It’s not hard to make up an excuse not to pray.
There’s no time, we don’t feel like it, we’re distracted, we don’t know how to pray or what to say, or there are so many different ways to pray, we don’t know which is best.
Now of course, none of these are good excuses, but they’re the excuses we use for ourselves.
Deep down, we know we need to pray. But, it’s helpful to call to mind the purpose of prayer. And, for questions like this, we turn to two prayer powerhouses in St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila.
St. John of the Cross tells us, “The end of meditation and mental consideration of divine things is to obtain some knowledge and love of God.”
That’s it. We don’t need to complicate things. Prayer brings us closer to God through this “loving knowledge.”
St Teresa of Avila continues this idea in saying prayer consists “not in thinking much, but in loving much.”
Our prayer should enlighten our minds to God’s infinite love for us. And, as we are more and more convinced of this truth, our response is to return that love.
It’s not a great feat of our intellect or the facts about God or faith – it’s our thoughts poured forth from a loving heart. Our goal in prayer is not to become smarter, it’s to learn to love more.
Prayer should awaken love in our hearts. And when we open our eyes to God’s love in our lives, loving God through prayer becomes the necessary response, not another checkbox on the to-do list.
Be the Men.