A senior priest – who was known to be very prayerful – was asked by the youth of his parish:
“Dear Father, we are all aware that you depend so much on the power of prayer.
Can you help us to also have a similar dependence on prayer?”
The elderly priest, looked at the eager longing of the youngsters and replied:
“My dear young people…
… My life of faith has taught me a few lessons in prayer.
And what I have learnt, I share with you…
I have always seen, that in prayer…
… If the request is wrong, God says, “No.”
… If the timing is wrong, God says, “Slow.”
… If the intention is wrong, God says, “Grow.”
>> But if the request is right, the timing is right and the intention is right, God says, “Go!
So in all prayer, the key is simple: Be open to hear No or Slow or Grow or Go
>> And do His Will always!”
Have we discovered the joy of praying…
… and the patience to wait in hope, in our prayers?
The Gospels present Jesus as the Model of praying.
The Gospel of the Day is this beautiful expression of Jesus praying…
… and presenting to us elements which need to become part of our own prayer life.
The Seventeenth Chapter of the Gospel of John is traditionally called as the High Priestly prayer of Jesus.
The Gospel passage of the day (Jn 17: 1-11) presents a few basics and essentials of prayer:
1. Jesus prays for the glory of the Divine
Every prayer ought to be an expression of praise, worship and exaltation of the Holy Name of God.
Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to Your Son, so that your Son may glorify You!” (Jn 17: 1)
The lips of the Lord moved in praise of His Father and seeking the glory that was due to Him.
• Is my prayer an expression of my desire to ‘lift up the name of the Lord on high?”
• Or does my prayer degenerate into merely asking for things and wanting to focus the attention on me, than the Divine?
2. Jesus prays for the gift of eternal life for His people
Every prayer ought to have its intention aimed towards eternity!
Jesus prayed, “.. just as You gave Him authority over all people, so that He may give eternal life to all You gave Him” (Jn 17: 2)
The purpose of the Lord was clearly focussed on eternal goodness and everlasting benefits.
• Is my prayer an articulation of my longing for heaven and centred towards seeking the higher-things of life?
• Or do I get limited in my prayer with merely earthly and transitory things of life; not that they are unimportant, but whether they snatch away our minds from the true needs and requirements of life?
3. Jesus prays with an expression of His intimacy with God and His People
Every prayer ought to be a manifestation of my unity with the Lord and the people to whom I am connected.
Jesus prayed, “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you and you gave them to me… ” (Jn 17: 6)
The prayer of the Lord showed that He was in intimacy with the Father and was in close union with the people in His life
• Is my prayer a sign of my close friendship with the Lord as well my close binding with the many people in my life?
• Or am I failing in my prayer due to a breakage of relation with the Lord due to sin, and suffering from disturbance of mind due to damaged and hateful links with the people in my life?
4. Jesus prays for the unity and safety from the evil
Every prayer ought to make me closer to the Lord and His people and cause to me stay further away from the evil.
Jesus prayed, “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one” (Jn 17: 11b)
The heart of the Lord moved to seek to protect the people He loved and also grow in greater intimacy
• Is my prayer constantly drawing me to purge away sins from my life, so that I can remain in His name, and also make me assist His people in service?
• Or does my prayer life make no effect on me to stay away from the evil and fail to be expressed in loving actions of charity and help?
The Lord desires that just as He prayed, in close intimacy with His Father, we too may grow in our life of prayer and union with the Heavenly Father.
Yes, let us always remember that in all prayer, the key is simple:
“Be open to hear No or Slow or Grow or Go
>> And do His Will always!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “If you give up prayer because of dryness or distractions (which all the saints experienced at one time or another)…
… you might very well miss out on other opportunities to experience God’s love and wisdom in ways you never imagined!”