Rarely does a daily paper mention the word “prayer” or its effect in people’s lives. However, when praying gets mentioned twice on the same day, we must take notice.
The two stories were featured in the INSIGHT section of the Toronto Star on Sunday, March 4, 2012.
The first related to eco-warrior Wiebo Ludwig in Alberta, who was talking about his approaching death. He said, “I’m not a person who has had small prayers. I’ve asked for major things to change my life and the lives of those I’m with. I’m not disappointed.”
The other story - 10 Lessons From a Near-Death Experience – tells what happened to reporter Kathleen Kenna. She was covering the war in Afghanistan for the Toronto Star when a bomb was thrown at her car. She received extensive injuries, and has gone through “dozens of surgeries on three continents.” She said, being “near-death taught me a few things,” such as love heals all, faith transcends the darkness, hope is essential, and life should be celebrated.
She told God that she was not ready to die and maintains that her “strong faith in God has kept me optimistic.” Forcing herself to concentrate on “ONE. SMALL.THING.” that made life worth living was the simple daily prayer she offered as she was going through months of pain and disability.
Both stories speak of the power of prayer in living life on this Earth.
Since the Church calls us to improve our praying during Lent, here is a “Prayer Exercise” that may help you achieve that goal.
GROWING YOUR PRAYERS:
Firstly, don’t look for the ideal place or time to pray - do it anywhere safe.
Secondly, imagine you are alone with God – spend a short time enjoying the relationship.
Thirdly, pray the five aspects of prayer, naming situations and people from your own life:
- PRAISE – say wonderful things to God;
- THANKSGIVING – thank God for who you are and what you have;
- FORGIVENESS – recall when you have fallen short of God’s expectation for you, allow yourself to feel sorry for your actions, and ask for God’s forgiveness;
- PRAYING FOR OTHERS – name people and situations for whom you want God’s help;
- PRAYING FOR YOURSELF – ask God to help you as you travel through life.
Fourthly, pray at least once per day.
Fifthly, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.