A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Reasons to Pray

Posted on: August 8, 2013

We got to pray

Just to make it today

“Pray” by MC Hammer

praying the rosary

Praying the rosary

In my post on Monday, I mentioned how easily I can get wrapped up in my family tree research and lose track of time. But aside from the names and dates and places, my family history reminds me of something important: I am very blessed.

I look at the various branches of my family and wonder how my ancestors managed to cope with their situations. Like one relative widowed with nine children at home, half of them not yet in their teens. Or another who lost at least six children in infancy. Or still another who struggled to make less-than-fertile farmland support ten family members.

Of course, in those days, there was no so social safety net. So they relied on family, friends, neighbours and their church community. They worked at low-paying, difficult jobs to make ends meet. Their children no doubt had to leave school at a young age.

But I’d like to think that they also prayed—for patience and wisdom in raising children as a single parent, for strength and good health to keep going, for good weather and good harvests, for a better life for their children—and gave thanks when God answered their prayers.

My ancestors, if they could talk to me when I’m going through a rough time, could say (with good reason), “You think you’ve got problems…” But they could also teach me the same lesson the apostle Paul shared in Philippians 4:11-13*:

I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. I can do all things in him who strengthens me.

And to be strengthened, we turn to God in prayer. Whether we say the rosary, use prayers from a collection of prayers or the missal, or just pray about what’s in our hearts with the words that come to mind, we need to take our cares and concerns, our need for his forgiveness, and our thanks to the Lord. We can take comfort in the knowledge that he knows our needs before we ask (see Luke 12:30) and doesn’t mind if we keep praying about the same concerns (see Luke 11:5-13).

I pray that we would recognize our blessings and give thanks for them as well as pray for our needs and those of our family, our community and the world.

(*Quotes from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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2 Responses to "Reasons to Pray"

Really great blog today. You are spot on – praying is what gets us all through the little things and the big things. Thanks for sharing……

Thanks so much for the encouragement! I tend to be a worrier, so I find many reasons to pray…

Comments are closed.

Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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