A fourth-century deacon wrote, “Do nothing at all unless you begin with prayer.”
Oops. We may remember to pray when we need help, but many of us forget to pray before we get into trouble. Note to self.
So if we’ve messed up because we forgot to ask for guidance, what kind of prayer should we offer when we need help now? St. Jane de Chantal helps us: “If in going to prayer you can form in yourself the pure capacity for receiving the Spirit of God, that will suffice ….”
For St. Jane, prayer is the art of receiving. Which means not clogging up the airwaves telling God what we think he should do. Instead, we try our best to trust him. We wait for him to act in his way and in his time.
So many people struggle with receiving the spirit of God — for 4 main reasons:
1. They can’t seem to stick to a prayer routine.
2. When they do sit down to pray, their mind is in 49 places at once and they can’t focus.
3. Even when they can focus, they’re not sure whether they’re hearing God, the inside of their own head, or the enemy.
4. They’re too discouraged to even try again because they feel like they’ve failed so often to build a good prayer life.
I’ve been there! And I’ve studied and practiced the saints’ prayer secrets for 30 years and would love to share them with you in my new 90-day program, “Pray Like a Saint.” If you’ve ever wondered if there’s “something wrong” with you and if if seems like everyone else has a close connection to God but you, you’re not alone! You’d be surprised how common this feeling is, but no one talks about it.
If you’d like a closer connection with God that results in less worry and stress and way more peace, I’d love to chat with you to see if I might be able to support you in finally having a prayer life that you love. Schedule a call with me at https://calendly.com/vir2connection/chat-with-rose
Joy no matter what
It can be hard to remember that we can be joyful even while we’re waiting for God to solve our problem. But even while we’re waiting for him, he is alive and active in us. That brings us to another kind of prayer—one that looks for and recognizes God’s action deep in our soul. It’s the kind of action that brings us joy no matter what else is happening.
St. Therese of Lisieux explains this kind of prayer: “Prayer means a launching out of the heart toward God; it means lifting up one’s eyes, quite simply, to heaven, a cry of grateful love, from the crest of joy or the trough of despair; it’s a vast, supernatural force that opens out my heart and binds me close to Jesus.”
Prayer opens out our heart. It opens our heart to offer to God all that is troubling us and it opens our heart to receive the grace of peace from the Holy Spirit himself.
Prayer—asking for guidance, receiving the Spirit of God, and opening our heart—untangles our minds, gets us out of ourselves, and connects us with the “vast supernatural force” that is eternal peace. We are made in the image of the God of peace. Prayer connects us with that. But most of us need guidance to get there!
Prayer for others
Once we’ve “put our own oxygen mask on,” we’re in a position to help others with our prayer. St. Gregory the Great wrote, “He causes his prayers to be of more help to himself, who offers them also for others.”
St. Paul of the Cross puts it this way: “The soul at prayer is a rock, because God holds it fast in his infinite love.”
Learn what the saints know about finding peace in my program, “Pray Like a Saint.” Book a call with me when I’ll help you sort out your next best step for growing closer to God at https://calendly.com/vir2connection/chat-with-rose. I look forward to connecting with you!