Guide to Recovery

Daily Prayer

There are many types of prayer, including prayers of petition (i.e., requests for things), praise, thanksgiving, and intercession.  There are different modes of prayer too: mental and vocal, meditation and contemplation, public and private.  No matter what the type of prayer we employ, we must be as consistent and persistent as possible in our prayer in order to grow our relationship with God.  This is why daily prayers are so vital.

It may seem repetitive, or even gratuitous to petition the Lord for the same graces and assistance every single day in prayer, or in the case of our recommendations: three times per day.  The reason it is good to pray every day is because God wants to stay close to us, and He wants us to stay close to Him.  If we could pray once for a lifetime of graces and good fortune, we would have no need to stay close to God.

When we go through a very difficult time in life, odds are we will reach out to our closest relatives and friends nearly every day to vent and ask for help, so that we do not feel alone.  God wants this same close relationship with us, but He wants it in times of peace and consolation just as much as He wants it during times of upheaval and desperation.  Like any good parent, He does not want us to be far from Him ever.  He simply loves us that much.

As attested to in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we see that God wants to stay in touch with us every day.  And so, if we are willing to take the leap of faith, and completely trust in and depend upon God, He will provide for us, as He provided for Moses and the Israelites in the desert.  After they were freed from slavery in Egypt, and entered the desert to journey to the promised land, they soon found themselves starving and thirsty. But like a good Father, God provided for their every need.  Every morning the frost melted and left behind manna — bread from heaven.[6]  This was their ‘daily bread.’ When they ran short on water God made water pour from solid rock so they could drink their fill.[7]  And every evening quail appeared so the Israelites would dine on meat.[8]  They gathered what was gifted to them and everyone was completely satisfied.  They were instructed not to take more than they needed, but they did not listen.  Whatever was saved over from one day to the next spoiled.[9]  God provided them exactly what they needed, each day — no more, no less.  This was his way of being a good provider, and keeping them very close to Him. And so it is with us.

This concept of daily sustenance is echoed in the Lord’s Prayer, also known as the “Our Father.”[10]  Whenever we say the Our Father, we ask the Lord for our “daily bread.”  For many of us, this request is not for actual bread. Here in the developed world we are blessed so we often do not worry about food so much.  Instead it is much more so a request for daily graces — gifts of the Holy Spirit — to sustain us in the fight against evil and temptation.  This is further echoed in how Christ instructs His followers to embrace dependence on God, as the birds of the sky do.[11]  “[T]hey do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are not you more important than they?”[12]  God wants us to be dependent on Him because this dependence draws us into communion with Him.  And if we are wise, we will want to be in communion with Him because communion with God means deep abiding peace, freedom from evil, wisdom, and a life of good works.

Jesus himself modeled this need for constant prayer.  Jesus prayed incessantly during his time on earth.  He prayed after his baptism, when the heavens opened up.[13]  Jesus prayed in the wilderness, after curing the leper.[14]  Jesus spent an entire night in prayer before choosing His twelve apostles.[15]  Jesus prayed immediately before his transfiguration on the mountain.[16]  Jesus prayed that Simon Peter’s faith would not fail.[17]  Jesus prayed in agony in the garden.[18]  Jesus prayed for his crucifiers.[19]  Jesus prayed, while nailed to the cross, before he gave up his Spirit into the hands of God the Father.[20]  If God made flesh, in Jesus Christ, needed to pray to overcome adversity and accomplish His goals, then surely we humble sinners need to pray as much, if not more.

As evidenced by His example, prayer works.  When we are in communion with God our lives are elevated in every way imaginable.  God enters our life in a very real way, hears us, and intervenes.  Life becomes exponentially better.  The easiest thing we can do to attain this exponentially better life is to pray daily.

Above all be persistent.  If you struggle with this, pray to St. Monica, who prayed for her son St. Augustine for thirty years before he converted.  Pray to St. Teresa of Calcutta, who prayed and served God throughout half a lifetime of spiritual darkness.  They will intercede for you.