May 15, 2022 | NEW HEARTS

The Primacy of Prayer


One of the first principles of evangelization is this: you can’t give what you don’t have.

Evangelization is about recognizing the gift that we have received - the gift of an invitation to eternal life- and then sharing that gift with others. In the joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis says this: 

“The joy of Evangelizing always arises from a grateful remembrance: it is a grace which we constantly need to implore."

-Joy of the Gospel, 13

When we spend time in prayer reflecting on what God has done for us, and what God is doing in us and for us in our day to day lives, we can’t help but become missionary disciples.

Pope Francis continues on:

 “The apostles never forgot the moment when Jesus touched their hearts: “It was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Jn 1:39)”.

John is writing his Gospel at the end of his life, in exile on the Island of Patmos - decades after he met Jesus for the first time. Even though so much time had passed, he remembered vividly the exact hour of the day that Jesus touched his heart and called him to follow him. Recalling in prayer this grace of the moment Jesus called us to follow him can’t help but send us on mission too!

For the missionary disciple, intimacy with God is essential. While we certainly experience this intimacy in the sacraments, daily prayer When we pray and spend time with God, we realize the tremendous gift that we receive and want others to experience that gift too!

“It is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn.” 

- Evangelization in the Modern World, 24

When we look at the great saints of the Church, even those we often associate with service to the poor- they all have one thing in common - a deeply intimate prayer life.


Prayer is what fueled their mission. And it must fuel ours today.


3 Quick Tips to jumpstart your prayer life


Retreat 

Retreat doesn't mean we have to take a weekend away or go to a retreat center, it means stepping back from the busyness of our everyday life and withdrawing to a quiet space to spend time with God. You can do this in your parish church, adoration chapel or simply by finding a quiet space in your home. What’s most important is the intentional decision to make time and space for God in your day.

Reflect

What is God saying to you? Whether you are meditating on the scriptures, or using another prayer book, it’s important to pause and listen to God’s voice. God has a message for us each and every day. What words or thoughts capture your attention? What do you think God is saying to you today and why?

Respond

Prayer should lead us to action. When we hear the voice of God, we must respond to Him. This part of our prayer focuses on how we can apply the reflection we have just done in simple and practical ways today and in our day to day lives moving forward. These don’t always have to be earth-shattering changes (though they could be!), but rather, they should keep us advancing in our intimacy with God which fuels our mission to make him known to all the world.



Looking for more resources on prayer? Check these out!

Time for God, Fr. Jacques Philippe

Meditation and Contemplation, Fr. Timothy Gallagher O.M.V.

WRAP Yourself In Scripture, Karen & Lawrence Dwyer

Praying Scripture for a Change, Dr. Tim Gray

Prayer Primer, Fr. Thomas Dubay


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