Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

June 16, 2011

Kellen O'Neill

Freshman, Biology Major

2 Cor 1:1-11
Ps 111:1b-2, 3-4, 7-8
Mt 6:7-15

Prayer is one of the most fundamental and vital parts of our spiritual lives as Christians, and in today’s Gospel, Jesus graciously shows us how to pray in the most effective way.  Jesus provides us with the “Our Father” prayer. This beautiful prayer helps us remember and focus on our relationship with God through praising him, recalling God’s mission for us, asking him for what we need (including forgiveness), and finally, giving forgiveness to others, which are important aspects of any prayer.  When we follow the guideline that Jesus lays out for us for our prayers, we come to truly know Christ and grow closer to him. Praying this way ultimately helps us to achieve a “sincere and pure commitment to Christ” and avoid the temptation discussed in the first reading.

Talking to God is incredibly important in prayer, but that is not all there is to it. Quieting ourselves and listening to God constitutes a large part of prayer. Prayer is a conversation with God, and conversation involves both talking and listening. If we only talk to God but never listen to him, we do not give God a chance to respond to what we tell him. This is why I believe Jesus tells us to “not babble” when we pray. I read in the book God, Help Me by Jim Beckman that listening should make up the majority of prayer, and this makes sense to me. Why would we not listen to God and receive his guidance when he is the one who “knows what you need before you ask him”?

 It is much easier to talk than to listen, and I struggle with listening every day; however, I feel closest to God when I do listen. In listening I open myself up and let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts and help me discern what God is calling me to do in my life. I have grown so much closer to God in doing than when I'm simply babbling to him. I had a very tough decision to make back in high school as to which college to attend, but when I listened to God in prayer, I realized that God was calling me to attend Creighton. My decision was made much more easily with God’s direction. Let us all make a point to pray as the Father teaches us and to truly listen to him as we pray this week.

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