What Is Required In Order To Pray

Father Girardey discusses what is, and what is not, required of a person who wishes to pray.

He writes: “To pray to God we are not required to be in good health, to be strong, rich, powerful, talented, learned or smart, to belong to a select or influential class, to wear fine clothes or costly jewels. To pray to God, we need not be fasting, to go a long distance, to pay a sum of money, to work hard, to give abundant alms, or to perform severe penances; for we need only to raise our mind and heart to God, conscious of our helplessness and misery, with our heart full of good desires, and simply tell Him our wants, and beseech Him to grant them to us.”

“We can pray to God at every moment of the day and night, wherever we may be, at home, at our place of work or business, in church, in the street, in bed, sitting down, kneeling, standing, walking, riding, in company, alone, at our meals, when recreating ourselves, or playing games. God is ever ready to listen to us and to grant our prayers for His assistance, for His grace.”

“We can pray to God in all the conditions of life, as was done by Moses as leader of an immense multitude, by Samuel in the temple, by Esther on the throne, as Daniel in the lions’ den, as the three youths in the fiery furnace, as King Ezechias in the throes of death, as St. Paul in irons in the prison, as St. Joseph in his workshop, as Sts. Germaine and Paschal tending their flocks, as St. Isidore tilling the ground, as St. Bonaventure writing books, and as St. Thomas engaged in deep study.”

“We cannot say that we do not need any help or favor from God, nor can we allege that we do not know how to pray, how to tell God our wants, whilst in all that concerns our temporal interests we are fully capable of making known our desires, our wants, and are very eloquent in our applications for work, for an office, in making known our wants to those who are able or ready to supply or relieve them. Although God knows our helplessness and our wants far better than we do, He justly requires us to acknowledge our dependence upon Him, and to ask Him to relieve them.”

Quotations from Ferreol Girardey, Prayer: Its Necessity, Its Power, Its Conditions (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1916).

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