Praying is difficult. There are many reasons why people do not pray. Surely because there is no time and when the evening arrives, late at night, where to find the strength to pray? Collapses in sleep! Then put laziness or little desire into it! Then all the distractions! Then a thousand interests that abundantly fill life: what is prayer compared to these seductions? How to cultivate faith with prayer? He knows very little! Then the lack of faith: the use of praying when God is absent, does not listen, does not consider our miseries! By dint of not praying, we no longer pray!
How to cultivate faith with prayer?
Instead, prayer must be rediscovered because it is necessary, as it is necessary to breathe to live. Some will believe that it is exaggerated to think so. But, reflecting on it, prayer is the great challenge made to our contemporary world that risks closing in on the material, in the sensual, in egoism.
Unfortunately, too often, we don’t know how to pray because no one has taught us. Then prayer is no longer prayer, but a psychological introspection to analyze one’s feelings, emotions, and the different impressions experienced with the people encountered. Reflecting on oneself and one’s acts are commendable, but it takes an extra step for it to become prayer. It consists of placing one’s life in the Light of God and under his gaze. Then yes, prayer becomes an act of faith! It no longer ends in a monologue but opens on a dialogue between two people who speak and listen. God speaks and the man listens, the man speaks and God listens. The starting point of prayer is always the Word of God listened to in Mary, who, sitting at the feet of Jesus, was attentive.
What to do?
First of all, have the character find the time to pray: will it be once a day or three times a week? It takes some ‘lost’ moments for God to meet him for free. Those who love to know how to waste time, they know how to spend their precious time on their beloved. On the other hand, when you love little, you have little time for each other. For prayer, it is the same thing. “It’s time you lost for your squad that made your squad so important!” (Little Prince). A minimum of 15 or 20 minutes is not too much.
What to do next? Possibly look for and find a beautiful place to pray. Of course, you can also pray in bed, but it only takes a few minutes to sink into dreams. It would be better to identify ‘significant places’. For example: sitting in front of an icon or under some tree, gathered alone in the church near the house, etc.
What to do to pray?
In the beginning, take the Gospel, read with the heart, listen, mark the provocations, keep a few verses, compare one’s life with the Word of God, let Jesus enter into daily life and … respond! Dialogue is born. Thus the Lord spoke to Moses’ face to face, as one man speaks to another. The beginnings are stuttering and boring … but it’s normal: this applies to everyone. By dint of persevering, however, intimacy grows with this someone who reveals himself.
Praying alone is not always comfortable
Even the best resolutions risk withering. But together, we are strengthened! Why not meet once in a while with one or two friends or with a community to share the Word of God as if it were bread to be broken and offered? Try it and you will see how many surprises Jesus knows how to do to those who gather in his Name. Then the Word is enlightened, it multiplies. The community becomes a ‘school of prayer’.
What to do next?
Persevere and persevere! God is not a Santa Claus who indulges our whims. Prayer must be insistent and tenacious because everything is expected of God. He is our Father. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you; for whoever asks receives, and whoever seeks finds and to who knocks it will be opened. Who among you will give a stone to the son who asks for bread? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him.
Listening to the Word of God is good
Praying with God’s Word is better. Deepening the Word of God is a very good thing! It is unthinkable to remain all our lives as ‘dwarfs’ as far as faith is concerned because the catechism was not lived well when instead we are ‘giants’ regarding science and technology. After all, the school forces us to study. Unfortunately, when you become an adult, the big questions often rush to find meaning, make choices, and strive towards happiness, but you are not ready. Then you don’t know where to hit your head. How many doubts in life? How many accusations made against the Church? How many perplexities? How many questions that never find an answer, because a ‘teacher’ was missing and there was no prophet to propose credible answers! There is a real urgency to deepen one’s faith. It is a responsibility to be cultivated.
In this search for faith, everyone should be a bit like the Magi who, faced with the difficulties of the long deserts to cross, the dark nights, the court of Jerusalem that cheats the cards, do not give up but follow the star to the joy of the Encounter, of the discovery of the Light, of the Truth! When you feel unprepared, why hesitate to get up? It is worth traveling miles and miles to confront ‘masters of life’ who have something to say about faith because they are the first to live it without fiction! There is no too expensive price to pay to find an answer that gives Light and happiness!
This is the figure of Mary! It is a symbol of those who listen to the Word of God and compare themselves with it to find explanations for their doubts. Prayer is too important to be overlooked. The meaning of life is too important not to be seriously explored. We must have the honesty to ask ourselves: How much do I take care of my prayer? I ask myself questions about life, about man, about vocation and I look for … answers?