Wednesday, November 30, 2005

RCIA week 11

Tonight's session was on prayer. I have admitted numerous times that prayer is something I continue to struggle with, but I have been earnestly trying to make it a daily occurrence. I've been doing it before going to bed, but do often find that I drift asleep before concluding. But I also do it when driving by myself and when something is on my mind. I know that many non-Catholics have problems with recited prayers, but I think when done with the right frame of mind and with a focus on God, they can be just as meaningful as spontaneous prayers. I haven't prayed the rosary as much as I'd like, but it is a quite beautiful, meditative prayer.
Tonight we talked about what kind of prayers we grew up with. In the Baptist church, it was all spontaneous prayers that were made up on the spot. But even in some respects they were just as formulaic as a memorized prayer. One thing I did learn in the Baptist church was a way to earnestly pray. I heard many of those that were raised in liturgical churches (Catholic, Episcopal, and Lutheran) that the grew up only with recited prayers, but later in life learned to appreciate more conversational prayers with God. I'm glad I have had a taste of both worlds.
In the Baptist church I learned some prayer basics that I've actually retained. One must acknowledge God's greatest through praise when praying. One shouldn't just start in by asking things from God, but first give Him the acknowledgment of being our Lord. We must also ask for forgiveness of our sins so that we can fully be in His presence. Sin is separation from God; therefore, for Him to fully listen, we should ask for forgiveness. Prayer should also include thanks for the gifts He has given us. We should acknowledge His generosity and unmerited favor. And of course, we may petition our needs. But we also have to keep in mind that His answer may not be what we are expecting. I've said that one should be careful what they ask for from God, because He has a sense of humor.
I wrote a poem back then when I was in the spirit of things going to the Baptist church. Sure, it's a little cheesy, but I think it covers the basics although you'll note the Baptist flair I think.

I ask God to answer my prayer
And I know that He hears me
He will respond according to His will
I can trust Him to answer faithfully

In my prayer, I give praise to God
For everything He's done
For giving me the life I have
And for sending Christ, His son

I plead for His forgiveness
For each and every sin
They are washed by the blood of Jesus
Never to be remembered again

I ask him for the Holy Spirit
To walk with me each day
To help me in every struggle
And keep Satan far, far away

I pray that He will show me
What His plan is for me
So I can live to glorify Him
In every word and deed

I thank Him for His blessed gift
Of Jesus Christ, His Son
So I could have God in my life
For with Him, I have every battle won

In conclusion to my prayer
I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ
For He is my salvation
And the Lord of my life

Nov. 1989

So I will try to remain steadfast in prayer, especially as we enter the season of Advent. There was more I wanted to say about prayer, but it is late and I will have to continue another time.

1 comment:

~m2~ said...

annabel, i actually presented on prayer to my rcia class and it went well. i always end by presenting them with an article written by Catholic author Bud Macfarlane called "Giving God 20" - click on the link for the entire thing and print it out, i think you'll enjoy it.