Prayer – Is It Just Words or Is It the Cry of the Heart?

prayer-conversations-Naomi Levy, in her book To Begin Again, tells the beautiful Hasidic story about a poor shepherd boy who came to pray at the synagogue.

“As he sat mesmerized by the words of the wise rabbi and the melodies of the service, the boy longed to join in. But the boy was illiterate and didn’t know any of the traditional prayers.

In his pocket the boy kept a small flute that he would take with him when he was tending his flock. Whenever he played the flute, any sheep who wandered off would return.

The young shepherd sat in silence during the long awesome service for as long as he could, but at last his soul could no longer contain itself. He reached into his pocket took out his flute, and blew into it with all his heart. A commotion swept through the synagogue. The people who had been praying so intently were startled and appalled by the sudden outburst. But the rabbi urged the young flutist to continue his song. The rabbi explained to the congregation that the boy’s song of praise had risen to the very seat of God. With his small flute, the shepherd had lifted up all the eloquent prayers of the sanctuary.”

True prayer comes from the heart; the words we use are just vehicles for communicating the praise and anguish of our souls to God. It is something that all of us need to be sure to do every day. Integrate the reality of prayer into the very rhythm of the day!

In the Gospel, when Jesus gave us the words to the prayer that has come down to us as the Lord’s Prayer, he presented an attitude in which all prayer should be centered. Recognizing God as the loving Father of us all. Seeking God’s way of mercy and justice in all things. Being aware and grateful for God’s countless blessings to us. Seeking forgiveness by forgiving others.

This week is a good time to remember that we should not confine our prayer only to words and rituals – important as they are to the rhythm of our day. This week invite the power of the Holy Spirit to come upon you so that you can make every moment God gives you to be part of a continuous, lifelong prayer of praise to God who is the giver and sustainer of all life.

If you think about it, this is what the traditional “Morning Offering,” that many of us learned when we were young and might even pray today was intended to foster within our hearts.

This traditional “Morning Offering” is part of the Pope’s worldwide prayer network. Each month, we are invited to pray for and act upon the challenges of humanity identified by Pope Francis in his prayer intention for the month.

This worldwide prayer network is also called the Apostleship of Prayer. It was founded in 1844 in France. In 1879 its first statutes were approved by Pope Pius IX and in 1896 they were reviewed and reapproved by Pope Leo XIII. Today it consists of more than 35 million people in 89 countries who pray daily for the intention that has been identified by Pope Francis.

A good prayer resource that can help you bring prayer into the rhythm of your daily life is “Click to Pray.” It is an app of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network – the Apostleship of Prayer. The app accompanies you throughout your day – offering you three brief moments of prayer during the day. Connecting you with thousands of people who find purpose in praying every day for the challenges of humanity and for the mission of the Church as Pope Francis proposes in his monthly prayer intention.

How does “Click to Pray” work? You begin by accessing the “Click to Pray” website and creating your personal profile. Then you set the time in the morning that you want to start your day with prayer. You select another moment during the day to receive an inspirational thought. And finally you select a moment in the evening to close your day with a daily review. Each moment of prayer will come to your email address at the three times you have set up for your day, helping to integrate prayer into the rhythm of your day. I encourage you to give it a try!

Question – What helps you when you are praying to connect your heart and soul to God throughout the rhythm of the day?

October 11th, 2017 |