Week 24 — Prayer
"At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company. Pray for me that God may put His word on my lips." —Ephesians 6:18-19
"One day He was praying in a certain place. When He had finished, one of His disciples asked Him, 'Lord, teach us to pray.' " —Lk 11:1
Jesus: Decide if you want Me to teach you to pray. Are you willing to pay the price? Will you give yourself time, prime time with me? Will you let Me discipline you through the power of the Spirit? I want to teach you to pray. What's your decision?
Pray-er: Jesus, of course, I want You to teach me, but I'm going to have to fit this into my schedule.
Jesus: Fit your schedule into prayer, not vice versa.
Pray like Mary.
"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 with groanings that cannot be expressed in speech." —Rm 8:26
Jesus: You have another Advocate, the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, you would never learn to pray. Remember that to pray in the Spirit means He takes the lead and you follow. Prayer is the response to the Spirit's movement.
Pray-er: Jesus, baptize me in the Holy Spirit (Mk 1:8). Release the Spirit that I've permitted my flesh to stifle (Gal 5:17; 1 Thes 5:19). Mary, as you did at the first Pentecost, pray for me to receive a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, a renewal of my Confirmation (Acts 1:14).
Pray for the Spirit. Ask others to lay hands on you.
"The fervent petition of a holy man is powerful indeed." —Jas 5:16
Jesus: What's happening on planet Earth is just a shadow of what I intend to do. I wish somebody would ask Me for more. I hate to be limited in expressing My love. Let Me love you unconditionally and infinitely. Pray to the Father through Me in the Spirit.
Pray-er: Jesus, there's doubt in the back of my mind about prayer. This paralyzes me and keeps me from putting everything into prayer. I dabble in prayer, but don't get into it fully. Give me faith to dispel doubt, so doubt doesn't dispel my commitment to prayer.
Pray for prayer beyond doubt (Mt 14:33).
"He told them a parable on the necessity of praying always and not losing heart." —Lk 18:1
Jesus: My Father, the Spirit, and I always answer your prayers. Often, We give you better than you ask for, but you never get less. When you realize this, you'll never want to stop praying (1 Thes 5:17). Who wouldn't want to do something that always turns out great or even better?
Pray-er: Jesus, thanks for the privilege of praying and praying always. If I was allowed to talk to You just once, it would be the greatest event of my life. But You let me communicate with You always. Thank You, Jesus, for a relationship with You.
Pray the liturgy of the hours and/or the rosary.
"I was ready to respond to those who asked Me not, to be found by those who sought Me not. I said: 'Here I am! Here I am!' to a nation that did not call upon My name." —Is 65:1
Jesus: You forget about Me several times a day, sometimes for hours. Some people forget about Me for days and years. Since I love you so much and died for you, you can imagine how I feel when I am forgotten. I forgive you.
Pray-er: Jesus, I'm sorry for the way I treat You. Thank You for forgiving me. I love You even though I don't show it. Free me from my preoccupation with self.
Pray by celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
"In the days when He was in the flesh, He offered prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to God, Who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence." —Heb 5:7
Jesus: While on earth I prayed till My dying breath. I prayed between and in screams on Calvary. I prayed not to be freed from death but risen from the dead. And My prayer was heard.
Pray-er: Jesus, may I pray till my dying day with my last breath. May the first words of the day and the last word of my life be prayer. I commit myself to pray "now and at the hour of my death."
Pray, fast, celebrate Mass.
"He said to Peter, 'So you could not stay awake with Me for even an hour? Be on guard, and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing but nature is weak.' " —Mt 26:40-41
Jesus: If you pray one hour a day, you will become conscious of My presence and be in the spirit of prayer throughout much of the day. Let's spend your days and life consciously aware of being together.
Pray-er: Jesus, I commit myself to imitate You by praying each morning. I will set aside a certain time each day for prayer so that each of the day's activities may be a prayer.
Pray to rise early and be absorbed in prayer (Mk 1:35).
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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