Jul 14, 2018 filed under Beatitudes.

woman in prayer

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 first, 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.

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.

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.”

Praying for friends and enemies, rich and poor, for those near and far, is the ultimate cure for our own difficulties. Because when we pray for others, we show our complete trust in God to take care of us as we invoke God’s grace to bring peace to our brothers and sisters in their troubles. Trusting God always makes us more secure and more peaceful.

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.”

Love always,

P.S. Scroll down and let me know (if you haven’t already done so) if you’d be interested in a live webinar (an hour-long presentation that you “attend” on your computer) later this year on gratitude, prayer, and patience. I’d love to share it with you!

15 Responses to “Prayer to the Rescue”

  1. Donna Sciacca

    Blessings Rose abound in your weekly email, thank you.
    And in case I have not responded previously, yes I am interested in your offering of a webinar.
    God bless,
    Donna Sciacca

  2. Tom Roberts

    “Do nothing at all unless you begin with prayer.” It reminds me of “Engage brain before opening mouth.” After three quarters of a century I’ve morphed these sage pieces of wisdom into “Pray before engaging brain.” My unprayed brain is a volatile device so I systematically take it to the 6:30 a.m. Mass, arriving 15 minutes early to pray. If my volatile brain doesn’t pray well during that interval it gets prayed during the Mass, coming out clean like dishes cycled through the washer. This sounds mechanistic and narrow, but it works and I remind myself that all my understandings about the Mass are smaller than the reality of the Mass.

    • Rose Folsom

      OK, Mary, I’ll keep you posted! I was down in Edgerton in a beautiful house on the Rock River in late June for a family gathering. Good to be in WI for a week (during the summer, ha,ha!)

  3. Sal

    Hi Rose!

    Thanks for sharing this most important topic. I appreciate these prayer quotes very much. One thing I find is that prayer may not always be seen as a powerful tool, but it really is especially if we find ourselves worrying about things. Worry comes from the Enemy, never from God.

    Here is a quote from one of my favorite Saints: “Pray, hope and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayers. Prayer is the best weapon we have. It is the key to God’s heart.”— Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

  4. Barb Kreutzer

    I would love to attend the webinar! Thanks in advance and God’s good blessings on all your ventures.