July 11th

A crucial part of developing our prayer life is to set time aside for prayer.  We can and should pray throughout the day; it is good to stop often, even if for just a moment, and converse with God: offering our work to Him, thanking Him for all the blessings that He gives to us and asking Him for our needs.

It is also good to set aside some quiet time for prayer every day, even if only a short amount of time.  The hardest thing about praying is taking time to pray.  There are hundreds of “how-to” books about prayer available and all of them will do us absolutely no good unless we put them into practice.  We can learn how to build something from a book, but unless we actually build it, it won’t do us much good.

The important thing is not to wait to find time to pray: make time.  We have to make prayer part of our schedule.  Put it on the calendar, if you have to.  Decide on a definite place and time for daily prayer.  Don’t allow other things to crowd out your prayer time: our relationship with God is the most important thing.  We are called to love God above all things.  Can we say that we love Him above all things if we don’t spend time with Him?

It is easy to find hundreds of other things that “need” to be done instead of prayer, but if we are serious about developing our relationship with God, we have to make it a priority.  Emergencies do come up, of course, but as a rule we should not skip prayer time lightly.  Prayer is to the soul as eating is to the body.

I am not suggesting that we neglect our work.  By faithfully fulfilling our daily duties in love, we are fulfilling God’s will for our lives.  And yet that work cannot take the place of our prayer.

If we think that we are too busy to pray, that is probably when we need prayer the most.  If we try to do everything on our own, we will end up with a lot of stress.  Our Lord says that apart from Him we can do nothing, but through Him all things are possible.  When we take time for prayer, God gives us the strength that we need to do all that we need to do.  This has always been my experience.  In the seminary, I found that when life was busiest, I was often tempted to not pray in order to “get stuff done.”  I always found that if I took time for prayer, things got done and I had a lot less stress and anxiety over them.

Daily prayer requires effort on our part.  We have to decide to make a commitment to it.  Once we have decided that we are going to make time for prayer everyday, we should remain faithful to that daily prayer time.  It is more than worth the effort, for prayer puts us in contact with God and nothing is more important that our relationship with Him.  We were created to love Him, and nothing else in this world will ever satisfy our hearts.

God bless,

Father White

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