There is something so incredibly intimate about hearing someone pray in their own words.
Rote prayers are beautiful and helpful in directing our prayer towards God. They lead us into prayer when we cannot think of words on our own. But when someone with you opens up spontaneously, sharing their unscripted conversation with God, it is truly a privilege to witness.
If you haven’t already read today’s Gospel (John 17:20-26), I cannot encourage you enough to do so. (Also I would invite you to consider adding in the verses from the beginning of the chapter.) In the passage we hear Jesus, our Lord and Savior, intimately having a conversation with God the Father, praying not only for those present in that moment, “but also for those who will believe in me . . .” (John 17:20).
He is praying for us, sisters.
What I love most about this prayer is that it doesn’t seem polished and refined. This prayer is sophisticated, yet simple. In it, He is authentic and real in a beautiful, relatable way.
Jesus is thanking God for the gift of us and praying for us to know God more.
In His words I can hear my own prayers with God. Prayers that when read aloud may seem confusing and repetitive. Prayers that often circle around a topic or theme while I try to communicate with limited language what our limitless God already knows is on my heart.
Today Jesus is inviting us into an intimate space of conversation with God. He is allowing us to catch a glimpse into His relationship with the Father and by doing so, He is showing us by His example that we can also talk with God in prayer. We don’t have to use dramatic words or impressive sentence structures. There doesn’t have to be a set script or plan of action.
We simply have to acknowledge the presence of our loving Creator, open our hearts, and speak.
Have you read through our "Ways to Pray" study? The Catechism offers stunning insights into the three ways prayer is categorized.
Sarah Stanley is a small town Ohio girl who is obsessed with all things Ignatian and is passionate about faith, social justice, and the intersection of the two. She left Ohio in 2012 and after a year of service in rural Alaska, earning her Master of Divinity in California, and working at a Connecticut High School, is officially back in Ohio serving as a university Newman Campus Minister. When she’s not working, she enjoys contagious laughter, clever puns, and finding the good in all things. You can find out more about her here.