Prayer and life
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - July 11, 2020 - 12:00am

We have to be reminded that the quality of our prayer determines in the end the quality of our life. How our prayer is will somehow shape how our life will be. And that’s simply because our prayer is the basic way of connecting with God who is the source and keeper of our life, and in fact, in whose image and likeness we have been created, and whose life we are supposed to participate.

In other words, the ideal life we ought to have is when our life enters into the very life of God. And that ideal is basically pursued in our earthly sojourn through our prayer which is how we first and last relate ourselves with God.

If we do not have a life of prayer, the best thing that can happen to us is to simply lead an animal life. It might be a rational life too, but it would only be up to there at its best state, which is not yet what is ideal for us. And certainly, that rationality would be erratic.

And when our life of prayer is weak, when our prayer is mainly nominal, external if not hypocritical, then it would certainly be shown in our life too. We would be playing the game of deception and self-justification. We would not be able to cope with everything that can happen in our life, both the good and the bad things. There would be many inconsistencies in our life.

We have to see to it that we learn how to really pray. That is, we have to learn how to vitally engage with God, our Father and Creator, mainly through our mind and heart, and later through the other faculties and powers that we have—our imagination, memory, feelings, and passions, and the physical and natural powers we have.

Ideally, everything should be an act of prayer, whether we are doing our sacred or mundane duties, whether things are good or bad for us, whether we are alone or in a crowd, etc.

Prayer should not be understood only in its sacred, solemn mode. It can lend itself to all the situations and circumstances of our life. It is practicable in any situation. We just have to develop the proper discipline which, of course, will require some training.

And just like any training, it at first has to be taught under a controlled environment. That is why, at the beginning we were taught as children to recite and put into memory some vocal prayers. We may not understand everything said there, but that at least initiates us to the practice of prayer.

Then further steps ought to be made. We have to learn how to exercise our faith, how to meditate and contemplate, how to find a proper place, time and even posture for it. And then how we can have presence of God the whole day, rectitude of intention in all our actions, the habit of offering everything to God, and literally of conversing with God and discerning his will as we go on with our daily activities.

In the end, the quality of our life is determined by the quality of our prayer. If we truly are with God the whole time, we would know what to do at any given moment. We would practically share in the very power, wisdom, and goodness of God himself.

We can just imagine how the world would be if our general culture is mainly animated by a life of genuine prayer. We can expect peace and joy to reign among us. There would be unity among ourselves in spite of our unavoidable differences and conflicts. There is going to be love and mercy and patience and compassion, etc.

We should do everything to cultivate a life, if not, a culture of prayer. Let’s take the challenge. We should not just acknowledge this need. We have to attend to it with an appropriate action plan.

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