I’m not alone in believing that we need prayer now, more than ever. Why? Perhaps, because ordinary people aren’t praying as much. People like you. And me.
It’s not like I believe that we get whatever we pray for – far from it. (And don’t I know it.) Sometimes, the greatest blessings come from “unanswered” prayers. (So, if you don’t get what you prayed for, don’t blame God or the power of prayer. God knows what God is doing and sees the big picture when we cannot.) The first, and perhaps foremost, power of prayer is the effect that it has on you, the pray-er.
What is prayer?
Take a moment. Catch your breath. Breathe and let go of all of your petty hangups and worries. Try thinking about the big picture, about the great big world. Remember the inherent beauty of things, remember especially the power and beauty of love. Remember that every light has a shadow and that happy reward often comes through pain in the natural way of things. Get to know yourself. Examine your selfish concerns, your selfish actions, your anger – and gratitude. Contemplate your sorrows and your delights, your fears and your hopes. And do all of this through prayer.
Yes, count your blessings even when this is the hardest thing to do, even when you don’t feel it. God knows there have been times when I certainly haven’t felt it. But, opening communication with my Creator, opening my heart to the Infinite/Eternal One is healing… is amazing sometimes.
Waking up every morning, no matter what you have to face in the day, and remembering that you are loved into being is the best way to begin the day. Remember that you are not in control, but the One who is loves you and everyone that you love – and everyone that you dislike – without end. You will suffer some time each day, God knows. And God suffers with you. Remember Christ suffering on the Cross and all that he is willing to do for you and your eternal happiness. Be willing to suffer a little bit today for him. And for all those who are in much more need of comfort, strength, and guidance than you might be today.
Let yourself be opened up beyond yourself so that God may live in you, loving you and others through you. No matter what terrible things happen today – don’t become terrible. Let God love you. And be free… Free to be who you are created to be, fully and truly human.
That is fulfillment.
Every morning, I try to pray a Morning Offering as part of my Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Sadly, I’m not a very good pray-er. I get distracted or I forget completely. So, I tied my morning prayer together with something that I regularly enjoy. Singing. Now, it should be said that I am also not a very good singer. But, the joy, and even the effectiveness, of song on me is not in whether or not I hit the notes well – just as the joy and the effectiveness of prayer on me (and the rest of the world through me) is not in whether or not I say the words well. It’s all about loving from the heart and the true joy that comes from loving.
Love is being poured out endlessly onto each of us. And the love flows out, everywhere. It’s contagious.
And, so, I put some of the words of the Sacred Heart Consecration to the tune of “For the Beauty of the Earth” (see video of the song below.) This helps me to remember to open myself up to prayer. And the prayer helps me to become, not a better pray-er, but, I hope, a better prayer. May my life be a prayer…
My Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart
My Lord and my God, I offer up to you this day –
all I have and all I am, everything I do and say,
All for you Most Sacred Heart of my Lord, Jesus Christ.
All my thoughts and all my prayers, trials, joys, and sorrows, too,
all my wants and all my cares, I freely offer up to you –
So that my whole being may honor, love, and glorify you.
From all that can resist or hurt you, my Lord, I turn away
and ask that you will fill my heart with your love in every way.
From you, Lord, may I never part! Keep me in your Sacred Heart.
© 2016 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.