Friday, July 23, 2010

How do you Pray? (Ur Sunday Dose: 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

July 25, 2010
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Fil-Mission Sunday
Lk 11,1-13


Every time we pray, we usually pray to ask something. It is just seldom that we do not pray this way. We always ask God to grant us something we need or direly ask.

Lord, pahingi ng ganito. Lord, pahingi ng ganyan. Lord, sana po manalo na kami sa Lotto, etc. etc. etc. That is the usual manner of our prayers. Madalang kang nakakarinig ng flow ng dasal na iba sa ganito.

Cute thing is that we often hear parents telling their children to pray in this manner: Lord, penge po ng pe-pe. (Pe-pe is a pinoy baby term for Pera or Money.) Even kids adopt this pinoy style of prayer. Lord, sana po magkaroon ako ng laruan para sa Pasko, o ng pera para pang-computer ko.

Funny. Really funny. It's like we are telling God to grant us something because he has a bodega full of material things that he can give us. He is like a genie who can give us everything we wish. That is the drastic Filipino way of prayer. Very personal, yet very selfish to the ear.

In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus talking about prayer, teaching his disciples what the world would come to know of as The Lord's Prayer. We hear this prayer every single day, especially when we go to Mass. We even sing it to the top of our lungs, hands outstretched, with eyes closed. We call God as Our Father.

We consider God as our Father, and because of this, we ask him every single thing we could imagine. Kahit anong ating pwedeng hilingin, hinihiling natin kasi alam nating ibibigay ng Diyos. Kaso minsan, umaabot sa puntong ang hinihingi natin sa ating mga dasal ay purong para sa maka-sarili nating hangarin. We pray for our own benefit alone, not for those of our brothers and sisters. We ask God to forgive us of our many sins, but do we even lift a finger of forgiveness to somebody who has done something which has hurt us? We ask God not to lead us to the test or to the evil one, and yet we lead our own feet and those of others to our own harm.

We pray, but do our lives pray with our words? Rarely does it happen.

Kapag tayo ay natutuwa, halos lahat ng bahagi ng katawan natin ay nakakaramdam ng saya. Ganoon din kapag tayo ay nalulungkot, nagagalit, o natatakot. Hindi lang natin ito naidadaan sa salita lang, damay-damay na pati ang lahat ng bahagi ng ating katauhan.

Same thing goes with prayer. Kapag tayo ay nagdarasal, hindi lang tayo nag-aalay ng salita lang. Kasama ng mga salitang ito, iniaalay rin natin sa Diyos na ating Ama ang lahat ng ating katauhan. We offer our life. We are a living irony if we pray to God for long life, but we abuse our bodies with drinking, smoking or drugs. We pray for good fortune, yet we spend our money on waste. We pray to God with every beautiful word we know, and yet we curse and tell vulgar words to our neighbor, or child, or mother. If we are these kind of people, praying yet not living according to our prayer, then we are Living Irony.

Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa. If we ask God to forgive us, we must also know how to forgive others. If we ask God of something, we must know how to manage it and use it for our good and for the good of others. If we pray for safety, we also know that we must follow safety rules every time and everywhere. We pray, but we are also responsible.

God listens to every prayer, but we must also see to it that what we seek, ask or knock, whatever we pray him, must be in accordance with what we are capable of. We must also be patient. Hindi siya magbibigay ng bagay na hindi natin kailangan. Everything He gives us is enough for our use. He also gives our need in the right time. Kaya hindi dapat tayo manhinayang sa isang bagay na hinihingi natin sa Diyos ngunit hindi natin nakakamit, kasi alam ng Diyos na hindi ito para sa atin, at kung ito ay para sa atin man, hindi pa ito ang panahon upang ito ay tanggapin.

When we receive, we must also give. That's the secret of graces. We pray God to grant our petitions. But we must remember that when the time comes that he gives us the grace we need, we, in turn, must also give what we have received to those who are in need. Wag lalaki ang ulo kapag nakamit na natin ang ating mga dinarasal. May mga kapatid pa na nangangailangan ng mga bagay na meron tayo.

Finally. When we pray, don't just ask something. Above all, give thanks! If our life if filled with many petitions, we can say that our life is one without contentment. If we know how to pray with thanksgiving and praise for everything we have, everything would come flowing without any hard deal.

Real prayer is a prayer where we consider ourselves as nothing in God's eyes. We ask His grace for us to live according to His will. We give thanks for everything we received. We ask forgiveness because we are sinners. We ask for everything we need according to His will.

That is real prayer. But this becomes more powerful if our life is patterned after our prayer. We pray, and we live.


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