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Are you honest when you pray?

In his monthly series of reflections, Deacon Peter Coates from Woodbridge asks are you honest when you pray?

Are you honest when you pray?  It is easy to be honest when you are asking for something or praying for someone else but what happens when you are hoping to come closer to the Lord? 

I find the most difficult time to be at Reconciliation.  Is it true to say that we are really sorry?  Is it true that we really don’t want to do it again?  How close can we come to Jesus?

When my mother was attending instruction to become Catholic and marry my father, she commented that some protestants were “too familiar when they talked to God”.  The nun quickly corrected her saying “No one is more familiar with the Lord than a Catholic”. 

Of course, they were both wrong.  When our Lord taught His disciples to pray, He said they should say “our daddy” but down the years our inhibitions have grown and “we dare to say: ’Our Father…’”  I don’t find it too difficult to say that and the liturgy would sound very strange if it were littered with “daddy”. 

Jesus invites us to be intimate with God, to be truly close to Him.  This implies openness and honesty.   That is what makes it difficult for me.  I want to be on good terms with the Lord but He knows what I am really like!

 I want to pray – “I love you, Jesus, my love above all things.  I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.  Never permit me to separate myself from you again.  Grant that I may love you always and then do with me what you will.”

But those phrases are so demanding.  Can I really mean it when I say them? The most intimate thing we can say to anyone is “I love you”.  The implications are immense and the final clause makes it clear.  If the love we offer is true, the beloved is trusted totally.  This is too much. I cannot rise to such heights.

It is so difficult to find words to express our adoration of the most Holy God and to worship and to love Him.  Words just do not do it!  I want to worship my Lord.  I want to open my life to Him so that I live His Way.  “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

I want to love the Lord.  It is enough.

Peter spent 15 years as a Methodist minister before European Education and Training projects in Portugal (where he converted), Hungary, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova where he lived and worked for over six years. He was the first permanent deacon ordained in the former Soviet Union in the Diocese of Chisinau, Moldova.