Do you ever feel like a broken record when you pray, always asking for the same things? One of our followers recently submitted this question for us to answer during a Facebook Live session:
"I pray to Our Lord, Our Blessed Mother, and several of my favorite saints. I'm usually asking for the same things. I know that God knows what I desire, so should I keep repeatedly asking?"My answer is a resounding YES! And here's why I think so, in six points (you can watch the video below):
1. God wants you to grow in your prayer life.It is true that God knows what we desire, and his desire is that we grow in our prayer life. God knows that prayer is what sustains us and gives us strength (man does not live by bread alone!), and he wants us to do this daily, even if we are asking for the same things every day.
2. Continually asking for the same things is a good thing.There are some things we should never stop asking for, every day. We should always ask God (even beg him) to provide us with the many things that we need, both physically and spiritually. For example, that God will increase in us the virtues (such as patience, humility, and charity, etc.), that he will protect and help us and our loved ones, that we will do his will, etc.
3. The strength of our desire is proportionate to the strength of our prayer.Sometimes God is slow to answer our prayers in order that our desire may be increased, making our prayers more fervent and therefore more efficacious. It is our desire that is the fire behind our prayer, and God wants to see this grow from a spark into a flame. If we allow the repetition to weary us and make us give up, instead of allowing it to strengthen our desire and fervency, then our prayer will remain weak.
4. God teaches you things through your desire.When our desire increases, we learn persistence and perseverance in prayer. Sometimes God will grant our requests only as the fruit or reward of long, difficult prayer (think of the parable of the persistent widow). This persistence and perseverance in prayer allows God to teach us things us about ourselves and about him. We become acquainted with the deepest longings that God has placed in our souls, which we cannot learn in any other way than by prayer.
5. Dryness and difficulty in prayer makes you merit more.Continually asking God for the same things can at times make us feel despondent, especially if it seems like our petitions are not being heard. Dryness, frustration, and difficulty with prayer is inevitable; the most important thing is to keep praying through these obstacles. When prayer is difficult or seems ineffective, and yet we persevere through it, our prayer merits more in the sight of God, and virtue increases in our souls in the process.
6. Petition is one of the traditional forms of prayer.There are four forms or types of prayer in the Catholic tradition: adoration (praising God for his goodness), contrition (asking for his forgiveness out of sorrow for our sins), petition (requesting his help for our needs), and thanksgiving (showing our gratitude for his many gifts). Petition is a legitimate and necessary form of prayer; however, if we incorporate the other three into our prayer time as well, we will feel less like a broken record as we continually ask God for the same things.
What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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