40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 33, or The Days In Between

 

For many of us, an hour on one day of the week more or less comprises our time devoted to prayer. For many more, even less time is spent with God. The reasons we might give for our minimal efforts are numerous, but all of them are weak.

 

How much time should we spend on our faith, then? Is going to church once a week enough? What if we go twice a week? What if we pray once in a while? What if we pray once a day?

 

How much time do you think God spends on you? Do you think He’s only there when you decide to go to church or just when you start talking to Him? No. He spends every moment of your life with you.

 

How can we go from spending a short while at mass on Sundays to living a holy life that inspires others? Mass is a spiritual well to draw from to help you on your way afterwards, but it’s not a destination. We are meant to go forth and preach the gospel with our words and our actions in our daily life.

 

When we remain constantly vigilant in our faith, it radiates light out into a dim world. When we are always praying and discerning, we grow in hope, joy, and love that can be seen by those we interact with every day. We are not meant to be devout only from Sunday to Sunday, but all the days between. God gave His whole life for us. Let’s give Him our whole lives back.

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord, do not let me be distracted by the perishing matters of the world, but help me to keep my mind always on You.

 

Amen.

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40 Days, 40 Prayers

 

Day 32, or More than My Hopes

 

I consider myself to be a person with a very good imagination. My mind is more often daydreaming than not. Nothing is too fantastical for me. So I can dream up some pretty amazing things.

 

But still there is a limit. There is a place the mind cannot reach, a height to which it can’t aspire, things so sublime it can’t conceive of them. Our frailty, our fear, our doubt holds us back from being able to even dream that we might ever achieve such magnificence.

 

What God’s mind has conceived of, however, what He’s planned and brought about, what He has in mind for us incomprehensibly surpasses the grandest visions we’re capable of.

 

And no matter how unworthy we are, He has dreamt it for us all. And even though we can’t yet fully see it, if we believe in it and live this life in hope of it, someday we may truly awake in His dream.

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Father, help me to fully trust in Your plan and joyfully hope for Your promised land.

 

Amen.

40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 31, or To See Him in the Dark

 

We often remind ourselves how important it is to turn to God in the darkest times. And then the darkest times come, and it takes all our faith, all our strength to remember it.

 

But in our nights of weeping, whether we sense it or not, He is the one who sustains us, comforts us, upholds us. He is the one who knows our sorrow better than us, the one who feels our pain Himself.

 

He knows we will wonder His reasons for many things in our lives. And we don’t have to understand it all right now. We just have to trust Him and keep offering Him our hearts, no matter how broken they may be.

 

 

 

Psalm 56:8

~~~

You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your record?

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

 

Amen.

40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 30, or Even Me

 

I know God gives all of us gifts. I know He created us each with unique and valuable abilities. I know He can use anyone to fulfill His will. I know, but it’s not always so easy to trust.

 

It’s hard to imagine how He can use little old me for anything good. What am I? What can I do? Great things are for great people, not me.

 

But I constantly work to eradicate this way of thinking from my mind, because it’s neither true nor beneficial to my spiritual journey. If I claim to believe all things possible through Christ, how can I not believe that He can do great things through me?

 

When we lay comparison and covetousness aside and devote our hearts and hands entirely to His direction, we can and should expect great things of ourselves.

 

 

“I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.”
― Francis of Assisi

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord, do not let insecurity and doubt remain in my heart, but fill me with trust in Your wisdom and Your plan. Open my heart and guide me to Your will for my life.

 

Amen.

40 Days, 40 Prayers

 

Day 29, or Needing You

 

At the risk of sounding like a nostalgic idealist, today’s society is not what it used to be. At least not the way I understand it. It seems to me that the culture has changed. It seems to me there used to be a common decency, a common kindness, a sense of community, an understanding of one’s place, one’s purpose, one’s responsibility in society. It seems to me that today all people care about is what they think society owes to them.

 

So much emphasis has been put on individuals–individuals’ values, individuals’ comfort, individuals’ beliefs—that there is no form of collective left. The result is all these individuals feeling so independent, they don’t think they need anyone else. Especially not God.

 

Isn’t individuality and independence a good thing? They’re some of the most important things in life. They are the mark of humanity. But where do you think this originality and freedom came from? Why are we all utterly unique in every way, why are we able to think and feel differently from one another, why are we able to make our own decisions, including the decision to not believe in God?

 

Because God gave us the ability. He gave it to us knowing that we might choose not to love and follow Him. And He loved us so unconditionally He wanted us to have free will, even if we turned away from Him because of it.

 

One by one, many do turn away. They turn away from God, from religion, from a church, from anything that might hold them accountable. Because the truth is what one decides for himself, and you don’t need anyone else to tell you differently than what you want to hear. When you’re on your own, you are God.

 

It’s a delusionary way of life, and is quickly discovered to be so. For the simple reason that man is not a solitary creation. He never was, and never will be. People need people. If we say we don’t, it is pride and arrogance trying to convince us that we are all-knowing, all-conquering, all-powerful. But we feel the space that’s left when we attempt to live only by and for ourselves. The purpose of our lives becomes invisible, the meaning drains out of it, we lose our place and can’t find it again.

 

The world needs you. It needs each one of us. Not because of what we’ve made of ourselves, but because of what we are, what we were created to be. On our own, we grow weak, we wander aimlessly, we can’t find our way. Other people give us a direction, they show us things we can’t see on our own, they do things we could never hope to be able to do. It’s ok to admit you need other people. It’s ok to admit you need God. It’s more than ok. It’s how life was meant to be.

 

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord, grant me humility to remember how much I need You at every moment.

 

Amen.

40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 28, or Back to Life

 

There are moments in our lives when it feels like the end. We feel empty, like we have nothing left to give. Things that used to bring us joy have gone stale. We can’t see how we can move forward.

 

You could be an empty shell, a lifeless corpse, a zombie walking dead for all your life, and still there is hope for you to be brought back to life.

 

The Author of life has conquered the grave so that we may see that there is no depth He cannot reach to pull us out of, no state so cold He can’t unfreeze us, no place so dark He can’t shine a light.

 

He was born to bring second life. You were born to live for it.

 

 

 

John 11:25-27 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world.”

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Lord, when everything in me feels withered and dead, breathe new life into my heart and new zeal for serving You.

 

Amen.

40 Days, 40 Prayers

Day 27, or The Name of Jesus

 

There is power in a word. There is power in a name. There is meaning and consequence in the words we decide to hold back, and the way in which we put words together. We always refer to the ancient adage—“actions speak louder than words.” And it is true that we are defined by our actions, but how important is the act of considering what we say? I believe the depths or shallows, the hidden meanings or plain statements in a person’s speech speaks volumes about his priorities.

 

With this belief then, how often do I, as a Christian, decide to hold back a word? A particular word that I know may be taken as offensive, provocative, or condescending by those who don’t trust my motives or know my intent. How often do I fear for the fate of my popularity, my comfort, my image if I say the word? Because there is no doubt that the word is a controversial one in this world. It has struck love, hate, curiosity, and bewilderment into any heart that hears it. What is this powerful word?

 

Jesus.

 

You want to talk about a nameless god, a vague concept of a creator, incorporeal spiritual ideas, that’s fine. They’re safe because they can’t touch people’s well-crafted shrine of self-comforting beliefs. But you want to talk about Emmanuel, God made flesh, who came down from Heaven and walked and lived among us, who healed the sick, walked on water, poured out His blood, and allowed His body to be broken as human sacrifice? That’s not fit for normal conversation.

 

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think there’s a wrong time to talk about life, death, and salvation. And I don’t want to be afraid of talking about it anymore.

 

Jesus is the savior of the world. He’s my everything. And I think I owe Him the courage to tell everyone all He’s done for me, and all He wants to do for them.

 

 

 

 Philippians 2:1-11 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,

 who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
 but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
     he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.

 Therefore God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

 

My prayer for today:

 

Jesus, fill my heart with love of You, and make me always joyful and unafraid to speak Your name to whomever I meet.

 

Amen.