prayer: the first, not the last, resort
"Mary has chosen the good portion, and she shall not be deprived of it." —Luke 10:42, our transl.
Every Martha needs to have been and continue to be a Mary. We need to work for the Lord with all our heart, but we need to pray first. Before we work, doesn't it make sense to listen to the One (see Lk 10:39) Whose love motivates us to work? (see 2 Cor 5:14) Before we do something, shouldn't we get instructions from the Lord Who tells us what to do? It's true that we shouldn't just sit there; rather, we should be doing something. However, we shouldn't just do something, but first sit there in prayer.
Before Jesus began His public ministry, He fasted and prayed for forty days (Mt 4:2). Before Jesus started His day's work, He first prayed (Mk 1:35). Before Jesus died on the cross for our salvation, He prayed an hour in the garden of Gethsemani (Mt 26:36ff). Before the early Church began to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth, she prayed for nine days in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Before Paul began working harder than all the other apostles (1 Cor 15:10), he spent three years in Arabia and Damascus, most likely seeking God's direction in prayer (Gal 1:17-18). Work hard, but pray first, pray on, and pray always (Lk 18:1).
Prayer: Jesus, teach me to pray first and always (Lk 11:1).
Promise: "He who was formerly persecuting us is now preaching the faith he tried to destroy." —Gal 1:23
Praise: St. Bruno wrote: "Rejoice, because you have escaped the various dangers and shipwrecks of the stormy world."
Reference: (To grow in your prayer life, order our book, Conversion-Conversations. This book contains short daily prayer conversations with the Lord for a period of forty weeks. By faithfully praying this book, you will grow closer to Jesus.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998