Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prayer

Such a seemingly plain and simple thing as an honest to goodness prayer is a profound and complex reality – irrespective of who says it, why, when, and how. The significant and fundamental reasons for such a rather profound meaning and implications of prayer are basically the following: One, the belief that there is God constitutes the premise of prayer. Otherwise, to what does one pray? Two, the ultimate dependence of man on God. Otherwise, why pray at all? Three, the goodness and omnipotence of God. Otherwise, what for is prayer? Thus it is that when man prays, he reaches up to the divine and sublime – while keeping his feet on the ground.

God must be then more pleased the more people pray and more prayers are said. In the last analysis, such spiritual solidarity is a profession of the omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence of God. In other words, people pray because they recognize the power of God – whereas there is nothing He cannot do. They acknowledge the wisdom of God – where there is nothing He does not understand. And they profess the presence of God anywhere, anytime – whereas there is no place and no time He is not there.

God perfectly understands that petitions are the most common and frequent prayers addressed to Him by people – men, women, and children alike, all of whom have their different needs at different times. In the order of their nobility, there are four categories of prayer. First is the Prayer of Adoration whereby God is professed as the one and only Divinity. Second is the Prayer of Thanksgiving through which the kindness and generosity of God are acknowledged. Third is the Prayer of Repentance wherein man admits before God his sins of commission (doing what he should not) and omission (not doing what he should). Fourth is the Prayer of Petition with which man pleads before God to grant his needs, to fill-in his want. The truth of the matter, however, is that every category of prayer implies all others.

God must be pretty “busy” during these times on the occasion of the large-scale devastation brought about by a typhoon that killed many and destroyed much. He is kept “busy” by urging those Filipinos spared from the devastation to go to the assistance of their less fortunate brothers and sisters. He is kept “busy” by inspiring other citizens, other nations to help the suffering Philippines.

Typhoon Yolanda – all its distinct cruelty and blatant brutality notwithstanding – still brought about some positive realities: People pray. Filipinos unite. Foreigners extend a helping hand.