Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Let’s get to the point on this one today. Did you pray today? I know what your first thought is, and no I’m not talking about the TikTok going around. Seriously, did you pray today? If your answer is yes, reflect on where your prayer brought you. Has that ever happened to you? You start out your prayer thinking about one thing and then all of a sudden it moves to a whole other thought that you didn’t even think about. It’s crazy. So, if yes, think about where your prayer brought you and why? Think about how God is wanting to work in you from that end point. If your answer was no, ask yourself why not?
I know prayer can seem a bit intimidating, maybe even unnatural. Especially with summer in full swing, you’re probably wondering if this vacay from school and socializing is also a break from faith. Is it? The real answer, that we both know, is no. Summer is not a break from our faith. It’s an opportunity to pray harder, stronger, and more intentionally than ever. So, if your answer is no, ask yourself why not? Because, last time I checked, prayer has always been something good, that brings you closer to the Father and closer to God’s Peace. Some even mention that prayer just gives them comfort. Prayer is your relationship with God, right? It’s touching base with Him and communicating what’s going on in your life.
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “Jess, I can give you one good reason why I don’t pray…because I don’t even know what to say”, valid point. I have found myself at the foot of the cross numerous times not knowing what to say, where to start. Here’s where things get awesome.
You. Don’t. Have. To. Know. What. To. Say.
Woah, mind blown, right? You see, Jesus died on the cross and went to heaven, but He didn’t leave us empty handed. He knew we would have some trouble knowing how to talk to Him, or feel like we can’t access His Love and Presence. So, guess what? He sent the Holy Spirit. In Sunday’s second reading Romans 8:26-27, scripture says, “Brothers and sisters: The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what the intention of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” Look at that. The Holy Spirit can come to our aid and help us learn how to pray and intercede for us. So, what does that mean? The next time you pray and aren’t sure what to say, you can call upon the Holy Spirit. There are simple phrases you can say, such as “Come Holy Spirit”, or even repeat the name of Jesus over and over again. If you settle your heart and clear your thoughts focusing on those words, you would be surprised at what may come up.
You see, prayer isn’t just about asking for things when times are tough or talking to God about how you’re feeling. It’s also about hearing what God wants to say, listening to the Holy Spirit allowing Him to guide you in prayer when you’re not sure what to say. So, this week I challenge you to pray through the intercession of the Holy Spirit. You received Him when you were confirmed, so surprise, you’re meant to look to Him to advocate for you. He wasn’t just present on the day of your Confirmation. He’s with you now and is meant to help you. So why not start now? So, read this again and I hope that when you do your answer to the question “Did you pray today?” will not just be yes, but will also include where God brought you in your prayer, and how the Holy Spirit aided you.