The Word Among Us

September 2021 Issue

Prayer, the Source of Life

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

By: Jeff Smith

Prayer, the Source of Life: Dear Brothers and Sisters, by Jeff Smith

As different as each of us is, it’s no wonder that our prayer lives are different as well. One may feel distant from the Lord and dry during their prayer, while another may sense a great closeness with God. One may be moved to rejoice in God’s abundant blessings, and another may feel moved to weep over their sins.

Then there are those, like me, who fall somewhere in the middle! Some days I feel so close to the Lord that I almost sense him speaking to me personally, as a father would speak to his son. Other days, however, my prayer is distracted by my many racing thoughts. Or I feel distant from God, and my prayer feels dry. On those days, it feels harder to come into God's presence, and when my prayer time ends, I’m not sure that I encountered him very much.

But no matter how we feel on a given day, one thing is always true: God is truly pleased with us every time we come before him in prayer. Even when we are distracted, even when all we can see is our sin or weakness, God delights in the fact that we are seeking his face. We only have to recall Jesus’ parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Which of those two men “went home justified?” (Luke 18:14). It wasn’t the Pharisee, who was proud and prayed “to himself” (18:11). It was the tax collector, who “stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner’” (18:13). Yes, Jesus is pleased with us whenever we seek him.

Ever-Deepening Prayer. In this month’s issue of The Word Among Us, we are delighted to feature three articles by French author Fr. Jacques Philippe. Fr. Philippe has written at least a dozen books, and more than one million Catholics have been impacted by his message of prayer, interior freedom, and finding the peace of the Lord in the midst of trials.

In the first article, Fr. Philippe shares about the importance of prayer during challenging times. He explains how the world needs your prayer and how much your prayers of intercession can help build the kingdom of God. In the second article, he speaks about how prayer can help you become more compassionate and move you to share your love of Jesus with other people. Finally, Fr. Philippe reflects on what St. Joseph can teach you as you confront the many challenges in the world today.

May the Lord deepen your daily prayer life this month, and may you grow in your ability to hear his voice every time you come to him!

Jeff Smith
President, [email protected]