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Excused from Prayer
It’s not hard to make up an excuse not to pray.
I don’t have enough time. Eh, I don’t really feel like it. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to pray...I mean, there’s so many ways! I don’t know which way is best.
Now of course, none of these are good excuses, but they’re the excuses we use for ourselves.
Deep down, we know we need to pray. When we find ourselves struggling, it’s helpful to call to mind the purpose of prayer, and to do that, we should turn to two prayer powerhouses: Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila.
Saint John of the Cross tells us, “The end of meditation and mental consideration of divine things is to obtain some knowledge and love of God.”
That’s it. We don’t need to complicate things. Prayer brings us closer to God through this “loving knowledge.”
Saint Teresa of Avila continues this idea in saying that prayer consists of “not in thinking much, but in loving much.”
Our prayer should enlighten our minds to God’s infinite love for us. And, as we are more and more convinced of this truth, our response is to return that love.
Prayer isn’t about understanding the facts about God and our faith, it’s about our thoughts pouring forth from loving hearts, that seek to know God more intimately. Our goal in prayer is not to become smarter, but to learn to love more.
Prayer should awaken love in our hearts. And when we open our eyes to God’s love in our lives, loving God through prayer becomes the necessary response, not another checkbox on the to-do list.