Monday, September 12, 2011
Lift Your Hands In Reverent Prayer (1 Timothy 2:8)
My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone – petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving – and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our saviour: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and – I am telling the truth and no lie – a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.
In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.
~1 Timothy 2:1-8
The best advice to give another is “to offer prayers.” Paul's advice to Timothy is a three-fold prayer request (1 Tim 2:1). He says, “Pray by petitions, by intercessions, and by thanksgiving.” Prayer should always be sweet smelling incense that rises up to heaven and not just some smoke that chokes you. There is something about incense and its rich fragrance that engages the senses and brings one deeper into the presence of Almighty God. Our prayers should do the same, forgetting about our wants and praying for the other. Nothing pleases God more than hearing a child of his lifting someone in prayer. According to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, “The prayer most pleasing to God is that made for others and particularly for the poor souls. Pray for them, if you want your prayers to bring high interest."
St Antony quotes “Prayer is not perfect when the monk is conscious of himself and of the fact that he is actually praying.” This simply means that when at prayer loose yourself in God. Be conscious of your words but not the checklist or wish list that you bring to him. Be thankful always! Release a joyful noise to the Lord. You may not be the MD or CEO of a company, but thank God for letting you face another day. There will be days we don’t feel like praying, what do we do then? Pray! Every saint has been through a dryness of prayer, but they kept pushing through and found Jesus on the other side! So keep the faith and persevere in prayer.
This much I know that God hears every prayer, so make it a habit to pray for people on a regular basis. Don’t just pray for the ones you love, pray for the ones who love you and the ones that don’t. I must confess that I used to pray for the ones I loved, and those that needed prayer or have asked me to pray for them. Never once did I think of the ones that loved me in spite of me not loving them in return. There are unknown souls who sustain me with their prayers and intercessions. Now, after all these years I’ve learnt to thank God for all those living and dead souls who think of carrying me to the throne of God through prayers. [Pause] Lord, bless each and every one of them out of your goodness and love.
I would like to end with the words of St. John Marie Vianney who says, “My little children, your hearts, are small, but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we receive a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us. Prayer never leaves us without sweetness. It is honey that flows into the souls and makes all things sweet. When we pray properly, sorrows disappear like snow before the sun.”
"Heavenly Father, I thank you for the people who cry out to you on my behalf. Lord, I pray a special blessing on each one of them. May they feel your love and presence each day. Bless them in all their endeavours. Amen"