Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Little About Prayer (Well, ok...A Lot)

In my (almost) twenty years of life I feel that I've met quite a few people who struggle with their faith. The people I have encountered didn't have all the benefits I have had in my life. I was raised very traditionally.
1. My family went to Church every Sunday.
2. My brother and I have both attended Catholic schools our entire lives.
3. As a result of our Catholic schooling, we learned how to pray and lead the Rosary.
4. We celebrated the sacrament of Reconciliation atleast twice every quarter of the school year.
5. We prayed at the start of the school day, before lunch, after lunch, before going home, before dinner, and before we went to bed.

I consider myself very fortunate, especially for number 5. Many of my friends have asked me for help because they want a deeper relationship with God, but they don't know where to start. It seems that no matter what their unique situation is, I always seem to answer the same way. "Why don't you start by taking some time out of your day for prayer." And then they get that confused, frustrated, look on their face. I can almost see the wheels turning in their brain.

What is prayer?
How do I start?
What do I say?
What if I don't have anything to ask for?
How long do I pray?
How do I know He can hear me?
Ok, take a deep breath! I understand, to someone who hasn't been raised on prayer and has never had a personal relationship with God, it can be overwhelming. But just relax. God is in your life whether you like it or not. He's in everyone's life, but He's not pushy about it. If you give Him an open invitation to live in your heart and you include Him in your life, He will reward you. You will feel the peace of His presence.

Before I started this blog, I decided to Google search, "What is Prayer." I came across this site.
I found it interesting because it says that the word pray is derived from the latin word precari which means "to ask." However, to fully understand the word pray we need to recognize that prayer is a conversation and a conversation cannot be held unless the other party is participating. Therefore, when you pray, God hears and answers. God is all loving, He is not rude. When you pray to Him, he doesn't ignore you. He responds and he answers EVERY time.

A good friend posted a quote to my facebook page today that inspired me to blog about prayer. Her quote was this:
God grants our prayers in 3 answers:
1. YES, you deserve it.
2. NO, it's not yet the right time.
3. NEVER, it's not good for you.

I think this is very true. God always gives the answer that is best for us. It is difficult when we pray for something we think we truly need and we don't get it. Often times we assume that our prayer went unanswered, but it didn't. When God doesn't give us what we want, it's because of two reasons.
1. What we're asking for will not benefit us in life, therefore it is not good for us.
2. We will get what we are praying for, but not yet.
Number two is my favorite one to explain to people who are having the break-up crisis. I've had a lot of people come to me and say, "I've been praying that my boyfriend/girlfriend and I would stay together and get married someday because they're the only one I can ever picture myself living the rest of my life with, but they broke up with me! Why did this happen if I prayed so much?"
It's hard when something like that happens. Someone so in love has their heart broken by someone they once trusted so deeply. But, I always try to lead them to the realization that "If this boyfriend/girlfriend was so wonderful and you thought that no one else in the world could ever compare to them, just imagine how perfect the person God intended you to be with will be! God created someone who knows how to meet your every need, someone who understands you completely and loves you unconditionally! Would you really want to miss out on that? And maybe you're right. Maybe that person is the person God created for you. If that's the case, give them time and they'll come back. God has no flaws in our life-plan. Everything that happens is significant and necessary in our lives."

1 comment:

  1. You're so wise beyond your almost 20 years lol!
    I love that you have a blog and a facebook page for prayer. You help a lot of people by way of prayer mention. This blog in particular. You're very special Amanda Rose Guell.