A Life of Prayer – Homily for the Second Sunday of Lent

 In Homilies

The first reading of today talks about the Covenant which became fulfilled in the New Testament with the birth of Christ. This Covenant, which we celebrate at Mass, is the source of our prayer life as Christians. This was established by God beginning from Abraham and ending with Christ. This call to having a good prayer life is emphasised by St Paul in the 2nd reading where he explains that we should have our sight towards Heaven and not just the Earth. We have got dual citizenship. Our baptism, on the one hand, makes us citizens of Heaven while our passports make us citizens of the countries where we belong.

We are all connected with the heavenly realm through prayer. This is explained in the Gospel reading with Christ going up the mountain to commune with God. This is an act of prayer. It is this act of prayer that is contained in the three readings of today where we learn the following:

  1. The Prayer personality of Christ. This is exemplified in the transfiguration. Christ created time to pray and so we too must do the same regardless of our busy schedule. We should nurture our prayer personality by having an integrated prayer personality. There are three dimensions to achieving this. 1). Personal prayer life. 2). Group prayer life and 3). Community prayer life such as the Mass.
  2. How we express our prayer. Prayers can be expressed verbally or mentally. Verbally is a prayer that is spoken while mentally includes meditation and contemplation. Meditation is praying by listening to God. This is difficult because we are in a noisy world and we do not want to listen but rather add to the noise. This Lent season is a time for us to mentally connect with God so as to be able to renew our prayer life. This, however, is a bit different from contemplation. Contemplation is simply being in the presence of God.
  3. Prayer is meant to change us. It is to move us from selfishness to selflessness. This is the height of prayer. Prayer of petition is for beginners because prayer is about contrition, praying for others, among others. Prayer is to transform our vices into This is the ultimate goal of prayer

People often complain that Catholics do not pray. The result of this is that when Catholics are called to pray in public, they begin with ‘In Jesus name’ rather than beginning with the sign of the Cross. This is prayer itself. Difficulty in prayer can be solved by remembering the ALTAR when praying. ALTAR simply means:

A – Adoration.

L – Listening (Listen with your heart and head).

T – Tell God what you want.

A – Asking God about what you want if it conforms with His will

R – Rejoicing that your prayers have been answered.

In a bid to help with your prayer personality, click here to be redirected to a google search on Prayer personality quiz where you will answer a few questions and then find out what type of prayer personality you have so as to be able to develop it. Because if you do not develop your prayer personality and pray, you are praying to fail. As we do this, may God open the eyes of our heart, mind, soul and spirit so that we will remain prayerful through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Click to read – Temptation of Christ – Homily for the First Sunday of Lent – Father Istifanus Sheyin

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