forced to communicate?
"On that day you will have no questions to ask Me. I give you My assurance, whatever you ask the Father, He will give you in My name." —John 16:23
When we pray, the Lord doesn't usually say what we want Him to say (unless we say what He wants because we are very holy). For example, when Paul was in danger of being beaten up or murdered at Corinth, Paul probably wanted the Lord to answer his prayers by telling him to leave Corinth. However, the Lord told him to stay (Acts 18:9-11). Because we often "aren't on the same wavelength" as God, our prayer can be anguished and laborious (see Jn 16:21). Under these circumstances, we naturally want to quit praying.
However, when we commit ourselves to pray a novena, we try to force ourselves to pray for at least nine days. We have to keep trying to communicate with the Lord, even when He doesn't say what we want. This helps us get over the obstacles of our selfishness and sinfulness. We die to ourselves and let the Lord love us and give us more than we can ever ask for or imagine (see Eph 3:20). Our laborious prayer can be turned into joy by the Lord inspiring us to pray a novena.
Today begins the first of all novenas, the Pentecost novena. In this we have an opportunity to break through our defense mechanisms, which limit our communication with God. This breakthrough can be so life-changing as to open us up to a new Pentecost.
Prayer: Father, in the next nine days, help me to face my obstacles to communicating with You.
Promise: "Do not be afraid. Go on speaking and do not be silenced, for I am with you." —Acts 18:9-10
Praise: William's life changed when he stopped giving orders to God and began his praying by listening to God.
Reference: (To grow as a disciple and be a strong witness, you may be called to "come away for a little while." We offer summer Discipleship Retreats. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, October 9, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 14, 2003