Friday, July 22, 2016

Cool spot to pray

There's a gospel story when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to  pray. Unlike customer service chat lines that fail to listen, Jesus promised that when we pray we can expect a response. However, when its time to pray we usually doze off or our thoughts wonder into a thousands directions. Why is it that we get sleepy when we pray? I’m sure you can relate to this problem? It’s not that we don’t pray at all because there are times we pray quite a bite:

On our tear stained pillows, we pray.
At a funeral Mass for Hermie a dear neighbor, we pray.
For Grace, a four-month-old baby in the pediatric intensive unit with her parents and grandparents, we pray.
For my friend Mark, who is in hospice care with terminal cancer, we pray.
For Fr. Don’s weak heart at the VA Hospital in Buffalo, we pray.

We pray to be sober, centered, and less afraid. We pray when the lump is diagnosed malignant. When the money runs out before the month. When the unborn baby hasn’t kicked in a while. We all pray…some
But wouldn’t we all like to pray… More? Better? Deeper? Stronger? With more fire, faith and fever?

Yet we have kids to feed, cows to milk, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. We want to pray, but when? We want to pray, but why? We might as well admit it. Prayer is odd, peculiar, Speaking into space. Lifting words into the sky. We can’t get customer service to answer us, yet God promised He will? Our neighbors are too busy, but God isn’t? Yet, we still have our doubts about prayer.

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer, not the doctrine of prayer, He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Let me end this short meditation on another hot summer day with this simple, easy-to-remember, pocket size prayer:

Father, you are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me. They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Lord, I pray for all my Sonshine Friends who are feeling hurt, alone and afraid. Let them gaze upon the image on the screen and sense your desire to cool their fears and bring them comfort and healing. Keep on praying my friends, for the more you pray the better, deeper, stronger your prayer will be.