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.
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