The many benefits
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
August 2, 2021
“After he dismissed the
crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.” (Mt 14,23)
Let’s take note of how
Christ himself always gave priority to prayer, despite the hectic
schedule he had to follow during his preaching trips. He found not
only time for it, but also the appropriate place for it. In spite of
being God himself who became man, Christ always felt the need to
pray and did his best to meet the relevant requirements for prayer.
He is actually showing us
how to carry out a very important duty that is incumbent on all of
us if we want to keep our humanity intact, let alone, our
Christianity. It is the duty to pray always because that is our
fundamental way of being in touch with God, our Creator and Father.
We need to be always with God. We will only have trouble when we
lose touch with him.
God, being our Creator, is
not only the giver of our existence but also the keeper or
maintainer of it. As such, he is always with us, trying to shape us
the way he wants us to be, that is, to be his image and likeness,
children of his, sharers of his divine life.
But he does this,
respecting always our freedom, precisely because being like him, we
have to freely correspond to God’s will for us. This is a
fundamental truth about ourselves that we should never forget. In
fact, we should try our best to faithfully, consistently and
generously act on it.
And that correspondence to
God’s will for us is basically done through prayer. We have to
understand that prayer is our first way to connect ourselves with
God. It is so basic that we have to learn to turn everything in our
life, from our thoughts and intentions to our words and deeds, into
some form of prayer. That’s how important prayer is!
When we pray, we start to
share what God has with us—his knowledge, his wisdom, his power,
etc. We get to see and understand things the way God sees and
understands them. When we pray, we get to see his will and ways, and
learn how to follow them. When we pray, we can manage to handle any
kind of situations and predicaments, challenges, trials,
difficulties, etc., properly.
When we pray, we would be
more able to love everyone, including our so-called enemies, just as
God himself, as shown in Christ, loves everyone. We would learn how
to be patient and merciful, how to be “all things to all men,” how
to be both strong and tough, on the one hand, and also gentle and
tender, on the other hand.
And if God would grant us
the honor and the privilege, we can be empowered to do some
extraordinary things like performing some miracles and receiving
some special charisms that would redound to the good of everyone.
Prayer makes our faith active, our hope alive and our charity
Of course, we also have to
understand that prayer can lend itself to many different ways.
There’s vocal prayer, mental prayer, contemplative prayer,
liturgical prayer, etc. It can adapt itself to different situations
The absolutely important
thing that makes prayer real prayer is when we manage to give all
our mind and heart to God in whatever thing we do or in whatever
situation we may find ourselves in. It need not be expressed in
words or deeds. It should start and end with our desire to be with