I lost the will to pray. And now?
There are hours when I do not feel the urge to talk to some people, but because I need to, I leave my will aside and go to meet them, I talk, I work, I live and I move on. With God it is no different. Sometimes I get so involved with things that I do not feel like talking to Him, that is, praying, but because I know that I need and, even more, depend on His grace, I go to His meeting through prayer.
Of course this requires commitment and perseverance, because, in fact, the life of prayer is a daily achievement; and since no conquest is exempt from strife, one must strive to be prayerful. In fact, St. Teresa of Jesus affirms in her autobiography that prayer and comfortable life do not agree at all; she recalls that one of the greatest victories of the devil is to convince someone that one does not need to pray.
That is, when the subject is a life of prayer, it is necessary to be aware that it is a spiritual struggle, and to overcome the only way is to pray with or without will. Even because, as the popular saying goes, “will gives and passes”. If I choose to let myself be guided by my own will, I run the risk of being empty, meaningless.
I know that, over time and the accumulation of activities, we run the serious risk of gradually letting go of prayer or praying anyway, until we reach a “spiritual desert” and have a certain apathy when the subject is prayer. But it is precisely at this hour that we must go beyond our feelings and consider that the “desert is also fruitful” when we live in God, and by his mercy in our lives everything is grace!
Consolations and desolations, joy and sadness, losses and gains, all are the fruit of the love of God, which allows us to live the trials while it calls us to grow and fruit in every situation. So, at the point where you are now, put your soul back in God and allow Him to give it back to you by the power of prayer.
By absorbing so much excitement and stimulation in our day, we end up losing touch with our true essence, and we become so distracted and preoccupied with everything going on around us that we end up fragmented, confused and insecure, without remembering where we came from, where we are and still less where we are going. Only God can redirect us.
Jesus was aware of this when He said to His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41); I would say, mainly, the temptation to forget who you are and what your role is in this world.
So, shall we pray?
I leave here some clues that can serve to open the way in your relationship with God. When you find your own path, you will walk freely and more and more experience the joy that is in His presence through prayer.
1- Choose the time and time you want to dedicate to your prayer and try to be faithful to that purpose. Just as we feed daily, prayer must be the daily food of the soul, whatever happens.
2 – Base your prayer on the Word of God and His truth. Talk to Him confidently and unreservedly, as if speaking to a friend. In doing so, he will find the peace and inner harmony he seeks so much, for, as St. John of the Cross teaches, “knowledge of oneself is the fruit of intimacy with God, and is the essential means for inner freedom.”
3. Pray with humility, always stopping in the word: “Thy will be done.” Remember that your prayer can not be moved simply by taste or demand, but above all by gratuitousness and trust in the mercy of God.
4 – Practice what you prayed and do not untie your works of prayer, because one thing has everything to do with the other. Charity, forgiveness, joy, trust, fraternity and patience are characteristic of those who pray.
5- Have your own rhythm of prayer. Imitation and comparison do not help. The lives of the saints, for example, are arrows that point to the sky, but it is you who must take their own steps to get there. I wish that in every dawn and also in the “dark nights” you experience prayer and love and true happiness, since it consists in loving and feeling loved. And no one loves us as much as God does. If you ever lose your desire to pray, you know what to do: pray and be happy!