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How to Pray Bold Prayers

September 1, 2020   Tuesday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time (Lectionary: 432)

Reading 1   1 COR 2:10B-16

Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Among men, who knows what pertains to the man
except his spirit that is within?
Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God.
We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
so that we may understand the things freely given us by God.
And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom,
but with words taught by the Spirit,
describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Now the natural man does not accept what pertains to the Spirit of God,
for to him it is foolishness, and he cannot understand it,
because it is judged spiritually.
The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything
but is not subject to judgment by anyone.

For “who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to counsel him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.

Responsorial Psalm   PS 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13AB, 13CD-14

R. (17) The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your Kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
Making known to men your might
and the glorious splendor of your Kingdom.
Your Kingdom is a Kingdom for all ages,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.
The LORD is faithful in all his words
and holy in all his works.
The LORD lifts up all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
R. The Lord is just in all his ways.

Alleluia   LK 7:16

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A great prophet has arisen in our midst
and God has visited his people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel   LK 4:31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee.
He taught them on the sabbath,
and they were astonished at his teaching
because he spoke with authority.
In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, 
and he cried out in a loud voice,
“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
Have you come to destroy us?
I know who you are–the Holy One of God!”
Jesus rebuked him and said, “Be quiet! Come out of him!”
Then the demon threw the man down in front of them
and came out of him without doing him any harm.
They were all amazed and said to one another,
“What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out.”
And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
By Delaney Rayner 

I sighed when I began to read the Gospel, and the guilt quickly shrouded over me. Jesus has been speaking in a lot of parables lately, and most of them, I just don’t get. I will read the passage a couple times and I still feel like I am one of the disciples Jesus talked about when he said “you shall indeed hear, but not understand,” (MT 13:14). My time attempting to “get something” out of Scripture, deepen my relationship with the Father, or more fully understand the heart of Jesus goes wasted. 

The thing is, however, this prayer isn’t wasted. There has never been a half-hearted rosary, a distracted mass, a rushed confession, a dry Holy Hour, or a robotic Nicene creed that has been wasted. Maybe there is no immediate fruit that I can see, but God doesn’t let me waste my time on Him. My effort is what Jesus sees.

He doesn’t look for my perfect prayer life, or my saintly good deeds. All he asks for is my effort. 

Faith isn’t perfection. Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy life, and He doesn’t expect a journey free of slip-ups. Faith is knowing in my mind and believing in my heart that Jesus walks that journey with me. It is continuing to pray, even when I feel like no one is listening. It is thanking God in both the easy and the difficult times. It is living my life in a way where I trust that there is a Resurrection to every single one of my sufferings. Jesus lived this life of bold faith. 

With bold faith, come bold prayers. 

“Jesus rebuked him and said, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm.They were all amazed and said to one another, ‘What is about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out,’ (LK 4:35-36). 

 

Jesus knew God would answer His prayer, so He prayed some pretty BOLD ones. He trusted so deeply that His Father in heaven was faithful, merciful, and powerful. I want to trust like Jesus, even though I am far from His perfection. I want to pray bold prayers and know that God will answer them. I want to be bold in faith and action.

I won’t wait until I am perfect to pray bold prayers.

In fact, I can’t wait. Even in my littleness, the world needs those prayers now. My heart needs those prayers now. I will offer God my prayer, even when I don’t want to. I’ll show up at confession for the same sin, time and time again. And when I feel far from God, when I despair, when I feel like a failure, I will still proclaim that I am known, seen, and loved. I will be bold in my imperfection, knowing God’s power is made perfect in my weakness. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Delaney Rayner is Texas native currently a student at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is studying Communication Arts and Theology with the hope of fulfilling God’s call for her through media and ministry. Delaney can be found crafting and nailing Pinterest DIYs, belting Taylor Swift’s “folklore” in her car, or praying the rosary in her travel hammock. Whatever she finds beautiful, she photographs - mostly her friends and sunsets. Delaney is told that she is a little too passionate about fonts and St. Pope JPII, but she doesn’t believe in the concept of being “too passionate” about anything that brings joy! She strives for an authentically-lived Resurrected life. Find her on Instagram here

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