| The Power of Prayer
One should never underestimate the power of prayer as a response to
situations in our lives. To use a simple definition, prayer is our love joined to God's
love, and that love visits the person for whom we are praying. Even if people do not know
that we are praying for them, the power of prayer is still communicated at a spiritual
level. We often sense that something is happening even when no words are spoken (e.g.,
when someone is angry at us, or when something painful has happened to a loved one). This
is the level at which prayers have their effect. Even if we never tell the loved one that
we are praying for him or her, that person senses it at a profound level. We are embracing
that person in our love and God's love and love always brings healing.
We only have to think of St. Monica who
prayed for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine, for decades. She never gave up hope,
and her prayers led her son to a powerful conversion. We have to have the same persistence
and trust when we pray for someone whom we love.
Furthermore, we might begin to think that
we should be "doing" something and not just praying. There are times that we
should be very active in our response (e.g., using tough love with someone who is drinking
or taking drugs), but many situations demand a patient response. We cannot force
conversion; we can only invite it, and prayer is an invitation to the loved one to choose
life and love.
Our loved ones should be able to see
that being a Catholic is something that has transformed our lives.
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