Have you ever noticed in the Bible how people pray before undertaking a great task? They call out to God for His assistance, and He always responds with aid. The Old Testament is full of stories like these. Three Angels come to Abraham with a promise of a baby in response to his prayers. The lions do not eat the praying Daniel in the lions' den. The three men do not burn in the fiery furnace while they sing a hymn of praise. The Archangel Raphael comes in response to prayer, giving Tobias a fish to free Sarah from the influence of a demon and to heal his father’s eyes. Judith prays for and receives the strength to save her people by beheading Holofrenes.
God’s help is also present to the people in the New Testament. In today’s reading from Acts, Saints Peter and John, just released after being arrested for healing a lame man, were threatened by the chief priests and the elders and told to not preach about Christ anymore. Rather than comply with the wishes of their enemies, they prayed for courage to continue to spread the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit responded by filling them with boldness. They went on to begin the evangelization of the whole world.
God likes to help us in response to prayer; He wants us to get to know Him, to talk to Him. When we spend time with Him, we grow to love Him more.
Last year I began the daily habit of praying regularly in the afternoon during the lull of my children's quiet time. I had the habit of regular rote (memorized, written) prayers at the beginning and end of my day, but I was not making regular time for daily meditation. A priest recommended to me that the middle of the day was the perfect time for me to pray. The children were resting, and I had just been through the whirlwind of the morning and needed to gear up for the rest of the day.
Placing myself in God’s presence, examining my day so far, sharing my frustrations, thanking Him for the blessings, and sitting back and listening for His response has become an essential part of my afternoon. I give the Holy Spirit a chance to fill me back up to face the tasks that I have next. My work may not seem as important to me as the preaching of the Gospel to all the nations, but I am not an Apostle. God wants to help me here in my role as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend to live my vocation faithfully, and He wants to help you as well.
When we pray to Him, the Spirit will come to our aid and give us the grace we need to accomplish our tasks from the smallest act of love to the boldest act of charity. Let us not forget to pray for His help in all things.
Susanna Spencer once studied theology and philosophy, but now happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here.