Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some thoughts on prayer

What is prayer? What sort of prayer is most helpful? The most common type of prayer, I think, has to be intercessory prayer. We ask God to intervene in our lives and the lives of our loved ones. We must always remember, prayer does work. Prayer changes things. Jesus told us that persistance in prayer will pay off.

But, we needn't be overly verbal in our persistance. God knows what we need before we ask Him (Matthew 6) . A simple daily offering up of the intention is enough.

But perhaps we shouldn't rely only on intercessory prayer. When asking God to "intervene" in our lives, to step in and "change things", we really are asking Him to do something that He has already done. God, the Divine Creator, is outside of time and space. He knows what will happen and has ordaned everything for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)

Lent reminds us that it is not all about us. It is about God. Prayer can, and should, include meditating on the Glory and Love of God through such things as the Stations of the Cross and the mysteries of the Rosary. These show us the things that God has done for us, through Christ. This Love has inspired countless artists of all types to illustrate these important details in the life of Christ through music, words, painting, film and other media.

Today, the forces of evil, which are often disguised as "an angel of light" (2 Corrinthians 11:14), have saturated our culture with images of all kinds. We must consciously reject those images by meditating on the account of our salvation, given to us through scripture and inspiring people for centuries.

Illustrated Stations of the Cross can be prayed alone and are especially appropriate during Lent. Many parishes have group stations some time on Fridays during the Lenten season. If you visit this online Lenten Companion site, you can pray the stations of the cross while on your computer. Just click on the blue arrow to advance the screen after each station.

The same site has a beautiful online Rosary which works in the same way. Click on the blue right arrow to advance the page. After praying the initial prayers, it will give you a choice of which mysteries to pray. A common tradition is to pray the Joyful mysteries on Monday and Saturday, The Sorrowful Mysteries on Tuesday and Friday, the Luminous Mysteries on Thursday and the Glorious Mysteries on Sunday.

No comments:

Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

my poetry on the web

Karumi Garden

Karumi Garden
my haiku