Thursday, June 20, 2013

Praying too much

“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,who think that they will be heard because of their many words.Do not be like them.Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

If that is true why pray at all? Because it's not just about what "you need" Not all prayer is meant to be the grocery list where we go on and on about what we want or think we need.

The Catechism distinguishes five types of prayer:

  1. Blessing and Adoration
  2. Petition
  3. Intercession
  4. Thanksgiving
  5. Praise
Blessing is root in acknowledge men of God's gift and our acceptance of that gift. In Adoration we acknowledge the greatness of our God, and our status as one of his creations. Petition begins with humility, a willingness to acknowledge our need for help. In Intercession we look beyond ourselves, it is a recognition of our interconnectedness with others, those who are part of the body Christ, and those with who we share simply our humanity.

Thanksgiving is in some ways the most Christian of prayers, the Greek word for it we use for the source and summit of our prayer, Eucharist. We are told that we do well "always and everywhere to give thanks."

Of Praise, the catechism says, it "is the form of prayer which recognizes most immediately that God is God...Praise embraces the other forms of prayer and carries them toward him who is its source and goal: the "one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist."

It might be a good thing for us to commit these six words to memory, and monitor our own prayer for balance. How much of our prayer each day fits into which category?

As Jesus reminds us today it is not about these multiplicity of the words. It is about encounter with God. The goal, to borrow a company tittle, constant contact. From the moment I wake up and bess the new day God has given me until I thanking him for bringing me safely to the end of the day before I sleep. Little prayers scattered throughout the middle.