25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sept 22, 2019)
1 Timothy 2:1-8
Prayer. Prayer is our direct line communication with God. It is something that is available to all of us… everyday… at any time… in any place. There’s no fancy formula to remember. No secret password. No hidden key. To begin prayer, all we have to do is simply… decide… decide to begin. Just begin talking to God as you would a close friend. There are many good and useful memorized prayers that we’ve been taught, but prayer can simply be a casual conversation with God.
Prayer is something that should be our “go to” default in times of stress, in times of trial, even in times of celebration. But all too often, we tend to ignore this form of communication with God. And then when we get overwhelmed, stressed beyond our capacity, or even start to fall into depression… it is in these moments that we often ask the questions, “Where is God?” and “Why has He abandoned me?”
So let me ask you. How’s your prayer life these days? This is a question that we should reflect on often. It’s important to consider because, if our prayer life is suffering, other areas in our lives tend to suffer as well. So if we are stressed, uncertain, afraid, mad or just frustrated… I ask you… have you spoken with God about it yet? Or are you still trying to do it on your own?
Today we hear St. Paul in his letter to Timothy say, “First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone.” Why? Paul tells us, “That we may lead a quiet and tranquil life.” I’m not sure about you, but I would LOVE to live a quiet and tranquil life. But like most people, I tend to get overwhelmed with life, which often pushes my prayer life farther and farther out of my daily routine.
I’m a husband, a father of 5 kids, I work full time, I have obligations here at church as a Deacon and in my spare time, I get yelled at and get accused of being blind as a High School soccer referee. These things are not bad, but they take up a lot of time and have the capacity to add to my stress levels. Then guess what? My prayer life gets ignored. It’s easier and takes less brainpower to veg out watching Netflix or scroll through social media than to tell God about the stress I’m trying to ignore. But I’ve personally seen in my life that the more “grrrrrr-vibe” that I’m putting off has a close correlation with how little time I’ve given to God in prayer. It’s like a teeter-totter on a playground.
So if we want to live a life with more quiet and tranquility, we need to make room for dialogue with God a daily priority. If we keep a strong prayer life, it tends to open our eyes more to see God acting in our lives more frequently. It also allows us to better deal with rough situations because we can offer up our sufferings to God, knowing that He hears us and is with us through the good and the bad.
Remember, the days we spend here on earth are temporary compared to the eternity that awaits us after death. We can try to ignore and avoid talking with God now, but we can’t avoid that conversation with God on our judgment day when we stand face to face with Him. That would be an awkward conversation, wouldn’t it???
God: “Hey, nice to finally meet you. I’m God… the creator of the universe. I actually formed you in the womb. I was hoping we would have talked more often during the past 84 years. But it’s whatever. I don’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. Let’s have a chat.”
Don’t be that person.
Make prayer a priority. All the time. Everyday. Decide to do it now.
(There were several other things going on at Mass this weekend so a shorter homily was requested by my pastor.)