What is prayer?
Prayer is an honest way through which human beings communicate with God. For communication to become prayer it has to be honest and sincere. By praying, we express openness and surrender to God. Prayer benefits everyone who prays. Prayer is a word, action, thought and attitude. When prayer becomes frequent it helps one to focus mind and intellect on things that matter. Prayer is a spiritual and emotional encounter with the almighty. Prayer wonders that every creature can praise God.
Humanity is naturally attracted to prayer
Since the beginning, humanity has yearned to stay in communion with God. Ancient peoples did this through hymns, songs and rituals, praise and petition. Today, thousands of years later, people across the globe continue to lift their hearts to God in prayer. Prayer is a heart to heart dialogue that is known by the created an appreciated by the creator. Christian knows how Jesus encouraged them to pray to insist that, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Luke 11:9. Prayer is an instrument of revolution.
Prayer opens ways
Prayer is a favourite means through which humans communicate to God who created them to praise, serve and love Him. God is so unique that He appreciates. Pray is never out of place; what it does not do today is accomplished later. Jesus’ disciples felt the need and requested Jesus to ‘teach them to pray’. We learn how to pray by praying. The gospel narrates numerous times when Jesus is praying alone; with crowds and in the company of his disciples. Jesus prays before any important undertaking with makes prayer a key to success.
Prayer makes the human being smart
While the common tendency is to ‘close the door to anything about God’, a smart person knows that prayer is the master key for opening rusted padlocks. When it is genuine, ‘prayer works instantly’. God pardoned Ninevites after Jonah had preached the destruction of their city. The inhabitants were saved because of their conversion, fasting and prayer despite the stiff attitude of Jonah who desired a harsh judgment rather than pardon. Prayer can save a nation from any punishment. Prayer guards against falling into self-exoneration. Prayer opens the door for God because when they are closed, nothing is done. We pray to God through adoration, praising and thanking. Prayer is essential for the community.
The three categories of prayer
Prayer is liturgical, community and personal. Liturgical prayer refers to the official prayers of the Church which climax in the Eucharistic. Under liturgical prayer, there are seven Sacraments, Liturgy of the Hours, Sacramentals, Prayers and Blessings. Prayer is for the Community when it covers the Way of the Cross, the Holy Rosary, devotions, Sodalities and Associations. Instead, Personal prayer interests the individual. Personal prayer can be in word, actions and silence. When a community prays well, the person prays better.
Prayer promotes growth
Prayer is important because it makes those praying to remain calm and sober. Prayer promotes a sober living relationship between people and God who is goodness itself. Prayerful life favours liturgical, communal and personal discipline because of quality-oriented lifestyle. Prayer makes religion genuine by moving it from theory to practice. Prayer makes us one family of God.
Pray is dynamic
If prayer means reciting fixed prayers it would be psychologically tedious. After all, in a determined space of time, prayer would be done. Prayer matures when it permeates all spheres of life. We are praying when we pray but we also pray as we walk, sing and farm. What matter is the correct disposition? Prayer makes us healthy.
Praying well means having a spirit of prayer throughout the day. When we remain united with God and being conscious of his presence, then we are praying. The person who prays always without ceasing is one who is wholly in God’s presence and ready to do His will. It is important to keep in mind that prayer is a gift and a grace from God to His people.
Fr. Paulino Mondo