Sometimes I am at events where a priest or a pastor is asked to say a prayer, perhaps an invocation. Cardinal Timothy Dolan did that not too long ago. He had the task of praying without becoming or being political. After all God is not political, and I say this tongue in cheek, neither are our political parties Godly.
I marveled at Cardinal Dolan’s words. Did he just get up and pray spontaneously or was it memorized, or did he have a prompter? People that can just stand up and start praying I think are special. I imagine they have done this a time or two. I listen to the words to hear if it is from the heart. I hope so. Otherwise it is just words.
I am not particularly good at just standing up and praying. I admit my mind just does not always work that fast to keep up with the words my mouth is saying. It gets messy. But then I have noticed when I am praying from the heart the words just seem to come.
I use the word p-r-a-y to help me pray. P is to start by praising God. That can be somewhat straightforward. For example, “Heavenly Father” or “Holy God”. The R is asking for forgiveness, reconciling with God. For example, “Forgive me Father. I have messed up and am sorry for my sins.” The A is the asking. This is the heart time. For example, “I ask for healing for my daughter. I ask that you guide me to the job you want me to do. I ask that you find me a spouse. I ask for your guidance in discerning a vocation.” Of course, we have an abundance of Asks, but that is OK. The Y is to yield to God’s Will. Whatever God gives us; however, He answers our prayers, I accept His love and His presence in my life.
Now comes the most important part. “Amen”. Trusting that God hears your prayer and will give you what you need. “Amen”.
Maybe this weekend you could spend a couple of minutes praying with your family. Teach them how to pray. And just like everything in our lives the more we do it the better we get. Oh, we probably will not be like Cardinal Timothy Dolan but know what? You are just as important as he is in the eyes of God.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen