The Necessity for Today’s Church: To make prayer more than a token in our lives
Devotional Thought of the Day:
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the daylight, he will not stumble, because he can see by this world’s light. 10 But if anyone walks at night, he stumbles because there is no light to help him see. John 11:9-10
18 Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people. Ephesians 6:18 (TEV)
448 You haven’t been praying? Why, because you haven’t had time? But you do have time. Furthermore, what sort of works will you be able to do if you have not meditated on them in the presence of the Lord, so as to put them in order? Without that conversation with God, how can you finish your daily work with perfection? Look, it is as if you claimed you had no time to study because you were too busy giving lessons… Without study you cannot teach well. Prayer has to come before everything. If you do not understand this and put it into practice, don’t tell me that you have no time: it’s simply that you do not want to pray!
It seems to me that a life of prayer has become a lost to the church today.
Sure, we give a moment at the beginning and end of our meetings to prayer. We routinely ask God for the wisdom we need to guide our ministries, our meetings, our people, and our own lives. But that is being treated like grace before a meal is, a moment given to remember God, say a routine prayer, and then on to the real event.
We ask God for wisdom, but I think often what we want is for Him to give us the wisdom, then to back away, and let us use our own wisdom as if it is His wisdom. Yet, man’s wisdom isn’t God’s wisdom, and to mistake human intellect with supernatural reason is dangerous. Yet it is a trap we personally fall into far too often, and it is becoming more and more a trap for the church. Would we even hear a prophetic voice today, calling us to repentance and to follow God’s will? Or would we measure it against our theological opinions and check for the Return of Investment?
The problem is that without prayer, and that part of prayer called meditating on God’s word, we stumble around in the darkness, we lack the light that comes from knowing He is here, He is with us. Not just knowing as in recognizing a theological tenet of God’s omnipresence, but actually perceiving Him, seeing Him deeply involved, walking with us.
We need this. Not as a matter of law, but as the blessing we need to get through the day, to be able to do the impossible, to see everyone and everything reconciled to God. St. Josemaria points this out from a logical perspective, it is the proper preparation that we need to live. Prayer, as he noted, gets lost in the time crunch, it gets overlooked in the strategy meetings, and over the years, it looses its importance, as we fail to see it work, as it doesn’t have a measurable ROI for the time it takes to truly pray and meditate.
We need to come to realize that it is more important than the meetings, more crucial than the strategic leadership initiatives, more important than the high-level theological discourses.
You ask why?
Prayer is fellowship with God. It is time spent, talking to and listening to our Creator, our Savior, our Sustainer. It isn’t just about nourishment, or wisdom, our guidance. THought all of those are there, this is about knowing we are loved, about seeing His compassion and mercy cleanse us, it is about dwelling in peace. Not because we checked off enough boxes to earn it, but because that level of intimacy with God results in it.
So take the time..as an individual, and as part of the church. We need it.. and pray… and listen… and know He is your God.
Escriva, Josemaria. Furrow (Kindle Locations 1986-1991). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.