September 02, 2009

Green Eggs and Prayer

If you have ever found it hard to pray, you are certainly not alone. We all struggle with prayer. How many of these sound familiar?
  • I can't find time.
  • I'll be late for work.
  • I'll look silly.
  • It feels so fake.
  • I don't know what to say.
  • I keep getting distracted.
  • It's boring.
Perhaps you have unique additions of your own. Whatever your reasons for not praying, the cause is likely the same. Bishop Fulton Sheen said that "(t)here are not a hundred people in America who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions of people who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church". Likewise. I suspect that we avoid what we think prayer must be; few, if any, of us reject prayere for what it really is.

So we need to understand what prayer is before we can do it. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls prayer a battle [2725]. We are battling with ourselves and all those excuses above, and we are battling with the devil, who certainly does not want us communicating with God. Divide-and-conquer is a simple military strategy - cut the enemy off from communication with headquarters and pick them off. We need prayer; we need to radio in for help with our daily battles.

We'll spend the next few weeks exploring the arsenal - learning about different forms of prayer - so we can integrate this vital action into our daily lives.

As a child. You may have read Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham", or perhaps you've read it to your own child. Sam follows an obstinate character with a plate of the oddly-colored breakfast, trying time and again to get him to taste. "Try it! Try it! You will see!" The would-be fan of green eggs and ham had always rejected what he thought the dish would be like. All the difference is made by going out on a limb and trying.

Start today. Start right now with a simple prayer. Speak it aloud or in your heart. (Try it! Try it! You will see!)
Father, I have had difficulty with prayer. I am stepping out into the dark now. Reach out Your hand to me and guide me to a real prayer life with You. I am ready to explore it with openness to you and patience with myself. Help me, Father.

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