This Sunday’s Gospel reminds us of the wonderful truth that we have a God who is accessible, a God who wants us to come to him with our cares, concerns, sorrows, joys, everything. This underscores the importance of prayer for our lives, the fact that God wants to be in relationship with us, that God wants to be in constant contact with us.
Why do we pray? I ask that question seeking an honest, personal answer. For most of us, we find ourselves motivated to pray by a sense of need either for ourselves or for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that as, again, the Lord invites us to cast our needs on him. However, petition is only one form of prayer and as disciples we need to make sure that we are rounding all the bases of prayer in our life of faith.
There are four basic types of prayer. The one that we are most familiar with is petition, but in asking the Lord for something we must be careful to not mistake God for Santa Claus in that we only go to him with our wants. The other forms of prayer are adoration, contrition, and thanksgiving. Offering prayers of all forms will serve to make us stronger in our discipleship.
In looking to the other three types of prayer, we need only ask ourselves three simple questions each day to make sure that we are not lacking in these other forms:
Adoration: have I praised God today for his greatness and glory?
Contrition: have I acknowledged the ways in which I have sinned and offended God and asked
for his forgiveness?
Thanksgiving: have I thanked God for the richness of his graces and blessings this day?
The disciple is a person of prayer and our daily prayer should encompass all four forms: praising God for his greatness, acknowledging our sins and seeking his forgiveness, asking the Lord for whatever we need of grace, and thanking him for all his goodness and blessings.
Father Christopher House is the Rector of the Cathedral and serves in various leadership roles within the diocesan curia, namely Chancellor and Vicar Judicial.