Praying Before You Act

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Readings for Tuesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary – Optional Memorial

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.  When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.  Luke 6:12-13

That morning, after Jesus had spent the night in prayer, He made some pretty major decisions.  He chose His first twelve bishops, the Twelve Apostles.  It’s interesting to note that He made this decision only after spending the night in prayer.

In a sense, Jesus did not “have” to pray.  But He did.  He prayed because this is who He is.  He is the Son of the Father and His most important relationship was the one with the Father in Heaven.  Thus, His prayer was one that was natural to His divine life and essence.  Spending the night in prayer, separated from everything but His Father, was a normal expression of His perfect love and communion with the Father.

But His time in prayer was also a normal way for Him to prepare for the decisions He would make the next day.  Again, it’s not that He needed to pray so as to make the right choice.  Rather, His prayer was simply part of the divine process of making the right choice.  It was a way of daily surrendering His human nature to the will of the Father in perfection so as to continue daily living the Father’s will in this world.

Jesus also sets a wonderful precedence for us.  We, unlike our Lord, need to pray in order to know and fulfill the will of the Father.  We do not walk in perfect harmony with God each and every day and each moment of the day.  Thus, while Christ’s prayer was an earthly expression of Him living who He already was, our prayer is a surrender to whom we are called to become.  We must become Christ, striving to live in perfect communion with Him and in accord with the perfect will of the Father. 

Reflect, today, upon the need you have to spend time in prayer so as to enter more deeply in union with our Lord.  Reflect, especially, upon the importance of doing so prior to making the various decisions you need to make in life.  Pray before you act and allow our Lord to be the one who enters into your life and directs you in accord with His holy will.

Lord, give me a heart that longs to be with You in prayer, each and every day.  Help me to daily surrender my entire life to You without reserve.  As I surrender my life, I thank You for entering in and directing all my actions.  My life is Yours, dear Lord, my life is Yours.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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