On Prayer

Gospel Reflection
   by Fr. Richard P. Okiria 

Kristin forwarded a copy of Stop, Drop and Pray to Father Richard Okiria at Saint Thomas, her former parish in West Hartford, CT. After Barb's book was received Father Richard wrote the following:

Yesterday's Gospel introduced us to the idea of prayer with Jesus' deciples asking for a lesson in prayer. They did this after observing him in the mode of prayer or communion with His father.

My reflection at the noon Mass, referred to a little booklet by an ordinary parishioner from a Florida parish, by the title Stop, Drop and Pray. The writer gives testimony about what she has learned about prayer and her own witness to the power of prayer.

Prayer, she said, is not about telling God what we want or what to do. Because who can really dictate to God? God knows all we want and God knows what is Good for those he loves. Prayer is not about lofty words to convince God!

Prayer, she says, is an attitude of surrendering ourselves with all our situations to God and allowing him to be part of what is going on in our lives. God will do something with our situations when we allow him in.

Today's Gospel continues with the theme of prayer and urges us to be persistent in that attitude of surrender to God.

 

In reference to this morning's Gospel one scholar of the Bible has said;

"In reality, God is the One knocking at the door of our heart (see Rv 3:20). We are like the man inside the house in today's Gospel passage (LK 11:7); we tend to not want to get up out of bed to open for God"

We refuse to open the door; say when we are lazy to get up for morning Mass or prayer.

That is a new interpretation to that familiar text, but a big challenge to us to be attentive to the possibility of God knocking on the door of our hearts.

Fr. Richard P. Okiria

 

After the initial book, Kristin followed up by ordering 100 more for St. Thomas parishioners and the parish's prison ministry.

This is the latest example of the Holy Spirit working through all who follow its inspirations.

Pride is the Deadbolt
   by Mike

Pride is the deadbolt on the locked door keeping God out of our lives. Unless we unlock pride we live in separation from God in this life with the possibility of living in separation from God for eternity.

Stop, Drop and Pray (S,D & P) defeats pride by a simple 3-step process:

  1. We stop the illusion we are in control. This life isn't about our will, it's about His Will. When faced with conflict of any kind the first thing we need to do is realize our helplessness.


  2. We drop in submission to God. Only by emptying ourselves out a little do we allow room for God to enter.


  3. We pray to God not for specific outcomes, but rather as an explicit invitation for His love to enter into our lives more fully.

More often than not, however, we fall into a prideful response to conflict - Struggle, Doubt and Pride (S,D & P). It's through this process we keep God out while inviting the enemy to slide under our locked door to comfort us inside. Again it's a 3-step process.

  1. We struggle with the conflict. We think about it - over and over. We obsess about it. We try to resolve it ourselves, if only in our minds.


  2. We doubt others by casting blame, judging, seeking out their faults and blaming them.


  3. We take comfort in pride - if we are surrounded by those who disappoint us imagine how much better than they we must be. If we indulge in this comfort we may eventually come to depend on the perceived failings of others for our own feeling of self-worth. It's subtle, but the enemy works this deception to great effect. This process not only hurts us personally, it has embedded itself into the culture at large.

Whenever we feel the "comfort" of pride we must immediate redirect our attention to God's love. Stop, Drop and Pray is a simple and effective redirect that moves us instantly to invite God's loving intervention.

I am frequently reminded of last line in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. It brings all this in focus for us:

"...in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself"

Stop Drop and Pray
   by Marie

Alarm clock rings - we overslept again, running so late as we run out the door. Get to school, get to work. How am I to do this as I run out the door - there is no time to
Stop - Drop - Pray


Hurry, hurry, hurry - deadlines past due. Gotta get moving so much to do. No more to give, can't get everything done. Does anyone just
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Going as fast as I can - being pulled so many directions. Run out the door - pick up the kids - go to the drive thru. Now we are home, we go our separate ways. We are becoming lost. I am over the edge, how do I 
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No time for me, no time alone. I am so lost, the family is disconnected. How do I get us back? Will we ever be alright? As I look around my home, I turn the lights low. I take a breath and I just
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