the prayer of a lifetime
"The Spirit intercedes for the saints as God Himself wills." —Romans 8:27
For more than twenty-five years, Pope John Paul II called us to great, growing, and intense prayer (The Redeemer of Man, 22). The Pope 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 and 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, 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).
Prayer: Father, make me docile to the Spirit and powerful in prayer.
Promise: "Try to come in through the narrow door. Many, I tell you, will try to enter and be unable." —Lk 13:24
Praise: Four sisters prayed and fasted for their cancer-riddled father and were rewarded with his living for seven more years.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Bishop-Elect, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 26, 2011 (for 10-1-2011 through 11-29-2011) and May 26, 2011 (for 11-30-2011)
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