Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What is the purpose of Prayer?

REASONS TO PRAY (from Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft):

1. Praying keeps your soul alive: Prayer is real contact with God, and God is the life of the soul as the soul is the life of the body. If you do not pray, your soul will wither and die, just as, if you do not eat, your body will wither and die.

2. Because God commands it: Three reasons he commands us to pray correspond to our three deepest needs, the fundamental needs of the three powers of our soul: prayer gives truth to our mind, goodness to our will, and beauty to our heart. "The true, the good, and the beautiful" are the three things we need and love the most, because they are three attributes of God.

3. Prayer changes us: We pray, not to change God's mind, but to change our own; not to command God, but to let God command us. Prayer is our obedience to God even when it asks God for things, for God commanded us to ask.

4. We do not have an infinite amount of time: We are one day nearer Home today than we ever were before. I guarantee you that after you die, you will not say, "I spent too much time praying; I wish I had watched more TV instead." We must learn to pray because infinite and uncompromising Love will not leave us alone until we do. If we do not learn to practice his presence with our whole mind and will in this life, we will have to learn it in Purgatory, where it will be much more painful - or else we will never learn it, and that is Hell.

5. Learning to pray is dress rehearsal for eternal life: What you do when you rehearse a play is actually to practice it, to do it; and what we do when we pray is actually to practice what we will be doing in Heaven.

6. Prayer is delightful: Brother Lawrence says, in The Practice of the Presence of God, "There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God. Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it."

7. Prayer is the way to know God: One moment of prayer, of weak worship, confused contrition, tepid thanksgiving, or pitiful petition will bring us closer to God than all the books of theology in the world.

8. Prayer is the only way to spiritual progress: We must pray in order to grow, and we must grow because Infinite Love will not, cannot, settle for less than the greatest joy of which his beloved creature is capable.

9. Prayer is necessary because without it we cannot attain the meaning of life, the end and purpose of our existence: Becoming saints is the meaning of life. It is why we exist. It is why God created us. Prayer is our first step in becoming saints. The second step is charity, a life of love, the ecstasy of giving ourselves away over and over again forever, as each Persons of the Trinity do. But this is prayer, too, or an extension of prayer. This is practicing the presence of God in action.

From: Catholic Answers.


Linda said...

This was necessary for me today. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as Pergatory.
Ephesians 2:8-9

New International Version (NIV)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Gina said...

That is your interpretation of the scripture, however the Church's constant teaching is somewhat different.
I am a Catholic, so if you read from page 268 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it explains purgatory there.
The word 'purgatory' is not found in Sacred Scripture. This is not the point. The words 'Trinity' and 'Incarnation' are not found in Scripture, yet those doctrines are clearly taught.
Likewise, the Bible teaches that an intermediate state of purification exists. We call it Purgatory. What is important is the doctrine, not the name.
I suppose you are thinking, 'Where is the doctrine of purgatory referred to in the Bible?'
Please look these up:
2 Maccabees 12:44-46
1 Peter 4:6
1 Peter 3:18-20
1 Cor 3:15
Mt 12:32