For almost twenty years, Pope John Paul II has called us to great, growing, and intense prayer in preparation for the celebration of the year 2000, the Great Jubilee (The Redeemer of Man, 22). The Pope has taught: "A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and Lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus Himself has shown us by His own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf Mt 4:1-11). As He taught His disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf Mk 9:29)" (The Gospel of Life, 100). There is "the necessity of praying always and not losing heart" (Lk 18:1).
How can we obey the Lord, the Church, and the Pope? How can we pray the greatest prayer of our lives? We have trouble watching one hour with Jesus (see Mt 26:40). How can we pray always with love and power? Jesus' first followers were pitiful in their prayerlessness until they received the Holy Spirit. "The Spirit too helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us" (Rm 8:26).
When Advent begins next month, we conclude the year of Jesus and begin the year of the Holy Spirit in preparation for the Great Jubilee year 2000. Ask Jesus to renew your Baptism and Confirmation — to baptize and immerse you in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8). Then you will pray in the Spirit (see 1 Cor 14:15; Eph 6:18; Jude 20).