the perils of not valuing prayer highly enough
"So I say to you, 'Ask and you shall receive.' " —Luke 11:9
One of the most practical questions we can ask ourselves is: "How much do I believe in prayer?" Most people believe in prayer some, but not enough to set aside a time daily for prayer, to pray with their spouses, to pray daily with their families, or to pray at work, on the street, or on the phone. These omissions in prayer have very bad effects. They contribute to weak faith, weak marriages, weak families, and weak churches. Not to value prayer highly and not to pray always (Lk 18:1) makes it possible for the culture of death to continue to increase.
To encourage us to pray to the max, the Lord assures us that He wants to answer our prayers more than anyone ever wanted a prayer answered. He will give us what we ask for or better. He promises: "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you" (Lk 11:9). In fact, the Lord will give us not only answers to our prayers; He even gives us God, the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13). The Spirit "helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought" (Rm 8:26). Then we will pray with even greater commitment, power, and efficacy. This will lead us to pray more deeply in the Spirit, and we move from grace to grace (see Jn 1:16, RNAB). Make prayer such a priority that you pray always in the Spirit (Jude 20).
Prayer: Jesus, "teach us to pray" by Your standards (Lk 11:1).
Promise: "For you who fear My name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays." —Mal 3:20
Praise: St. Denis prayed for Paris and it became a center of Christendom.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Married Couples Praying Together on audio AV 116-1 or video V-116.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, April 24, 2003
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 2003