Posted by: Bishop Jamie Apfelbeck
We have been taught that for our prayers to be powerful and effective, they should contain the following elements: adoration and worship, thanksgiving, petitions, and intercessions. In this third letter of the “Prayer Life” series, we will address the component that perhaps comes most naturally: asking God to help us. Today we will look at petitions.
Our catechism states “In our petitions, we bring God our concerns as they pertain, for example, to the preservation of our faith and the help of God in daily life.
” (CNAC 13.1.5). Certainly, the concerns of daily life occupy our thoughts and our time. When we read in the Bible, “But the very hairs on your head are all numbered.
” (Matthew 10: 30), Jesus is teaching how valuable we are to God, and that He is invested in every aspect of our lives. The Lord is not indifferent to our troubles.
We are encouraged to bring all our cares to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for His help if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. Ask for His help in your responsibilities and to help you make wise decisions. Ask for His help in your relationships and your plans for the future. Remember that every prayer is like a seed that we sow, and then we place our trust in the Lord. Keep praying with faith and trust. The Lord is at work. The seed is growing!
More than anything though, let us pray spiritual prayers. The catechism continues, “The most important petition relates to the imminent return of Christ, and to the attainment of worthiness for it.
” We can read in Matthew 6: 33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
” Here Christ is teaching about priorities. The most important thing for us is our spiritual life. More than anything else, God wants us to spend eternity in peace, bliss, and joy together with Him! Let that be the most important thing for us too, and let it be reflected in our prayer life.
We can do this by asking God for His help in becoming more like Christ. It was recently expressed in a divine service that it is good for us to have “soul improvement projects” that we are working on. Ask God to help you forgive someone who has hurt you. Ask for His help in becoming more patient, or more understanding of others. Ask God to help you become more courageous in sharing your faith and spreading the gospel. To be sure, our heavenly Father wants these things for you, and He will help you.
Finally, let us express our desire to be with the Lord. We often hear the example of a bride and bridegroom. If the bride’s reaction to the proposal of marriage would be “Yes, okay that’s nice, but not right now, I have some other things on the go, maybe later,” that just doesn’t fit. We have come to experience the peace, love, and comfort of Christ. In our prayer life, let us express our desire to be with the Lord as soon as possible, that He will return soon and accept us in grace!