Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
September 5, 2019
Today, in Mercy, Jesus and Paul teach us how to pray for one another.
I like to call it “gifting prayer” because it is, indeed, a generous offering we give to others.
I sometimes pray for simple things – that a family member wins the lottery, or it doesn’t rain on a friend’s wedding.
And I pray for consequential things – improved health for a neighbor, safety for travelers, deliverance from disaster.
These prayers are rooted in the wish for material improvement. But there is a deeper kind of prayer that we can offer.
The Big Prayer
Gifting Prayer is a wide halo of love and hope we generate
by our desire for someone else’s eternal good – for their holiness.
This kind of prayer is much bigger than the small prayers we say for others.
Paul describes what such prayer should ask for – that our beloved:
- be filled with the knowledge of God’s will
- gain all spiritual wisdom and understanding
- walk in a manner worthy of the Lord
- be fully pleasing, in every good work
- bear fruit and grow in the knowledge of God,
- be strengthened with all endurance and patience,
- and give thanks, with joy, to the Father for the gift of faith
Now THAT’S a prayer!
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, gives us a clue about how to pray such a prayer. He says that it’s kind of like catching fish. The Gospel fishermen have labored all night with no results. Sometimes our prayer feels like that, doesn’t it?
Jesus says no matter. Keep on fishing – keep on praying. Shift perspective a little bit “to the other side of the boat” – to God’s way of seeing good for those we pray for.
Ask for God to do what God deems best. This attitude in prayer opens us to divine possibilities. It hopefully brings unimagined resolutions to those we pray for.
Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch…
…When they had done this, they caught so great a number of fish
that their nets were bursting.
Let God burst the tight net by which we might define our prayer. Let’s be amazed by all that God desires to give us beyond our small wishes.
Music: Trust His Heart – Babbie Mason