Spirituality without a prayer life is no spirituality at all, and it will not last beyond the first defeats. Prayer is an opening of the self so that the Word of God can break in and make us new. Prayer unmasks. Prayer converts. Prayer impels. Prayer sustains us on the way. Pray for the grace it will take to continue what you would like to quit.
If you don't pray often, you won't gain a love for praying. Prayer is work, and therefore it is not very appealing to our natural sensibilities. But the simple rule for prayer is this: Begin praying and your taste for prayer will increase. The more you pray, the more you will acquire the desire for prayer, the energy for prayer, and the sense of purpose in prayer.
The Prophet introduced a system of prayer in that it was interwoven into man's daily work: a prayer in the morning when he arose from his bed; a prayer at lunch time, as an indication that if his body needed a diet, so did his spirit; a prayer in the afternoon when he retired from his daily work; a prayer at sunset and a prayer when going to bed.
To strive in prayer means to struggle through those hindrances which would restrain or even prevent us entirely from continuing in persevering prayer. It means to be so watchful at all times that we can notice when we become slothful in prayer and that we go to the Spirit of prayer to have this remedied. In this struggle, too, the decisive factor is the Spirit of prayer.
Prayer brings to us blessings which we need, and which only God can give, and which prayer can alone convey to us ... This service of prayer is not a mere rite, a ceremony through which we go, a sort of performance. Prayer is going to God for something needed and desired. Prayer is simply asking God to do for us what he has promised us he will do if we ask him ... Asking is man's part. Giving is God's part. The praying belongs to us. The answer belongs to God.
Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer. If an answer be not given to the first prayer, nor to the second, we are to continue praying. Troubles are sent to teach us to pray; and are continued, to teach us to continue instant in prayer.
Let us recognize this one thing: burden is the secret of prayer. If a person does not feel within him burden to pray for a particular matter he can hardly succeed in prayer. In a prayer meeting some brothers and sisters may mention a great many subjects for prayer. But if you are not touched inwardly, you cannot pray.
Prayer that works is prayer that makes a difference, contemplation that turns into action, on behalf of peace and justice in a troubled and unjust world system. Prayer is energy, the energy of love and transformative power. It is given to us to use for the good of all creation. In prayer God gives us the fuel of life, and asks us to live it.
...just as the edifice of all the virtues strives upward toward perfect prayer so will all these virtues be neither sturdy nor enduring unless they are drawn firmly together by the crown of prayer. This endless, unstirring calm of prayer... can neither be achieved nor consummated without these virtues. And likewise virtues are the prerequisite foundation of prayer and cannot be effected without it.
In prayer, it is better to have heart without words, than words without heart. Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin entice a man to cease from prayer. The spirit of prayer is more precious than treasures of gold and silver. Pray often, for prayer is a shield to the soul, a sacrifice to God, and a scourge for Satan.
Jesus' example of fidelity to prayer challenges us to examine the time and effort we devote to our own prayer. While prayer is a gift of God, it is also an art learned through constant practice. Jesus teaches us to pray constantly, but also to bear witness before others of the beauty of prayer, self-surrender and complete openness to God.
When I started out on my pilgrimage, I was using walking for two purposes at that time. One was to contact people, and I still use it for that purpose today. But the other was as a prayer discipline. To keep me concentrated on my prayer for peace. And after a few years I discovered something. I discovered that I no longer needed the prayer discipline. I pray without ceasing now. My personal prayer is: Make me an instrument through which only truth can speak.
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