Friday, July 6, 2012

Prayer, Instant, Just Add a Touch of Holy Spirit

Recently, I heard a woman sigh that she really needed some short prayers.  The 5 or 3 minute variety in many of the books that are popular today were just too long for her.  She lost her attention before she got to the end. I assumed she knew of some traditional prayers that would be short.  It doesn't take long to pray a Hail, Mary or an Our Father.

I felt at first slightly judgemental and dismissive of this woman, I am sorry to say.  It seemed to me that her priorities were all wrong if she didn't want to place God first in her life because she wanted short prayers.  I felt that we had nothing in common.  But, the still small voice in my head said, "At least she wants to pray...."

I told her I would help her out. I am engaged in writing a prayer book, just for her, of some very short little prayers.  When the thought came to me to make the offer to do this, I realized that I was just the one to do it.  Although I wish I could say that I spent hours every day deep in uninterrupted prayer, really most often I have a hundred small conversations with Jesus throughout the day.  Most days I try for more than that, a rosary here, daily Mass there, but, in truth, a great deal of my prayer life besides reading Scripture and daily commentaries is little short prayers of praise and joy, intercessions for people, and pleas for help and rejoicing when help comes.

I rejoice that the Holy Spirit picked me to write a little book of short prayers for this woman.  I will not judge her and instead I will call her a friend of mine, because she wants to pray to God just as I do.  In that expression of a desire to pray is a longing for God.  After she gets the ball rolling on her prayer life, who knows where it will take her?

***But if she goes on to become a great saint in the Church someday, I hope I get a tiny footnote on her page***
by Mary at Hope Echoes

5 comments:

  1. Hi Mary,
    I'm glad the Lord led you to do this and I pray it helps her. Not everyone gets a personal prayer book written especially for them!

    Lol. I caught your little footnote at the end :) Let's pray that she DOES become a saint!

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  2. Would love to see that book when you are done!

    In any case, I hope God is ok with small prayers because like you, I often end up having lots of short conversations with our Lord!

    God Bless.

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  3. Beautiful. We could all use a book like that. Perhaps you will publish it!

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  4. Another thing to realize is that many people go through this problem with having to say "long prayers." It really isn't that they do not want to pray or spend time with the Lord, but that the discursive type of prayer - the vocal prayer and/or the kind that has been written and we just repeat the words (like the Rosary, the Our Father, etc.), can actually become quite boring (which can make us feel guilty sometimes).
    Often this means that God is calling them to another form of prayer and so He "dries" up their prayer so they go looking for other ways of praying. I see this all the time in spiritual direction and it happened to me as well. I started praying more silent prayer and became more contemplative. That doesn't mean I do not ever pray rote prayer. I do. But not as often.
    Sorry, I did not mean to go on and on but I thought it was a good thing to share. And that is awesome that you are doing this prayer book for her. I find the short little prayers are helpful for me as well.

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  5. I am about halfway through the 160 page mini book. I worry that I will repeat too much. I am counting on the Holy Spirit to see me through on that one.

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