In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, Jesus complains on one occasion saying: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Matthew 15:8). From this we can understand that true prayer does not consist in high-sounding phrases or words. It is not simply what we say but how we relate ourselves with God in love. We can express our love even though we may not actually say anything. Even when we lack for words, prayer could be a glance at a picture of Our Lord or of his Mother with heartful love.
The same thing happens in human relationship. When we are with our friends or well-acquainted people, we try to say something but nothing comes to our mind, in spite of our desire to converse. A kind look or some thoughtful action or listening carefully would be a sign of our interest in the other person/s. Every human expression in our daily life show us the possibilities of relating ourselves with God and make a perfect prayer.
When we come to pray, even if our thoughts don’t cooperate, we need not be disturbed. Even when we notice that in spire of our sincere effort, we have been distracted and feel dull, we can be sure that we have pleased our Father with our good intentions, with which we started praying. God, who sees the secret of our hearts will repay us (Cf. Matthew 6:6).
We can talk to him what is pertaining to us or what we will necessarily need for our physical, spiritual and social life. Likewise, we can talk about our families, friends, acquaintances, those who help us, or those who do not understand us or even those who make us suffer. Even in our struggles of life, we need not be afraid of even complaining to God and listen to what he would suggest.
Prayer is ultimately conversing with God with faithful and persevering love. “The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray, as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings” (Romans 8:26)
May the Holy Spirit strengthen us in prayer,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.