Monday, June 21, 2010

prayer for myself...

... it feels weird and contrived when I set out to pray for myself; like I should be doing something more constructive... prayer for other people perhaps. The act of praying for my own needs and wants seems self centered. I am sure there's some heresy associated with my over scrupulous tendencies. Like the time I was called a Calvinist in the confessional.

Part of it has to do with spiritual laziness I'm sure. Praying for myself would involve an effort to self examine areas in my life that are in most need of prayer and His guidance. I often rationalize this by concluding that God already knows better than me what I want and need.... so why be redundant? Sometimes I just don't like to pray for myself because what I want is rarely what God has intended for me. I am a poor bull headed daughter of His.

Then there's the time I prayed for myself and actually got what I prayed for and it turned out I didn't want it after all. How do you pray "Gee, God, thanks for the gift of an answered prayer but please tell me you kept the receipt?"

I'm no great theologian but I think that is just asking to be smote.


Just another mad Catholic said...

My general rule of thumb is to ask for all the virtues to be a great Saint (yes I know the idea of being a Saint scares me too), then ask for something for others (espcially those who get on your nerves), finally ask for something that you think you'd really like (like the Religious Order I'd like to enter) but ask God to answer your prayers as he he knows best for you.

3puddytats said...

I pray on my behalf all the time, but I'm also willing to meet the Lord half-way...if I pray for success in a professional development class, then I put forth the effort to study. I ask God for help at work alot, solving difficult engineering problems. I then take a break for 15 minutes or so, rest my mind. Or even give it an overnight to sink it...He most always comes through.

I also send quite a bit of time in prayer giving thanks for the many blessing in my life, and also thanks for answered prayers.. I probably spend about 30 seconds asking and about 30 minutes thanking and praising..


Angela M. said...

I just pray that I have the strength to cope with His will being done in my life.

Christopher Humphries said...

I can relate.
I have trouble praying at times and even going to Mass, even though I love it when I'm actually praying or in Mass. Struggling with my spiritual laziness has been a big part of my spiritual life, since after my baptism and confirmation (convert here). It was so much easier and I was so much on fire before those sacraments.

Now it is a day to day struggle. I fail a lot, but I just wanted you to know you're not the only one.

Logically and rationally I know that speaking with God is something I should long to do and I can do it whenever I please, but somehow I fail to do it so often.

Definitely a spiritual warfare battle going on for my soul. I should probably be stepping up and being a man more, seeking for God's embrace and love instead of trying to do it alone.

I'll pray tonite, and you will be included in them. *high-5* Us Catholics gotta stick together to make it!

Anonymous said...

I'll pray for you... and that the receipt is handy. (Love that part!)

William said...

I think I remember hearing a story about The Little Flower where she told her superior (or a priest) that she wanted to be holier than St. Theresa of Avila. She was rebuked for saying this, to which she responded "Doesn't Jesus say to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect, and isn't the Heavenly Father holier than St. Theresa?"

The point is: sin can twist the legitimate ways of loving ourself into self-hatred. I've always liked the line in the litany of humility that says, "That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should… ."

Old Bob said...

One prayer I like very much is the "Anima Christi" in the verse translation by Cardinal Newman:
Soul of Christ, be my sanctification /
Body of Christ, be my salvation / Blood of Christ, fill all my veins /
Water of Christ's side, wash all my stains /
Passion of Christ, my comfort be /
O good Jesus, listen to me /
In Thy wounds I fain would hide /
Ne'er to be parted from Thy side /
Guard me should the foe assail me /
Call me when my life shall fail me /
Bid me come to Thee above /
With Thy saints to sing Thy love /
For ever and ever, Amen.

Take care and God bless!

Rick said...

Looks like you've passed the stage of beginners. Do you have a spiritual director - besides the Confessor? It is under rated but is most efficacious.

Smiley said...

Jesus prayed for Himself once. And we need to analyze what He did.

The scene is the Agony in the Garden. Our Lord is sweating blood as he sees all the suffering he must undergo and more so becasue he sees us in the 21st century rejecting his suffering and passion.

Our Lord asks his Father and not asks but i would guess begs and pleads Father Let this cup be taken away. See our Lord is praying for Himself, but then he does something which we dont do. Our Lord then says however not mine but thy will be done.

So we can learn to do the same, pray for ourselves, Our Father does like us asking Him for our needs even though he knows what we need, after all we are his children and what child wold not ask thier father for thier needs.

But then dont forget to pray as Our Lord did and say not mine but they will be done. Im sure it would make Our Father most happy to see that we have learnt well from our Lord and elder brother.

truthfinder said...

"Old Bob" -- Thanks so much for the Anima Christi in a rhyming form I may be able to memorize. I truly love that prayer; for me, a convert, it says all that is in my heart. Rosemary