The Importance of Prayer
Jesus was very busy from the beginning of His ministry, there was much to overwhelm him. The same can happen to us. As we do great work for others, our lives become very busy, so much so that we do not always have time to pray. We rationalize that since what we are doing is serving and helping others, our need to pray is covered; but the truth is that it is not.
Jesus demonstrates the importance of prayer, even in the middle of all of His various activities, surrounded by large numbers of people. Even then, He dedicates part of His day to talk with his Father: “Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where He prayed.” Following the example of Jesus, prayer should be our first daily activity; we should dedicate a special time for prayer.
We can ask ourselves this question: Do I pray? We should then ask about the quality of our prayer. Thinking about our prayer is important because prayer is the thermometer of our spiritual life. Caring about our prayer means caring for our spiritual life.
Why is this important? Because prayer is a loving communication with God. Prayer is the expression of our inner spiritual needs. Through prayer we can find strength of spirit, guidance, wisdom, joy and inner peace.
It is through prayer that we can control our temperament, even overcoming obstacles that we believed we could not. In the end, prayer makes us better persons because it helps us to think about God who listens to us. It also makes us think about ourselves, and in that exchange with God, we want to be more like God.
There are two key words to understand the effect of prayer: peace and strength. Our prayer aids us to see the world, ourselves and all of our activities in a new way. We begin to see as God sees; this can give us an understanding and acceptance that in the end may give us peace.
For this reason, in order to control our temper or any possible tendency toward violence, we should pray. In doing so, we open the door to more peaceful lives. In this way, amidst the difficulties and hardships of life, we can embrace an inner peace that is borne of God. Prayer also helps us to become spiritually stronger; we are able to confront situations with the assurance of faith as we live the fullness of our life in the Lord.
I encourage you to reflect on your life of prayer because it is the key component of our relationship with God. Even as we are involved in doing many good things, we need to follow the example of our Lord and dedicate a special time to pray each and every day.
– Fr. Sergio