2559 “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”2 But when we pray, do we speak from the height of our pride and will, or “out of the depths” of a humble and contrite heart?3 He who humbles himself will be exalted;4 humility is the foundation of prayer, Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought,”5 are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer. “Man is a beggar before God.”
Prayer is a relationship and as such, there is always room for surprise. When one first begins to pray there is often a joy in simply the knowledge that our heart and our concerns might be heard and received by God. There is simple amazement that the God of the universe is attentive to us as we are attentive to God.
As we continue to grow in prayer it is good and natural that we develop patterns, disciplines, and practices that help facilitate a life that is oriented toward prayer more and more. A life that is oriented towards prayer at all times is truly a noble goal.
Yet, as the life of prayer matures there can be a dampening of that first wonder and humility. The Catechism offers us a helpful reminder that none of us “knows how to pray as we ought” and that we should approach God ready to receive freely what God has for us “as a beggar.”
When it calls us to have the posture of a begar, it teaches us that we should have hands that are open to receive whatever it is that God has for us. When we approach prayer we should always ask God to give us the humble perspective of a beginner. Prayer is a gift that originates from God. The gift of God’s presence comes from God and all that God gives us through prayer is a free gift.
Pray with a willingness to receive whatever God has for you. Let God surprise you with the gifts that are given to you. Pray with the mind of a beginner, filled with humility and wonder.
Good and gracious God. Let us be open to the surprises that you offer us in prayer. In order that we might receive what you have for us with gratitude and wonder. Help us to live lives open to your gifts for us at all times as we seek to live a life of prayer in you.
Questions for Today:
How might you pray with a posture of a beggar, willing to receive whatever God might have for you?