By Mary Lou Rosien
My children have an amazing group of Christian friends that they pray with on a regular basis. Some of these kids are Catholic, some are not, but they are all wonderful prayer warriors. God is good, He has allowed them to see the direct fruits of these prayers and it has encouraged them. They often end their prayers by saying, “In Jesus’ name.” This is, in fact, instructed in Holy Scripture, “I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give it to you.” John 16:23. This is a good practice, but is it complete?
As Catholics, we have the fullness of Faith and the benefit of our Traditions. We start our prayers with the Sign of the Cross. Too often, however, we rush through the motions and forget what we are doing.
When we offer up prayer we are asking the Father, who is the Creator to hear our prayer. He controls all things. If He forgot about us for a millisecond we would cease to exist. He is our Abba, our Daddy. We can place ourselves in His lap and tell Him our deepest fears, needs and we can praise Him.
We then turn to the Son. Jesus is our Savior. He has redeemed the world and saved us from destruction. He alone gives us salvation. He presents Himself to us in the Eucharist. He loves us so much, that He became one of us, died for us and rose to bring us to eternal life. He would do anything for each one of us and He wants to hear our prayers. It is His example that we are asked to follow and His words, in the gospels, that teach us how to be like Him.
Finally, we turn to the Holy Spirit. He speaks to our hearts. The Spirit is the one who guides us, helps us develop our conscience, and encourages us. The Spirit moves mountains by working through us for our own good. It is the Spirit that gives us courage, wisdom and even the very desire to praise God.
When trying to explain offering up prayer to the Trinity, we can teach our students to stop and add a few words to each of the three Persons of God. For example we might say: In the name of the Father, who created me and knows my name... and the Son, who loves me and died for my salvation... and the Holy Spirit, that He will show me how I can best handle the situation I am praying about. Amen.
I pray that your summer will be blessed, in the name of the Father, who created the long, summer days…and the Son, who gives you the hope of salvation in each brand-new day…and the Holy Spirit, that He will guide your hearts to choose wonderful ways to enjoy your summer. Amen.
Mary Lou Rosien is the author of Managing Stress with the Help of your Catholic Faith (OSV Publishing). Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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