Thursday, October 22, 2009

Power of Prayer

“First of all, let me make it perfectly clear that the power of praying is not a means of gaining control over your spouse, so don’t get your hopes up! In fact, it is quite the opposite. It’s laying down all claim to power in and of yourself, and relying on God’s power to transform you, your spouse, your circumstances and your marriage. This power is not given to wield like a weapon in order to beat back an unruly beast. It’s a gentle tool of restoration appropriated through the prayers of a spouse who longs to do right more than be right, and to give life more than get even. It’s a way to invite God’s power into your spouse’s life for their greatest blessing, which is ultimately yours too.” From the Power of the Praying Wife/Husband by Stormie OMartin

Father talked about the secrets of life--that we are all going to die, (that we must die to ourselves, and to live totally unselfishly); and the need for someone else (community) in our lives.

Prayer is one of the “powers” to achieve those “secrets.” Prayer lets us become “naked” before God, to receive his grace by turning over all of our sufferings and selfishness to him. Prayer bares our souls and puts God in Power of our lives. The most powerful prayer, the mass, combines our reliance on God’s power to transform us with our need for community. “Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there.”

In this “instant gratification” society I think all of us are guilty at some point or another of saying: "What do I do now" or "I wish I could change this immediately." We are looking for that "secret to success, to healing, to fixing whatever today's problem is." The secret is God, and the way to reach God is thru prayer.

Remember the cliché, “The family that prays together stays together.” Why is that such a truth? And have we taught our children to pray? Prayer is like glue that will hold us together, in times of stress, grief, pain or suffering. And if we are praying together as a family or as a couple we are relying on God, together in our community of faith. We are giving Him the Power in our lives, in our family, in our community. We are not trying to control our own destiny. God shows us his mercy and love by “speaking” to us in prayer.

When someone asks me to “pray for them;” or I ask someone to” pray for me;” I think of it as “many voices” turning to God for the common good. The more of us praying together, the louder the voice: or as another cliché would read—“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Jesus and his disciples are seen many times in the bible praying, both in praise and thanksgiving, and in suffering and pain. We must go to God in prayer. The “power” of asking God is heralded by the following verse: “If the prayer of the just man avails much, how much more the prayer of the one made perfect” (Rev. 21:27).

So how do I begin if prayer is not already part of my daily life? The definition of prayer in Wikipedia is this: “Prayer is the act of addressing a god or spirit for the purpose of worship or petition. Specific forms of this may include praise, requesting guidance or assistance, confessing sins, as an act of reparation or an expression of one's thoughts and emotions. The words used in prayer may take the form of intercession, a hymn, incantation, words of gratitude, or a spontaneous utterance in the person's praying words.”

Prayer doesn’t come from a “textbook”, prayer comes from the heart. But if you are in need of a “jumpstart” try the following website:

Prayer is a "conversation with God." As the definition reads there are "asking, thanking, praising, or blessing" prayers. And in order to hear God’s reply sometimes our prayer can just be a quiet time to “listen” to what he wants to put into your heart.

The most powerful prayers, the Mass and the Most Holy Rosary, are combinations of prayers given to us in scripture. (The mass is over 80 combined scriptural passages and Jesus gave us the “Our Father” (Luke 11: 2-4) and the “Hail Mary” (Luke 1:28 and Luke 1:41-42b) which combined with the meditations on the mysteries in the life of Jesus and Mary make up the rosary).

So, do we pray with our spouse and our families? Do we ever say “I don’t have time to pray?” Or how many times do we say “I don’t know where to start or how to pray?”

Do we remember that “with God, all things are possible?” Even though God knows what is in our hearts, as his children, we must ask. We can tell God anything. We can ask him anything. We must “Just Do It.”

Start today! The power of Prayer will change our lives and push us closer to helping us achieve the secrets of life. Don’t keep the power of prayer a secret in your life or in anyone else’s!

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