Adding a new prayer practice? Giving something up for God?
I hate to break it to you, but you won’t get anything out of it.
Well, at least not all by itself.
Setting the table and sitting down, doesn’t make a meal. You still need the food.
It’s pretty easy to put all of our faith in a prayer practice or spiritual habit that we’re attempting and miss the whole point.
Prayer practices, meditation habits, and spiritual disciplines are not sure-fire ways to experience happiness and joy. You have to be careful not to put your faith into the practice alone.
Prayer practice doesn’t provide any gifts on its own, only God does.
Don’t Forget God
Funny how we so easily forget about God when we focus on improving our prayer life or making some kind of sacrifice for God.
Pretty soon, if we’re not careful, any spiritual endeaver we have begun will become a habit without substance. Or, we will abandon it altogether.
What are we doing wrong?
I heard John Maxwell interviewed on a podcast this week. He was asked about his morning routine. I loved his response.
He said he wakes up every morning and the first thing he does is declare his love for God. Why? Because God has an unconditional love for us that we can experience.
I don’t know why, but this made something click for me.
I woke up this morning and I prayed the Morning Offering. It is a daily prayer that a lot of Catholics say each morning.
I have said this prayer before. Most of the time I didn’t feel anything.
Today, though, I thought about this practice differently.
John Maxwell’s daily morning routine reminded me of something that is ironically so easy to forget in our spiritual lives: God loves me.
Next time you practice some form of spiritual discipline or prayer practice, think of these words: “Because God loves me.”
Whenever you find yourself feeling doubts and thinking, “Why am I doing this?,” tell yourself: “Because God loves me.”
We go to church on Sundays . . . because God loves us.
We pray every day . . . because God loves us.
I prayed the Morning Offering this morning . . . because God loves me.
I prayed the Rosary today . . . because God loves me.
I prayed the Angelus today . . . because God loves me.
I asked myself in a number of situations today whether I am seeking to serve or be served . . . because God loves me.
I gave up my phone last week . . . because God loves me.
Pope Francis tells us not to be sourpusses. He tells us to show others the “joy of the Gospel.”
I don’t always feel joy after sitting down to pray. That’s because joy comes from God as a gift. It also comes when we give gifts back to God.
We experience the joy of the Gospel . . . because God loves us.