Today’s First Reading from James 5 explains the power of prayer in times of suffering and joy. It will be the prayer of the faithful that saves the sick as the Lord will answer. Prayer is powerful and effective we are assured. How often do you turn to prayer to use as an instrument of peace, healing or hope? What does your prayer time look like? Is it daily, weekly, monthly, sporadic? Do you use it as a bargaining chip or allow words of praise to flow from your mouth?
Prayer is a dialogue between you and your God. It is not a monologue. Sometimes the words flow out of us. Sometimes the blessings shower us with peace and grace. When we pray, things change–our minds, our hearts, our lives. Sometimes we can miss a subtle difference and other times the drastic nature of the answer to prayer can stop us in our tracks. God will answer prayer in ways unexpected and undeserved. We discover a strength that we did not believe possible. We inherit a grace that this wayward child should never have received. We find hope in the darkest of moments. We generate joy where none was seen before. Prayer has power–the power of a rushing waterfall against a stone that seemed impenetrable. Each drop–each prayer–gains power and strength in number and intensity.
Storming heaven with our prayers allows us to hope, to believe in something unseen. Mostly prayer teaches us to trust a loving God who has our best interest in heart and mind all the time. God wants the best for us–even when we do not want that. We cannot even imagine what that would look like some days when we are so caught up in what we want.
Praying with others is a gift too. On a recent trip out West, a friend and I prayed every morning. I miss that start to my day. I still do morning and evening prayer by myself but the experience of sharing prayer with another believer is a profound gift. Where two or more are gathered, Jesus is there too and His presence is tangible.
Commit to pray as Lent begins this week. Storm heaven. Open your mind, heart and life to God’s will. Try to pray with others whenever you can. Pray often in these upcoming 40 days in the desert. Perhaps a transformation will occur.