Sunday, August 23, 2009

What is the Correct Attitude for Prayer?

I learned a long while back that I was praying with the wrong attitude, asking for help in the wrong way. At least, wrong for me. I can't speak for anyone else. Back then, I always ended up almost demanding help from God, telling him what I wanted from him, pleading with him to give it to me the way I requested the help. It took me a while to learn to ask for what God knew I needed, not what I thought I needed.

Today was a good example of how far I've come (but I've still got a long way to go). I was worried about a household member who is in a risky job and who usually calls by Noon each day, letting me know when to come pick him up with the one vehicle we share. By 12:45 pm, I was more than a little worried. Years ago, I would have just told God I needed to know, now, what the situation was. Instead, I explained to him why I was worried. Then I reminded him about how Mary and Joseph, too, were fearful when Jesus disappeared that one time at twelve years of age. This household member is several times that old, but I was still worried. I then asked the Lord, if it didn't interfere with his plans for either of us, to send me word. I don't think it was even 15 minutes before I got the phone call - everything was all right.

The main thing is, most times, when I ask in this way, more or less saying "Not my will, but Thine, be done," I usually can see clearly how he answers my prayers. What I still don't understand about myself is why I wait on so many issues, so long, before I go to him for help. I must pray more often for the grace to go to him at the moment it becomes a worry, not wait until it is a crisis.

Father, please send me the grace to come to you for guidance and help in the first moments of need, so that I might avoid forging ahead on my own, making mistakes, expecting you to fix them for me.

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