As my 14 year old daughter was preparing for bed the other night, I quietly reminded her, “Don’t forget to say your prayers”. Her response to me was, “Mom, I don’t pray to God, I talk to Him”. As much as I wanted to give her my two cents worth of insights, and share my own prayer experiences, I held back. Why?
She has her personal journey with Jesus. It is different from mine. She “owns” it so to speak through her prayer, and this makes it real for herself. Does it matter how she communicates with Jesus? As a parent, I can guide from behind the scenes – stealth mode. I pray for the hand of God, Holy Mary, and all the Angels and Saints to protect her from the clutches of Satan’s guiles (this can come from television, social media, etc.) as she journeys with Jesus.
My daughter is also absolutely right, praying is talking to God. Her way of communicating with God is personal and private. As I reflect on my own prayer life today, and how I use to pray in the past, I see a transformation in my prayer life as my own faith grew. Prayer is synchronous with my own growth and development as a Christian. From awkward prayers to free flowing lucid ones – “I don’t know what to say to Jesus!” – to sincerely heart felt prayers that often have me in tears before our Savior.
Prayer is also related to our own personal experiences. Each of us experiences and makes sense of our world based on different sets of lens. Our worldviews and the way we see things changes as we ourselves change and adjust to our environment. Prayer is much the same. It grows, expands along with our own sensitivities and life experiences.
Faith, Hope, Love!
Jesus, I trust in You!
Prayer is our dialogue with the Almighty. Through prayer, we acknowledge He is our God. He hears us.
The story of Esther in the Old Testament is a testament to this:
Queen Esther’s Prayer
Esther C: 14-25, 14:4-9
“My Lord, our King, You alone are our God.
Please help me, for I am alone and I have no one else
but You to turn to; my life is in danger.
As a child I was always told by the people of the land
of my forefathers that You, O Lord, chose Israel
from among all peoples and designated our fathers
from among all their ancestors as a perpetual heritage,
and that all of Your promises to them were fulfilled.
Now, however, we have sinned in Your sight
by worshiping the gods of our enemies,
and You have delivered us into their hands
because You are just, O Lord …
Do not forget us, O Lord.
Be present to us in the time of our distress and grant me courage,
O King of gods and Ruler of every earthly power …
Save us by Your power, and come to my aid,
for I am alone and have no one but You on whom to depend, O Lord.”
Yes, and He answers Esther’s call for help by softening the King’s heart. Esther was also able to reveal to the King the treachery that belies his throne, and stop the persecution of the Jews.
As I reflect on my journey into Catholicism, praying has become the center of my day. Through faith, I know God hears me. Whether He answers right away is up to Him. I can only hope that He will answer me. Through prayer, I acknowledge Jesus and His divine greatness. Through prayer, I tell Jesus I love Him. It is a simple truth based on faith and love.
Sincerity is all that God asks of us.
There is a rich vault of prayers and chaplets in the Catholic faith. They are powerful tools for us to pray with. It was through praying the Rosary that I fell in love with my Holy Mother. As a former Protestant, I will admit that my yearly nod to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph was only at Christmas (in the nativity story). I never delved deeper. My journey in the Catholic faith was the rediscovery of our Immaculate Virgin Mary through the Rosary. It is also a rediscovery of St. Joseph.
I recall those early days when after an online search and armed with YouTube and printed material, I awkwardly said the Rosary. After many weeks, it dawned on me, “I enjoy praying the Rosary”. There are days when it calms me. There are days I find myself sobbing and crying. I was led into an intimate journey through the Passions of Christ, His suffering and love for us. I was shown our human weakness.
Through praying the Rosary, I also got to know Holy Mary. The repetition upon each bead, I prayed, “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus”. The Holy Spirit revealed to me insights and mysteries that transcends the day to day repetition of the Rosary. I think this is something each Catholic must discover on their own, as I believe it will be unique to each.
Praying the many prayers and chaplets shows our trust in God. It also acknowledges a bond of trust.
He hears our prayers.
God hears everyone and every whisper of our heart!
Our act of faith goes a long way.
God Bless 💖