Monday, September 20, 2010

Lord, I need You, heed my plea

Monday morning is an excellent time to be reminded of how much I need the One who accompanies me always. As the now Bl. John Henry Cardinal Newman once preached: "a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world in every season, in every place, in every emergency – prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect in spiritualizing and elevating the soul. A man is no longer what he was before; gradually … he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles" (from Pope Benedict's homily at yesterday's beatification mass in Birmingham).

As I was praying this morning, petitioning God and praying in an intercessory way for so many people, I was moved to pray to be wholly open to God's will, to trust totally in Him and to stop looking at things from my limited and proscribed perspective, which suffocates me. At the end of my prayer time I read from the devotional I am currently using this excerpt by Richard Foster, who is such a light to me over many years:

"When our asking is for ourselves it is called petition; when it is on behalf of others it is called intercession. Asking is at the heart of both experiences.

"We must never negate or demean this aspect of our prayer experience. Some have suggested, for example, that while the less discerning will continue to appeal to God for aid, the real masters of the spiritual life go beyond petition to adoring God's essence with no needs or requests whatever. In this view our asking represents a more crude and naïve form prayer, while adoration and contemplation are a more enlightened and high-minded approach, since they are free from any egocentric demands.

"This, I submit, is a false spirituality. Petitionary Prayer remains primary throughout our lives because we are forever dependent upon God. It is something that we never really 'get beyond,' nor should we even want to.... The Bible itself is full of Petitionary Prayer and unabashedly recommends it to us." (from Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home).

Lord, sometimes I feel guilty for asking You for so many things, but the truth is I am but a poor beggar, who needs You because You are my daily bread. Help me to recognize that You, too, are a beggar, begging me for my heart each day. Teach me to depend on You, trusting You because You love me, not despite my unworthiness, but precisely because You are moved by my need.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! Words I needed to read this morning.


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