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Why Do We Pray?

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2019 3:55 pm    Post subject: Why Do We Pray? Reply with quote

Why Do We Pray?

Scripture:


And the Lord said: The cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is multiplied, and their sin is become exceedingly grievous. I will go down and see whether they have done according to the cry that is come to me; or whether it be not so, that I may know. And they turned themselves from thence, and went their way to Sodom: but Abraham as yet stood before the Lord. And drawing nigh, he said: Will you destroy the just with the wicked? If there be fifty just men in the city, shall they perish withal? And will you not spare that place for the sake of the fifty just, if they be therein? Far be it from you to do this thing, and to slay the just with the wicked, and for the just to be in like case as the wicked; this is not beseeming you: you who judge all the earth, will not make this judgment.

And the Lord said to him: If I find in Sodom fifty just within the city, I will spare the whole place for their sake. And Abraham answered, and said: Seeing I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord, whereas I am dust and ashes. What if there be five less than fifty just persons? Will you for five and forty destroy the whole city: And he said: I will not destroy it, if I find five and forty. And again he said to him: But if forty be found there, what will you do? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of forty.

Lord, said he, be not angry, I beseech you, if I speak: What if thirty shall be found there? He answered: I will not do it, if I find thirty there. Seeing, said he, I have once begun, I will speak to my Lord: What if twenty be found there? He said: I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty. I beseech thee, said he, be not angry, Lord, if I speak yet once more: What if ten shall be found there? And he said: I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.

( Genesis 18:20-32 )

Buried with him in baptism: in whom also you are risen again by the faith of the operation of God who has raised him up from the dead. And you, when you were dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has quickened together with him, forgiving you all offenses: Blotting out the handwriting of the decree that was against us, which was contrary to us. And he has taken the same out of the way, fastening it to the cross.
( Colossians 2:12-14 )

And it came to pass that as he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him: Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said to them: When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.

And he said to them: Which of you shall have a friend and shall go to him at midnight and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me and I have not what to set before him. And he from within should answer and say: Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot rise and give you. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend; yet, because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needs. And I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives: and he that seeks finds: and to him that knocks it shall be opened: And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? Or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him?

( Luke 11:1-13 )

Reflection:

The cry of children of His creation rose of up from those suffering in Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord heard their cries and decided to look to the cause. He found in those places many who exercised their free will, not to follow the commandments of love, but the ways decided by those who wielded power upon the people. They pursued unnatural ways, rejecting the design of God. They left the hungry to their hunger and the thirsty to their thirst. They left the afflicted to their afflictions and the sick to their illnesses. They helped not one another, but only sought their pleasures; pleasures which were unnatural, leaving sorrow and guilt flowing within the streets.

The cry the Lord heard left His heart in sorrow as the wicked rose to rule. The Lord was offended and so He devised the destruction of those who caused so much suffering and sorrow; those who had turned away from His commandments and who turned away from His design for them; a design of love, a design for those who approach one another with humility, civility, compassion, caring, and charity.

As the Lord revealed His intent, a conversation occurred. A righteous heart advocated for the innocent so that such souls would not be caught up in the wrath of the Lord and would be spared the destruction He planned. The Lord heard, listened, and relented in His plans. It did not mean the Lord washed His hands of the wicked. He watched until all the innocents had left the cities, and then His hand of judgment came down upon the souls clinging to evil ways.

The desire of God is not to lose any of the children of His creation, but He has left the choice to them; the choice to follow His ways of love or to turn to the ways of darkness. He sees the hearts corrupted, but His desire is to remove the corruption and evil within them so that they might be saved. Their first step is to turn to Him with a contrite heart and ask for His help, to ask for the wisdom, courage, and strength by which His goodness may fill them and by which they may live according to His commandments. (cf Exodus 20:17)

Jesus explained the objective of the commandments of God in the response to the question, ?Which is the greatest commandment?? Jesus said in reply, ?You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.? (Matthew 22:36-40) As we reflect upon these words, we must reflect that the commandments of God call us to share all the blessings of love.

A question upon which we should reflect is how can we truly love someone if we do not seek a relationship with them? How are we to know them if we do not communicate with them? We might hear from others and the opinion of others about someone we seek to know, but we cannot truly experience someone until we communicate with them ourselves. This is the reason we are called to pray, for it is an opportunity to have a conversation with the One who loves us more than anyone else, even ourselves.

But we do not hear Him, some complain; but is this true or is it they allow the noise of the world to drown out His quiet whisper to their hearts? (cf 1 Kings 19:11-1Cool If we are to know God, we must lift up our hearts to Him. We must open our hearts to hear His voice. We must open our hearts to receive His love. We must open our hearts and minds to comprehend the love to which He calls us. Though we are not worthy, He calls us to Him. If we turn to Him, He will guide us to the ways we may share the blessings of love of Him and one another.

In our prayers, we have the opportunity to share our woes and lift up our petitions for His help. He will hear us and answer us with what we need. His answer may not always be what we desire it to be, but it will be what we need from which to travel the path to His kingdom.

In our prayers, we may also listen for His guidance; the wisdom by which He nudges our heart to do what is right and just and by which we may encourage one another in all which is right and just. Like a whisper He will fill us with the eternal warmth of His love.

In our prayers, we may also give Him thanks and praise for all the blessings He offers and the many wonderful ways He works within our lives. We receive from Him so many blessings, but we often times take for granted all which He gives.

As we spend our time within Him in prayer, we will be enriched, not in the ways of the world which shall decay and pass away, but in the ways of His eternal kingdom. Let us allow His love and wisdom to fill our hearts. Let us allow Him to guide our hearts in His ways; the ways of love. Let us allow prayer to enrich our lives so, in turn, we may enrich the souls which surround us.

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do we seek the blessings of His love for those who surround us?

In what ways do we thank Him for His mercy and the sacrifice He made so our sins may be forgiven?

In what ways do we extend ourselves to God so we might better know Him and share our love with Him?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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