Some thoughts on prayer from a Christopher News Note about Lent:
What is the Role of Prayer in Lent and in our Lives?
Sacrifice and the effort to serve God through His people can lead you to Lent’s special joy. As St. Augustine said: “We are an Easter people and Alleluia is our song.”
Prayer is an important part of our Lenten obligations. If you find it difficult to pray, you might simply imagine God speaking to you. His words might sound something like this:
“You don’t have to be clever to please Me; all you have to do is want to love Me. Just speak to Me as you would to anyone of whom you are very fond.
Are there people you want to pray for? Tell Me their names, and ask as much as you like. Trust Me to do what I know best.
Is there anything you want for your soul? Tell Me if you feel guilty about anything. I will forgive you, but you have to accept My forgiveness.
Tell Me about your self-centeredness, and your laziness. I love you in spite of your faults. Do not hesitate to ask Me for blessings for mind and body. I can give everything you need for a happier, holier life.
Are you afraid of anything? Trust yourself to Me. I am here. I see everything. I will never leave you.
Have you any joys to share with me? What has happened recently to cheer and comfort you?
Are temptations bearing heavily upon you? Yielding to them always disturbs the peace of your soul. Ask Me, and I will help you to overcome them.
How Did Jesus Pray?
Jesus was like us in everything but sin. He knew both the joyful consolation of prayer, and the utter desolation of loneliness. When God is silent, it can be extremely painful. On the cross, Jesus cried out: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:47)
Since the servant is not greater than the master, it’s hardly surprising that we, too, experience times of darkness.But don’t be discouraged. God’s grace is always there for you.
What’s the Best Way to Pray?
According to Benedictine Abbot John Chapman, “The only way to pray well is to pray often. Pure prayer is in the will. You never have to force feelings of any kind. Pure prayer is in the will to give yourself to God.”
Bernard, a single man from Staten Island, New York, expresses his prayer life this way: “It is a tremendous relief to know that you don’t have to produce a lot of pious words and feelings in order to pray well. Just giving yourself to God as best you can is all we need to do.”
Persevere in prayer. Romans 12:12