Action of Prayer

I was at a church service in detention Sunday evening and thought that I was going to have difficulty with the message that was delivered when the gentleman expressed, "Ask God for whatever you want. God will provide." Sigh. These kids in juvie ask God repeatedly for deliverance.

...deliverance from detention...

...deliverance from difficult families...

...deliverance from gangs...

...deliverance from addiction...

And all they see is a closed path before them. They perceive that they are abandoned by their families, gangs, and God. "Why?" they ask, "Is God not answering my prayers?"

And here was man telling them once again to take their troubles to God and to ask God to deliver them. And then it happened...

He said, "But don't think God is going to just give you everything you ask for. It's like when my son asked for a car. I said no, but we can put a plan together to achieve that car!"

Yes!! Sometimes the answer to prayer can seem immediate, but other times it is like putting a plan together with the Divine that takes work and cooperation between us and God. Further, he said, "And why pray for new rims when you could pray to own a manufacturing company that makes rims? Why pray for a new grill when you could pray to be able to create grills? Think big!"

That is amazing advice about prayer to youth who seldom hear the nuances of a life of prayer. Thanks be to God!

This has me pondering my own prayer life. Generally, I don't like to ask God for specific things. I suppose it feels too presumptuous. And rather bold. And rather like bossing God when God should be the boss of me. I pray for the spirit of peace, for love and safety, for strength and perseverance. But rarely do I pray, "Holy one, please deliver to me a financially successful dream."

I think it is time that I pray for that. I pray for financial success for my endeavors.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

Amen? Amen!

Let my Prayer Rise like Incense

"Let my prayer rise before you like incense, and my hands like an evening offering" (Ps 141:2).

by Father Lawrence Lew, OP

CC (BY-NC-SA)

2 Comments

  • Thank you for the great post. It reminds me that we are all in different life passages.
    Now that I’m on the “downside” of my life curve I add this everyday to my formal prayers:

    God please give me the energy,focus and where-with-all to do what is best, in the best way possible to do today and the days to come.

    It’s my reminder it’s time to detach from “physical things” and attach to God’s will.

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