Sunday, July 6, 2008

How is your prayer life today?

Meditation for Sunday, July 06, 2008
The Word Among Us
Matthew 11:25-3


What a close relationship Jesus had with his Father! For him, prayer was a source of love more than a source of power. It was in prayer that Jesus opened his heart to the Father, and the Father opened his heart to his Son. It was this special communion that gave Jesus the strength for his mission.

If prayer was that important to Jesus, how much more important it must be to us! In a world that rewards action over contemplation, it is very tempting to neglect prayer and offer God our good deeds (or at least our good intentions) instead of our hearts. But it's neither the "wise and the learned" nor the busy who are closest to God: It's those who are like little children. And what do little children do for their parents? Absolutely nothing! That's how God asks us to relate to him—to receive his love, wisdom, and protection like a child.

Prayer is the most essential part of our Christian lives—and especially the prayer of the Eucharist. But it's not based on anything we have done. It's based on what Jesus has done. Through him, we have access to the Father! (Matthew 11:27). Because of his sacrifice, we can receive his body and blood at Communion and enter into true communion with him and his Father—and that's what prayer is all about! When we discover this relationship, we find we don't need to worry about being good enough. When we take on the gentle yoke of Jesus, he leads us to his Father, and we find rest.

How is your prayer life today? Is there some way you can improve it? Ask the Lord to show you if something is dragging you down. It may be a mind-set such as perfectionism, fear, or insecurity. It may be an excessive attachment to material goods or an addiction that's consuming you. Whatever it is, bring it to the cross—and experience the freedom of having Christ as your master!

"Jesus, thank you for showing me the way to the Father! I want to come to him in sincerity and truth. Please burn away all that holds me back!"

Zechariah 9:9-10; Psalm 145:1-2,8-11,13-14; Romans 8:9,11-13


There is much in this meditation on prayer that we can reflect on with regards to our own lives and the life of Matt Talbot.

One key question raised is "How is your prayer life today?" If we are honest, we will probably admit that it is "better" that it use to be but not what it could be, certainly not if we use Matt as an example. Of the many words used to describe him, Matt was definitely a pray-er (without ceasing) for the remaining forty-one years of his sober life.