing that a Christian can do. Prayer gives light to the path in difficult times and helps us to respond to the needs of others with love. As St. Paul writes in I Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
Blessings, Father Dooley
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT Do I experience prayer as a guiding factor meeting the needs of others? Have I experienced hope and strength when people pray for me? Do I believe in the power of prayer?