Thursday, October 15, 2009
Deal Me In
Prayer is a lot like playing cards. The more you do it, the better at it you become. The more often you play cards, the more attune to the game you become. If you have a partner then the more you play, the more you recognize his/her body language. And this isn't even on purpose. You just see the excitement in their smile and eyes, the tenseness of their shoulders, the worriedness in their brow. No words are spoken but you and your partner are communicating.
The same is true if you're playing solo in a game. The more often you play, the more skilled you become. You can read your opponents, i.e., body language, expressions, eyes, posture, etc. It takes practice, but people do it all the time.
The same is true of prayer. The more often you do it, the better you become. The aim of prayer is to get closer to God, so you have to learn to "read", or hear Him communicating to you, much like your partner, or opponents in a card game. Praying predisposes you to receive God's grace. You will be brought closer to Him through time spent with Him. That includes receiving the sacraments as often as you can.
Just reading words in a prayer book won't help anymore than reading Hoyle's rules on card playing. You have to be involved. You have to want to win. You have to be willing to practice. You have to persevere. You have to have patience. You need the grace of God.