Weary of Praying?
41 Keep watch and pray that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.“ Matthew 26:41 (TEV)
When you pray, but see nothing, and feel flustered and dry, then the way is this: don’t think of yourself. Instead, turn your eyes to the Passion of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Be convinced that he is asking each one of us, as he asked those three more intimate Apostles of his in the Garden of Olives, to “Watch and pray”.(1)
Just a few weeks ago, just prior to the start of Lent as I was preparing to preach on the Transfiguration of Christ, the text described the three core disciples. Peter and James and John, falling asleep. With the radiance of the Lord’s glory, with Moses and Elijah talking about the fulfilment of all the Law and the Prophets, the three dudes crashed.
In my devotion this morning, lo and behold – they are falling asleep again, this time again in our Savior’s most trying time of need, the time where He asks us to stay and watch just an hour. They failed… even as we sometimes fail at spending enough time in prayer
There are going to be times the road is so wearying that we fall asleep – given. But sometimes it is as Fr. Josemaria Escriva notes, our prayer life becomes dry, rote, where it seems more like a dutiful monologue of Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication… (or using the Lord’s prayer as an outline – or whatever model you use) ANd that is frustrating, especially when the answers we seek, even knowing they may be different than what we desire…. do not come.
Some use the trite saying that sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no, sometimes wait. I’ve used it enough – and if it didn’t bring you comfort – I beg your forgiveness.
Josemaria has the solution locked down. Stop making the prayer about you… look to Jesus, listen to Him, see His passion – the incredible journey He undertook to not only rescue you from your sin, from all unrighteousness, from the fear of death and the oppression of Satan. See His passion for His people – the same passion the Father shows for us. Try to grasp, try to comprehend, even for a moment…what Paul prays for us to see revealed.
16 I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, 17 and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, 18 so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. 19 Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God. Ephesians 3:16-19 (TEV)
When you are tired of praying according to you duty, and maybe even before that – look to Christ.. just be amazed at His passion for you. Indeed that’s why the old ACTS model started with Adoration – but even that word seems like our work…just sit there.. and think about the cross… and why it could be, that the Lord of Glory – would head for that cross – for the joy set before Him.
It’s what works for me…when I remember….such thoughts are what changes my prayer from my monologue… to His dialog…
Lord, Have Mercy on us!
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2717-2721). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.