Prayer consists of two things; giving and receiving. In prayer God asks us to give our entire selves to him; our hopes, joys, sorrows, frustrations, disappointments, needs, etc. It as if we were reaching into our chest and removing our hearts and placing it in God’s hands. Even though we might be afraid to become so vulnerable and open to another we place our hearts in his hands without desiring to take it back.
However, in prayer we are also asked to receive the gift of God. We must receive all he says he is, who he wants to be for us and all that he asks us to do and how he wants us to live. In one sense, God reaches into his chest and places his heart in our hands and waits to see if we will receive it the way he so generously and patiently receives ours.
Does our prayer life look anything like this? Are we giving ourselves entirely to him and not holding anything back?And equally, are we receiving him completely, and all that he wants to be and do in our lives? If so, then maybe we can begin to grasp the fundamental importance that prayer must be for each one of us.
Fr. Jeremiah Myriam Shryock, CFR
St. Felix Friary, Yonkers, New York