Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mt 6:7-15 Praying The Right Way

Jesus said to his disciples:  “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.”
Like so many things in life, even praying is no longer a debatable issue; it has become an entirely subjective affair in which you can’t go wrong.  But the Lord said that you can go wrong.  Yes, you can actually pray the wrong way, just like you can ask someone for something the wrong way. 
Some people consider prayer to be a form of art:  a free expression of one’s inner most feelings.  Well, it is; and just like with singing, we can pray with all our heart.  But if we are not careful to follow a certain set of rules, then our praying, as with our singing, could easily be confused with screaming and yelling.  It could actually end up being distractive and disruptive.  Hence, praying can easily turn into “babbling”, just like art into “dripping”.  And there are plenty of critics who will go around spitting all over our “feelings” if we don’t express them “the proper way.”
The Lord hears our prayers, but does He understand them?  Does He like them?  Of course we should pray with all our heart, just like we sing with all our heart, but in order to be understood do I follow the Lord's rules? 
I don’t want to sound technical, but there are a couple of rules that we can learn in order to pray the way our Lord wanted us to pray.
Pray to God.   Do you pray to God or do you pray to your audience? Not too long ago I saw, on television, the awarding of the Medal of Honor to a soldier.  The ceremony began with an opening prayer.  Now the ceremony itself was moving, touching, beautiful, heartfelt and deserving of our respect, but the prayer was not.  I found it to be distracting.  It was extremely long, wordy and extremely "technical" (politically correct).  It sounded more like a speech rather than a prayer.  It sounded more like a call to “hooray” than to prayer.  Finally, it sounded more like a defense of our foreign policy than a prayer of love and sacrifice freely offered as a holocaust to God and men.  To put it bluntly, this prayer sounded government issued and government regulated.  Prayer is not a disguise for the righteous of heart but for sinners at heart.  It is an expression of humility, not an expression of triumph.
When I pray, do I pray to God or to men?
Thy Kingdom Come.  We have it good, there’s no doubt about it.  And most of us are living the “good” life.  But there is something even better - greater - to life than the American Dream.  Life should be meaningful, not necessarily comfortable.  When we pray, we should not be demanding that earth goes up to Heaven (that Heaven appears more like earth or our earthly values), but that Heaven comes down to earth (that earth appears more like heaven and heavenly values).  When we pray, we are asking that Heaven come down to earth.  We want God’s Will, God’s Love, and God’s Son over our life, not the imposition of our will in God’s life.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.          
When I pray, do I pray for God's Will be done or for my own?
Resolution:  I will pray to God, not to another.  I will seek to do God’s Will in my life and work towards the establishment of His Kingdom on earth.

P.S.  Today, feel free to leave a prayer request in the comments section.  I will offer them up in this week's Masses.

38 comments:

  1. When I visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I know that sometimes Its hard for me to shut up and listen. For it does NOT say, "listen Lord, your servant speaketh!" So I often will just sit back and look at Jesus, and He looks back at me. Sometimes, words are not necessary to be shared between the lover and the beloved. They already know what each other are thinking and feeling. Jesus wants this intimacy and unity from every soul. So lets spend more TIME with the Lord in adoration. Don't just text message Him, spend time with Him. Look at Him, let Him look back at you.

    Katie G

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  2. Thank you Father for this opportunity. I pray the Lord helps my son away at college to remain committed and focused on his grades and always puts forth his best effort. May he keep him safe, healthy and out of harms way. Amen.

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  3. Every time I pray "on Earth as it is in Heaven", I think of the huge battles that must be going on in Heaven between the Heavenly Host and those who turned away from God given how awful things have become on Earth. It reminds me to pray "Dear Lord, I ask that all those souls in Purgatory be released now from whatever binds them and keeps them away from you. Please release their souls, hearts, minds, and bodies from that bondage now. Let them know to their very core that they have been washed clean by Jesus' ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. Let them now freely accept Jesus' forgiveness, love, mercy, and grace. Let them come running to Him now to be with Him forever, and to help strengthen the Heavenly Host for all eternity against the forces of evil. Amen". I've wondered if this is a good prayer or not. I do envision souls streaming into heaven ready to help St. Michael when I pray it.

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  4. For the conversion of my brother's heart to Christ.

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  5. For my grandma and fellow classmates as we prepare for graduation and the transition out of college.
    Thanks for another great meditation Fr. A!

    -Kelsey

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  6. Please pray for my wife's grandmother who is very ill and possibly facing the end of her life. She is ready but it is still hard.

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  7. Please pray for my son Jason who is an alcoholic. This has been going on for 20+ years. I can't even begin to tell you the heartache and problems we've had. I keep praying, but I don't have alot of hope anymore. God's will be done. Jesus I trust in you! Thank you for your prayers.

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  8. Please pray for my spiritual, emotional, mental and physical healing in order to serve Christ more fully. Thank you Father.

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  9. Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for Lisa and for all who are in need. May she find lasting health and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.

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  10. Please pray for my son that God will guide him to a life in the church and lead him to salvation. Please pray for my whole family to turn to our Lord in every thing we do. Help us to never forget the sacrafice that was offered for us.

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  11. Dear father & Jesus,I pray for a deeper love for you and to stop procratinating and go to chirch.i also pray fo my familys 9and mine)Spiritual mental and physical needs &health.alsofor the poor souls and dying.you know the other things.Pa Pa.i love You.your daughter debbie

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  12. Thank you Father. We miss you so much.

    My prayer request:
    1. May I recognize if I am doing the right thing by going back to work.
    2. That my son stop being stupid.
    3. That my children increase their love for God.

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  13. For all of our hearts and more hearts to be on fire for our Lord and be willing to surrender whatever He asks of us, and may His Divine Will be done in all that we Think, Say and Do so that He may receive all Honor & Glory! - Thank you Father.

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  14. For a special intention; an intention to allow "earth to become more like heaven" rather than the other way around. And for the Holy Spirit to show us the best way to do that!

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  15. I pray that The Lord gives me a joy so that everyday I can be reminded of his presence. And that through my joy, others will see his presence in my soul.

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  16. Please for my 10 yr old sister that she may get better, and that the doctors may find out what illness she has and that there be a simple solution. And for the conversion of my father's heart, and that he may come to a deeper relationship with God. Thanks so much fr. Alphonse. We missed you Sunday :)

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  17. For my little sister, that the doctors may find her illness and that there be a simple solution. And for my dad that he may come to a deeper love and relationship with God. Thanks father! We missed you on Sunday :)

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  18. Please for my 10 yr old sister that she may get better, and that the doctors may find out what illness she has and that there be a simple solution. And for the conversion of my father's heart, and that he may come to a deeper relationship with God. Thanks so much fr. Alphonse. We missed you Sunday :)

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  19. Please pray that my mom finds happiness at the alzheimer's home in which she is living. Please pray for my children that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit in their decisions. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide the hearts and minds of those deciding on our next Pope. Thank you Father!

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  20. Thank you Father Alfonse for allowing us to leave a prayer request !

    " I know it is sin to pray for money ugh....................,but I will put it this way

    Please Father Alfonse pray for me to stay strong and keep working hard for my children,my mother and myself as I have been going through several financial struggles for the pass year.

    I feel like most of the time I'm on a tight rope juggling a bunch of ball- could you pray if I drop one or two of those balls ,that I will just fine :D

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  21. Father Alfonse,

    My prayer request:

    1. That our daughter will come back to the Catholic Church.
    2. I will find strength to cope with my husbands death.
    3. Help to meet my financial obligations.

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  22. Father Alfonse,

    Thank you for this beautiful idea. Maybe could we do this again? I start off every Mass with a prayer for you and for my loved ones. I also light a candle for my husband and people that have shown me love.

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  23. Please offer your Masses for my business partner who is suffering with an unknown illness. Please ask that he will receive comfort and healing, as well as accept what God has in store for him and that this suffering will bring him closer to God and the Church.

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  24. Please pray for a friend of mine, struggling with depression; for discernment for my husband & I in an area of difficult decision; for peace in my extended family & the quick resolution of a sticky legal situation surrounding my grandfather's will; for baby Dominic K. and baby Dominic G. who both have rare and serious health-issues and have both undergone surgery recently; for various friends who are expecting babies soon (for health and safety for mom and little ones); and for my husband and his intentions. THANK YOU!!

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  25. Father,

    Please pray for the successful resolution of a legal matter this week and for a decrease in anxiety and fear in my wife.

    Thanks!

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  26. My prayer requests:
    1. Thanksgiving for all the blessings I’ve been given
    2. For a dear friend battling cancer, I pray for a miracle
    3. For my husband and his intentions
    4. For my brother and his wife that they may be reignited in their faith
    5. For my son that he has more self-control and for the challenges he is facing
    Thank you Fr. Alfonse!

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  27. For my friend who does not yet know the love of God, that she may turn towards Him. And for my mom's friend Mona who has 7 tumors in her brain and has been very exhausted lately, may she be healed completely from this and all other ailments.

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  28. I pray that God helps my daughter JMM the wisdom to see that she is in an unhealthy relationship and the strength to get out of it by getting closer to Him. I also pray that God helps me find the best way to handle this difficult situation. Ultimately, if I am wrong, please God let me see it.

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  29. Dear father alphonse, please pray for all of my fanily members to come home to THE CHURCH and to fall in love with CHRIST! Thank you, debbie

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  30. I pray for my son Joseph (14) who is considering the priesthood. I pray that God's Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. It has been in the back of his mind for a while, but this past weekend he attended his Confirmation retreat and came back with a profound new calling from the Holy Spirit.

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    1. I will pray for your 14 year old son ! my 12 year old son considering the Preisthood as well.

      He told me in confidence he did want me to tell anyone or the rest of his siblings or other family member.

      I told him he should not be ashamed and feel very honored that he wants to be closer to God :)





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  31. I pray for the Roman Catholic Church, that it can continue to survive in all this persecution from the media and from those who seek it's end. I pray that the Pope's decision helps to heal the rift between the Church and those who have left it.

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  32. Here it is:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/messages/lent/documents/hf_ben-xvi_mes_20121015_lent-2013_en.html

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  33. Please pray for the conversion of my husband. For my teenage kids, so the Holy Spirit always guides them. Thank you Fr. Alfonse.

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  34. Father Alfonse-- I was going to read today's meditation and saw that you had 34 replies on yesterdays meditation. How did I miss the P.S when I read it yesterday? I figure since the week isn't over yet perhaps you can add a few more.
    1. As i have been reading scripture this week the word "obedience" has been jumping out at me so i pray for Obedience to God's Will.
    2. That I trust that our Lord will provide our daily bread as we get back on our feet.
    3. Lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil, from my weaknesses/sinfulness that separates me from Him and all the people I love.
    4.for each one of my children especially for my son, that the Lord will guide him and protect him. For my husbands needs and peace.
    5. Thanks and Praise for allowing me to find peace with my mom so that I can love her and care for her according to God's commandments.
    6. Lastly Father Alfonse for friends and family who are part of my life, especially you, the priests who have had an influence in my life and my Spiritual Priest.
    I hope its not too late. Thanks.

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  35. Please pray for my mother and father to know Christ and accept Jesus as their saver. For my teenage and other teenage to strengthening their love for Jesus. Thank you Fr. Alfonse!

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  36. Please pray for my daughter and her husband to return to the Catholic faith. Thank you.

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  37. Please pray that I can learn how God wants me to evangelize and spread his word.

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