Hail Mary passes are not the way to get through life. “Dear God, I know I didn’t study, but please help me to pass this test.” “O Lord, I know I smoked for 30 years, but please let my test results be good.” Hail Mary passes may work once in a great while in football games. True prayer is different in 3 ways:
1. Prayer is paying attention to the movement of God’s Spirit in our lives and in the lives of those around us. A God Notice. Prayer opens us up to the reality and the presence of God. Jesus prayed before every big decision in his life, from choosing his apostles to death on the cross.
He needed to know if he was in harmony with his Father and doing what he was supposed to do. But Jesus was God, you say! Yes, but Jesus was also human, like you and me.
2. We need to be in harmony with what God the Father wants for us. God wants the best for us, even if we don’t realize it. That’s where we get into lots of problems. We go off and do things and don’t really pray about them.
3. It is important to remember that Jesus did not pray alone. In the desert or on the mountain he was praying with his Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus prayed with his apostles and his disciples. We too should not just pray alone.
A church community or a prayer group is important. Why? Because a church community by its example challenges us to be better than we are and to use the gifts, talents and wonders of our personality to serve God and one another. A God Witness.
God often speaks more loudly or more clearly in a unity of persons. “Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am present” (Matt. 18:20).